City Council defers action on move to block Consalvo gambit
The Boston City Council today deferred action on a proposal by Councilor John Tobin that would block a rumored attempt to make fellow Councilor Rob Consalvo the next mayor.
Tobin has proposed a change to the city charter that would make the city council's clerk acting mayor should the sitting mayor resign. His plan would also bar the clerk from running for mayor himself in a special election to be held within six months.
City Hall conspiracists say Mayor Menino would seek to make Consalvo acting mayor by maneuvering him into the position of council President and then resigining. Under the current city charter, this would make him mayor - just the way Menino became mayor when Ray Flynn resigned in 1993.
The council voted to take no action until at least after the council government-operations committee holds another hearing on the proposal on Dec. 16. However, the current council dissolves Dec. 31. Tobin's proposal would require approval from both Menino and the state Legislature.
Councilor Maureen Feeney, who chairs the rules committee, said she would oppose Tobin's measure because she thinks the acting mayor should be a city councilor, because councilors, even district ones, have at least put themselves before voters and have experience dealing with budgets and city agencies.
Tobin and backers Sam Yoon and Chuck Turner argued they are attempting to reduce the odds of City Hall back-room deals, that the council's clerk has considerable experience dealing with the mayor's office and that, in any case, the appointment would be a short-term caretaker position that would let voters have a real say in an election.