Last week, Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young used his power on the Board of Estimates to create nine new jobs for the expected next City Council president, Nick Mosby.
Only one Council member was willing to speak against the move.
That was Bill Henry, who is running unopposed this Tuesday for city comptroller – a job where the next Council president won’t be able to directly impact his work.
“Without being briefed on the specifics, I’m unclear why anyone would want to add such a large number of positions in advance of taking office, especially during difficult financial times for the city,” Henry told The Brew.
We made another round of calls on Friday, the day before Halloween, and most Council members and likely newcomers were still ghosting us on the issue.
But two more, Councilmen Zeke Cohen and Ed Reisinger, spoke out against Young’s move to create the jobs.
Finding Their Voice
Cohen criticized the outgoing mayor for a pattern of making “decisions with vast implications,” such as firing housing commissioner Michael Braverman during a pandemic and not moving to raise pay for Department of Public Works solid waste workers.
“He created new jobs after announcing a hiring freeze,” Cohen said. “Meanwhile, our temporary sanitation workers who risk life and limb to pick up our trash are still working without a living wage.”
“We must completely reform our charter and create a more equal distribution of power within city government,” he continued. “A lame-duck mayor should not be able to cause chaos like this.”
“A lame-duck mayor should not be able to cause chaos like this” – Zeke Cohen.
Cohen also pointed out that he had commented on the issue on Facebook last week.
“Keep making noise about it publicly!” he told a constituent who opposed the move and asked what she could do to stop it. She said she would rather the money go to trash workers, and Cohen said he agreed.
“I would MUCH rather see these folks get a bump than to create new positions,” Cohen wrote.
Councilman Ed Reisinger also said he disagreed with Young.
“My response is just that Jack Young made the wrong decision,” Reisinger, who is retiring from the Council in December after six terms in office, told The Brew.
“That money could have gone to education, recs and parks . . . That’s the last place he should have appropriated money to,” he added.
“That money could have gone to education, recs and parks” – Ed Reisinger.
Retiring Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke and Democratic 13th District nominee Antonio Glover answered calls but declined to comment.
Earlier in the week, Councilwoman Shannon Sneed and 14th District Democratic nominee Odette Ramos also said they didn’t want to respond publicly.
“I’m aware of it, but I don’t have a comment until after the election,” said Glover.
The fact that he would be new to the Council – and is not there yet – are reasons to stay out of it, he said. Another reason may be that Glover works for State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, who is married to Nick Mosby.
The following Council members and candidates, all of them on the Democratic Party ticket in Tuesday’s general election, did not answer our calls, texts and emails:
• Danielle McCray, incumbent, 2d District.
• Ryan Dorsey, incumbent, 3rd District.
• Mark Conway, nominee, 4th District.
• Isaac “Yitzy” Schleifer, incumbent, 5th District.
• Sharon Green Middleton, incumbent, 6th District.
• James Torrence, candidate, 7th District.
• Leon Pinkett III, incumbent, 7th District.
• Kristerfer Burnett, incumbent 8th District.
• John T. Bullock, incumbent, 9th District.
• Phylicia Porter, candidate, 10th District.
• Eric Costello, incumbent, 11th District.
• Robert Stokes, incumbent, 12th District.
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