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Barb Johnson, shown in 2012, says she is lining up the votes she needs to remain the president of the Minneapolis City Council.

JEFF WHEELER • Star Tribune file,

CHANGES AT CITY HALL

Jan. 1: Mayor R.T. Rybak’s last day.

Jan. 2: Mayor-elect Betsy Hodges is sworn in.

Jan. 6: Seven new council members are sworn in, along with the six current ones. The council president will be elected.

Barb Johnson likely to stay at top of Minneapolis City Council

  • Article by: Eric Roper
  • Star Tribune
  • December 27, 2013 - 5:54 AM

Minneapolis City Council President Barb Johnson appears likely to retain her leadership role after seven new council members are sworn in early next month.

Johnson, who has been president since 2006, said Tuesday that she believes she has secured support from a majority of the council. Several incoming council members, as well as current member Cam Gordon, had publicly supported Elizabeth Glidden to be the next president.

“I have had enough folks … my new colleagues and my old colleagues tell me they’ll support me, that I feel fairly confident that I will be council president,” said Johnson, adding that she will support Glidden as vice president.

Asked earlier this month, Glidden declined to say whether she was running.

The council president influences committee chairmanships, presides over council meetings and often acts as the public face of the body. The president is also first in line to be acting mayor if the mayor cannot execute the duties.

The president’s election will take place at what may be a crowded first meeting on Jan. 6. More than 100 activists have RSVPed to “pack City Hall” that day to demand a change in leadership.

The event was initially sponsored by supporters of Glidden’s presidency, but the sponsor was later changed to Neighborhoods Organizing for Change.

“It’s time for a change in priorities from a city council that has put the needs of billionaires and corporations over the needs of low income communities of color resulting in worst in the country equity gaps across the board,” the online invitation says.

Johnson said she and other council members are still discussing the details of committee structures, which she expects will be altered to shift some of the workload.

She expects Kevin Reich will lead the Transportation and Public Works Committee, John Quincy the Budget Committee and Lisa Goodman the Community Development Committee.

 

Eric Roper • 612-673-1732

Twitter: @StribRoper

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