Sunday, July 3, 2011

Council changing of the (Old) Guard

Councilman Ravi Bhalla was voted the Council President as the first order of business in the City Council reorg, ending the short reign of Councilwoman Beth Mason.   City Clerk Jimmy Farina moved for a voice vote as it's been traditional to do so.  But outgoing Council chair Beth Mason had other ideas and forced a roll call vote.  When her turn comes, her vote generates laughter from the audience.

Even with the lone negative vote, the Council Chambers exploded in applause even before Councilman Ravi Bhalla took the oath.  It continued right until the oath was administered.

The complete proceedings:

The nomination and vote naming Councilman Peter Cunningham VP was less dramatic:

Sign of the Times: A Mona Lisa smile takes the City Council dais

The swearing in ceremony had already taken place earlier outdoors, most of the celebratory crowd had departed along with the honored guest of the day, Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno and a solid but not quite filled to capacity crowd awaited to see how the council would perform in its new alignment.

It was night and day.

Here's a photo of the new Councilwoman Jen Giattino taking the dais.  She seemed almost reluctant to do so, hovering near the front and almost circling the area several times hesitant to cross the threshold to what awaits on the other side.

Finally as everyone was milling about on the dais oblivious to her inner contradiction, she stood at the crossway, paused and with a Mona Lisa smile took the plunge.

Both she and new Council President Ravi Bhalla had a great day.  It was even a better one for Hoboken.

With a Mona Lisa smile, Councilwoman Jen Giattino prepares to enter the fray as Councilman Ravi Bhalla's family (r) awaits to witness his election to Council President.