The Springfield City Council will soon have a new leader.
In an informal vote earlier this month, councilors chose Orlando Ramos for the post. Unless there are any surprises, it’ll become official during the first meeting of the year, on Jan. 2, 2017.
State Sen. James Welch “will be administering the oath of office,” Ramos said. “He’ll be swearing me in.”
Welch is also Ramos’ boss at his day job. He’s director of the senator’s Springfield office. The meeting will feature another VIP, too:
“My daughter…who’s 12 years old, will be leading the Pledge of allegiance,” Ramos said.
Ramos is 34 years old and has been on the council since 2014, the last couple years as vice-president.
The presidency comes with quite a few more responsibilities, but only an extra $500 in annual pay.
He said he plans to reorganize the legislative body — adding two new committees — though he won’t yet say what they are.
Among his top priorities as president, he said, is ensuring that more city workers live in the city.
“Going to continue to advocate for residency in all collective bargaining agreements, and continue to advocate for residency for all newly hired employees in the city of Springfield,” Ramos said.
Residency has been a main rift between the council and Mayor Domenic Sarno — with the council overriding a mayoral veto of an ordinance earlier this year.
Ramos succeeds Mike Fenton, who served three one-year terms as City Council president and did not seek the post again but remains on the council.