Councilwoman Maritza Davila received the support of her City Council colleagues to remain as the president for the next year.
Council members voted 8-0 to grant Davila second term as president in their re-organization meeting on Monday afternoon. Ruby Cotton was absent.
Davila served as president in the previous fiscal year.
“The first time I received the nomination it was a great feeling. But this year it’s different,” said Davila.
Davila had to vie with Cotton last year. This year she did not have a competitor for the presidency. Last year, she did not have the support of councilman Luis Velez.
On Monday, councilman Al Abdelaziz nominated Davila and Velez seconded the motion.
“We’re going to do what we need to do to continue the progress in the city of Paterson,” said Davila.
Council members retained councilman Michael Jackson as their vice president in the same 8-0 vote. Jackson had served as vice president last year.
Mayor Andre Sayegh congratulated Davila after she was picked to serve for the next year. He is expected to face major opposition to his agenda from the unified City Council in the next 12 months.
The Sayegh administration is perceived as running roughshod in City Hall. His effort to coerce the council into voting on the rejected Hinchliffe Stadium agreement for a second time by citing an “emergency” earned him a public beating from the combined force of Jackson and Davila last month.
The mayor, whose star power appears to be dimming, submitted the Hinchliffe Stadium project for $50 million in state tax credits late last week despite opposition from the council.
Sayegh appeared to want to mend ties with the council. He told Davila he looks forward to their Thursday meetings.
“We haven’t met in a while; we have some catching up to do,” said Sayegh. He mentioned “collaboration” several times in a nine-minute long speech at the re-organization meeting. He may have a tough time finding collaborators on the council as six of the nine members gear up for re-election in the coming months.
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