As recent weeks were filled with media coverage and pundit speculation as to who would become Baltimore’s next City Council President, tonight proved a fitting end to a seemingly never ending drama.
While council members’ braved the cold and record setting snow to attend the council meeting everyone seemed to look forward too, the council unanimously elected their long time colleague, Bernard ‘Jack’ Young, to be their leader for the next 18-months. Or as one council member stated “we are proud to be electing the leader of leaders”!
After the procedural process of being nominated, by none other than former City Council Presidential contender William ‘Bill’ Cole, and a whole litany of expressed comments and compliments, the East Baltimore native was ushered down to the second floor, amongst family and friends, to be sworn-in by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.
Upon receiving this oath and signing the infamous book of past Baltimore elected officials, Young then gave a rousing set of remarks invoking Baltimore famed surgeon Dr. Benjamin Carson and promising to “roll up his sleeves and get work done that is in the best interest of our city and its citizens.” (Full speech found here)
As he was then well received back in the council chambers, as the session was temporarily suspended to allow for his swearing-in, he took the mantle of Council President, ushering through the remainder of the council agenda. Looking out amongst family, friends and supporters, he acknowledged those who have continuously supported him throughout the years of his service, while remaining vigilant in assuring that a Young-led council will not be obstructionists but rather partners with the Mayor’s office in moving this city forward over the next year and a half.
As dignitaries such as former state senator Larry Young and current state delegate Nathaniel Oaks were in attendance for tonight’s monumental meeting, more interesting were two possible contenders for Young’s now vacant 12th district seat; former council members’ Carl Stokes and Paula Johnson-Branch.
While much speculation still remains as to who may fill that role, President Young made the announcement tonight that the Committee of the Whole will be charged in overseeing that vacancy replacement process, setting a hearing in regards to such on Tuesday, February 23 at 6:00P in the council chambers. All those interested in applying for or seeking that open council position should contact or forward their information over to the council president’s office.
Also of note, the newly elected council president issued an official yet tentative memo of committee membership changes, in which he outlined the new committee make-ups and chairmanships, similar to the changes I assumed would occur in a prior article. (For a complete list of committee membership and changes, click here)
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