Council to Consider New Portrait Procedure

By Adam Swift

The city council could soon be taking a more cohesive approach to which former members get their portrait placed in the council chambers.

Last week, the council tabled a motion by Councillor-at-Large Anthony Zambuto that would establish certain criteria for the portraits. The motion was tabled until the scheduled July 22 meeting.

In addition, the council tabled a motion by Ward 5 Councillor Angela Guarino-Sawaya to hang a portrait of late Councillor George Rotondo in the chambers to the same meeting.

Council President Anthony Cogliandro said that while he feels Rotondo is likely deserving of the honor, it would allow the request to align with the potential new portrait guidelines.

The new rule of order proposed by Zambuto would establish a selection committee to review requests for portraits of councillors who have passed away and have been determined to have made significant or historic contributions to the council and the city. Nominations for those to receive the honor would only be able to be made by other city councillors.

Guarino-Sawaya attempted to make the nomination for Rotondo while Zambuto’s original motion was being discussed.

“I think this (request) would go into this motion,” said Zambuto. “The selection committee would decide, and my guess is they would find he had the criteria to be in there. This is to clean up some stuff that has gone on in the past, and I think a lot of us know that this is a good idea.”

Zambuto clarified that the new rule of order for the council would not remove any existing portraits from the council chambers.

Guarino-Sawaya noted that Rotondo was a long-time Ward 4 and At-Large Councillor who was an advocate for the residents of the city and was not afraid to voice his opinion.

“Although I think this is a great motion, I think the committee process that Councillor Zambuto brought up is the appropriate way to do this,” said Councillor-at-Large Marc Silvestri.

Cogliandro said while he supported Guarino-Sawaya’s motion, he believed it should be tabled until the committee process is set.

“I agree with Councilllor Guarino-Sawaya that I would love to have George Rotondo’s portrait in this chamber, he was one of the smartest people I ever knew,” he said. “But I think we should table that motion to the next meeting until we can figure out the process of creating a portrait committee, and then we will go from there.”

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