A president will be selected at the January reorganization, to serve for one year. The role is important for several reasons. It is the president who, with the city clerk, decides what goes on the agenda. The president can decide not to include an item, in a kind of pre-emptive veto The president can shut down speakers in public comment. With a bang of the gavel, the president can even have a speaker removed by police.
As noted in the council's Rules of Order, the president is also supposed to bar "personal reflections" by other members during debate and must immediately call to order any speaker who makes "offensive, derogatory or abusive remarks" in public comment.
Past presidents include Annie McWilliams, who served in 2010 and 2011; Adrian Mapp (now the mayor) in 2012; and for 2013, 2014 and 2015, Bridget Rivers.
Bridget Rivers, 2013
The council for 2016 will consist of Rivers, Tracey Brown, Rebecca Williams, Gloria Taylor, Diane Toliver, Cory Storch (starting his fourth four-year term) and new member Barry Goode.
Meanwhile, as previously noted, the Dec. 7 agenda-fixing session, Dec.14 regular meeting and Dec. 23 agenda-fixing for the January annual reorganization have been combined into one "special meeting" starting at 7 p.m. on Dec. 14 in Municipal Court, 325 Watchung Ave. The reorganization takes place in early January.