An Open Council Seat
Tucked away in a story yesterday on the state rep race was Steve DiNatale's "confirmation" that he would not serve out the rest of his term as city councilor if he win the House seat next week.
Our understanding is that if DiNatale steps down next calendar year, the City Council would choose someone to fill the at-large seat.
The political conspiracy fans believe DiNatale would try to rig it so his son, Marcus DiNatale, who is currently on the School Committee, would get the seat. We think that would be a long shot, considering the heavy nepotism overtones to such a move.
We're a little surprised DiNatale is stepping down. The law allows him to do both. The question now is, what happens to the seat?
Jay Cruz finished just out of the money in the 2005, finishing sixth by 83 votes behind Annie DiMartino. Cruz should start paying attention to City Council meetings. We think a vacancy should be filled by the runner-up, which is often the case in many communities (not a big fan of giving the council so much leeway in picking DiNatale's replacement, by the way).
By the way, Cruz on the council would continue the reshaping dynamic the council experienced in the last election, and that's not such a bad thing.
From all expectations, DiNatale has this thing wrapped up. That means there will be more local political drama after the election, as the City Council goes into the process of filling his seat. Hopefully the Council doesn't look forward to the next election and its own self-preservation and does the right thing by simply picking runner-up Cruz.