Political Notebook

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New leadership

The City Council will have its annual organizational meeting next week, and will likely look to an experienced face to lead it through 2012.

City Councilman Tom Smith, R-1st, is expected to be the council’s next president, resuming a role he has held numerous times before. Smith is entering his fourth consecutive term on the council – the longest streak of any current members, so his selection comes as no surprise.

Two Republican members of the new council, speaking anonymously, said Smith will be the majority party’s choice to lead. Republicans will have six of nine council seats next year. The GOP held its organizational caucus the week before Christmas, according to one source.

“I would say he’s going to be the candidate,” one councilman said of Smith.

Smith’s selection as president comes with a caveat, however. According to one councilman it requires Smith not to schedule council meetings on the occasional fifth Tuesdays throughout the year. Smith had used those dates in the past to discuss long range policy, but apparently most in the majority party would rather use that time to spend with friends and family.

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