As Yalies recuperated over winter break, New Haven’s alders were busy electing leadership for this term’s Board of Alders.
Ward 23 Alder Tyisha Walker-Myers was unanimously elected on Jan. 2 for her third term as board president, while Ward 22 Alder Jeanette Morrison was re-elected as president pro tempore. According to Ward 7 Alder Abigail Roth ’90 LAW ’94, Morrison and Walker-Myers pursued the leadership as running mates unopposed. Ward 27 Alder Richard Furlow and Ward 5 Alder Dave Reyes Jr. will fulfill the majority leader and deputy majority leader roles, respectively.
“[Walker-Myers] works extremely hard and is very direct, honest and decisive,” Roth said. “[Morrison] is energetic and passionate about the causes she believes in.”
While four of the five leadership position have now been accounted for, the position of minority leader will be decided on Tuesday at the Board of Alders’ biweekly meeting. The post was previously occupied by former Ward 1 Alder Sarah Eidelson ’12 on an all-Democratically caucused board. According to newly inaugurated Ward 1 Alder Hacibey Catalbasoglu ’19, the entire board will vote on the minority leader position.
During his campaign, independent candidate Catalbasoglu told voters he would automatically become minority leader. But when an independent candidate, Steven Winter ’11, won the aldermanic election in Ward 21, the fate of the leadership position was thrust into doubt.
In addition to the minority leader position, the board is slated to discuss whether the mayor will receive a $10,000 raise, potentially increasing her salary from $131,000 to $141,000.
And by the end of the month, board leadership will decide the composition of the 10 aldermanic committees. According to Roth, the alders submitted their preferences for committees in December 2017.
Regardless of who is in leadership and which committees the lawmakers will work on, new and experienced alders expressed excitement going into a new two-year term.
“I’m looking forward to working with my colleagues to help make New Haven a better place for every resident,” Catalbasoglu said.
Roth echoed that sentiment, noting that it was “interesting to observe the dynamics” that start to form among a new group of 30 people.
After being re-elected as president on Jan. 2, Walker-Myers congratulated her fellow alders and reminded them that helping the city is not a one-person job, according to the New Haven Independent.
“It’s about a team and I’m really proud to have you guys be a part of my team,” Walker-Myers said at the meeting. “I’m really excited and I’m looking forward to the next two years and I hope you are too.”
Ashna Gupta | firstname.lastname@example.org