NEWBURYPORT — The City Council’s first meeting of the year Monday night addressed numerous matters of business, including leadership positions for the 2013 year.
Thomas O’Brien was reelected as council president. He is the Ward 6 councilor and this is his seventh term on that body.
The following are committee assignments made by O’Brien: Budget and Finance, Ed Cameron, chairman, Ari Herzog and Robert Cronin; General Government, Thomas O’Brien, chairman, Dick Sullivan Jr. and Donna Holaday; Joint Education, Allison Heartquist, chairman, Greg Earls and Dick Sullivan Jr.
Also, License and Permits, Greg Earls, chairman, Barry Connell and Steve Hutcheson; Neighborhoods and City Services, Barry Connell, chairman, Allison Heartquist and Ed Cameron; Planning and Development, Tom Jones, chairman, Barry Connell and Brian Derrivan; Public Safety, Bob Cronin, chairman, Dick Sullivan Jr. and Brian Derrivan; Public Utilities, Ari Herzog, chairman, Steve Hutcheson and Dick Sullivan Jr.; Rules Committee, Bob Cronin, chairman, Tom Jones and Thomas O’Brien.
In another matter involving personnel, councilors elected former councilor Steve Hutcheson to fill the post vacated by Kathleen O’Connor Ives, who has moved on the state Senate.
Hutcheson received votes from the following; Cameron, Connell, Cronin, Heartquist and O’Brien. Robert Rothberg got votes from Herzog and Earls, and Larry Giunta received support from Derrivan and Sullivan. Jones initially voted for Ralph Orlando.
Those appearing at the meeting to speak on behalf of themselves were Paula Hudson Chambers, Giunta, Hutcheson, Rothberg and Russo. Mary Zinck wrote that she was unable to attend the meeting; Jones read a statement from Orlando, who was also unable to make the meeting.
After the vote that provided Hutcheson with a margin of victory, Jones moved that the election be unanimous - by acclamation.
Also on Monday night, the proposed Local Historic District was voted down decisively and now it is unclear what will happen about preservation planning.