After weeks of intrigue and deadlock, the council was set today to elect a new president: Nick Licata.
Licata, a dark-horse candidate whom many initially laughed off as a presidential contender because he’s the most left-leaning member of the city council, became a frontrunner after council members deadlocked 4-4 between the original two contenders, Jean Godden and Richard Conlin, when Jim Compton resigned in December. Conlin and Godden both hung on until this morning, when Conlin announced he was withdrawing his name, opening up the field to Licata and Richard McIver, another “compromise” candidate who had the support of David Della and Godden.
The catch, of course, was that McIver didn’t really want the job. He likes his current position as head of the council’s budget committee, and offered to step up as president only if no other viable candidate volunteered. When it became clear Licata had the support of the majority of the council (including swing vote Jan Drago), McIver withdrew.
As a council staffer whispered to me a few minutes before the vote, “I laughed when you predicted it would be Nick,” back in December. Sometimes, the good guys win.