Who Will Govern Maplewood in 2013?
Hint: the times are probably not much a changin' in town politics.
Update 12/15, 12:52 p.m.: Patch has updated the article with a comment from Township Committee member Jerry Ryan.
At the end of each year, the five members of the Maplewood Township Committee select a Mayor, Deputy Mayor and board and committee assignments for the following year. The Mayor is then officially installed at the annual reorganization meeting on Jan. 1.
Vic DeLuca has been Mayor of Maplewood for four straight terms. Is he likely to be chosen again by the committee members?
"You'll find out on Dec. 18," said DeLuca in a phone interview. That is the date of the next regular meeting of the township committee.
"We have a caucus meeting each year," he said. "In the past we've had that meeting in public."
So far, the signs point against a "December surprise" this year, with DeLuca likely to remain Mayor and Kathy Leventhal to continue as Deputy Mayor.
Maplewood Democratic Committee chairman Ian Grodman told Patch that while he is sometimes called in to help the committee to come to a decision at this time of year, "I can tell you I've received no request by the TC at this point for a meeting."
"I think Vic's done an excellent job chairing the committee in what have been difficult and complicated times," said member Jerry Ryan, who served as mayor from 1998-2000. "I'm an enthusiastic supporter of his work, and he's certainly deserving of continuing as chair."
Ryan contined, "However, I have always emphasized the importance of rotating this position. Vic knows how important it is to me that the position of mayor be rotated, and he also knows that I would like to be mayor again. For me, for several personal reasons, 2013 is not the time. I plan to support Vic for another year as chair and I hope to convince him and my colleagues to support me in the future."
Last year, there was speculation that Leventhal might ascend to the position, but DeLuca was chosen again. Leventhal remained second in command with a title change from Vice Mayor to Deputy Mayor.
Leventhal, along with running mate Ryan, was reelected in November to a three-year term on the committee. The other two township committee members are India Larrier and Marlon K. Brownlee.
DeLuca, who won election to his fifth Township Committee term in 2011, has been mayor of Maplewood for a total of seven terms. He also served as mayor from 2000 through 2003.