SCHENECTADY — A new year will bring a new president to the Schenectady City Council.
Ed Kosiur will take the reins as council president during the council’s organizational meeting on Jan. 2. He also said Councilman John Polimeni will become council's majority leader.
Kosiur will take over for Leesa Perazzo, who has served as council president for the past two years.
Kosiur said he was “very excited and honored” to take on the position. He said he hopes to continue the council’s close working relationship with Mayor Gary McCarthy and to continue moving the city forward.
“It’s an undertaking I’m ready for and, quite honestly, am excited to undertake,” Kosiur said.
Historically, a new council president is elected after a two-year term in the post, Kosiur said. If Perazzo had her way, however, she would continue to hold the position, she said.
Perazzo conceded the majority is in Kosiur’s favor at the Jan. 2 vote but said it will not change her efforts with the council.
“I will continue to make sound decisions and be a good steward of the taxpayers' money,” Perazzo said. “I also want to continue to be a good steward of the community, and none of that changes.”
Perazzo cited her vote against the $85.2 million budget as one of the reasons she is being voted out as president. The budget vote pitted her against the four-person majority, consisting of Kosiur, Polimeni and councilmembers John Mootooveren and Karen Zalewski-Wildzunas.
“I tend to speak my mind,” Perazzo said. “I’m not afraid to not agree with everyone else.”
Independent Councilman Vince Riggi said he believes a new person should be elected to the council president position every two years because “everybody is going to bring something different to the table.”
Riggi also said, though, that Kosiur’s election to the position is good news for McCarthy.
“The mayor likes this because it’s a four-person block on his side,” Riggi said.
For McCarthy, he said he just wants to continue working with the council to improve the city.
“I look forward to working with whomever is on the council,” he said.