One thing that typically happens at the organizational meeting of the Common Council is the announcement of committee assignments. That did not happen last night.
In the past, dating back to the earliest days of the Common Council, there were standing committees. Most recently, there were eight: Housing and Transportation, Legal, Fire, Police, Public Works and Parks, Economic Development, and Youth, Education, Seniors and Recreation. At the beginning of 2021, Council president Tom DePietro did away with all the standing committees in favor of ad hoc committees, formed to address specific issues and disbanded when the issue was resolved. This year, DePietro explained that a bad cold had prevented him from making the committee assignments but told the alders, "The committee arrangement will be ready by the formal meeting," which takes place next Tuesday. By "committee arrangement," DePietro meant not only committee assignments but what committees will exist. The Legal Committee was brought back in August 2021. What other committees may exist 2022 is not known.
When asked by Alder Margaret Morris (First Ward) about the process of forming committees, DePietro told her, "I do it." Past Council presidents have asked the alders which committees they would like to serve on. DePietro's process is different. He explained that he had interviewed all the alders to determine their interests and strengths, and he would use that information to make committee assignments.
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