The newly elected New Britain City Council will hold its first meeting on November 15, 2017, and its first task is the selection of its leaders from among its fifteen members.
The many changes in the membership of the Council, after voters, in the November 7th elections, changed the Council from a 12 to 3 Republican majority to a 9 to 6 Democratic majority, are expected be reflected in the upcoming leadership decisions.
The three key Council positions are the President Pro Tempore and the Democratic and Republican caucus leaders.
The President Pro Tempore of the City Council is the official leader of the Council. The President Pro Tempore is also effectively the deputy mayor of the city, being second in line to manage the city if the Mayor is absent from the city, incapacitated or leaves office.
The President Pro Tempore is elected by the whole membership of the City Council and is typically chosen from among the members of the Council’s majority party. In the outgoing Republican-dominated Council, Republican Jamie Giantonio (R-1) was the President Pro Tempore.
After the election of the President Pro Tempore, the Democratic and Republican caucuses announce their caucus leaders. Caucus leaders are elected, before the first Council meeting, by the Council members elected from each party and are announced in the first meeting of the City Council’s new term.
In addition to the two party caucus leaders, it is also common for caucuses to chose one or more assistant leaders, which are also announced at the first meeting of the new Council.
At the first meeting, the Council also chooses the membership of Council committees and Council members who act as liaisons representing the Council at different city boards, commissions, departments and organizations.
The City Council meeting begins at 7:00pm in the Council Chambers on the 2nd floor of City Hall at 27 West Main Street.