PITTSFIELD — Most city councilors were in agreement this week that Peter Marchetti seems to have more than enough votes to become the next council president on Jan. 4.
The officials surveyed also agreed that Ward 6 Councilor John Krol is the front-runner to become the next vice president.
Councilors, including new members elected on Nov. 3, have for several weeks privately predicted that Marchetti — a former at large councilor who is returning to the council in 2016 — could be assured of from seven to nine votes when the council reorganizes for the coming term.
Marchetti, elected to one of the four at large council seats and the top vote-getter, had said prior to the election that he would seek the post if he received the most votes and if City Clerk Linda M. Tyer, whom he supported, was elected mayor — both of which occurred.
Marchetti received 7,229 votes to 5,821 for current council President Melissa Mazzeo in the Nov. 3 voting. Incumbent Kathleen Amuso finished third in the at large race with 5,671 votes, and Peter White was elected with 5,423 votes.
Tyer defeated incumbent Mayor Daniel L. Bianchi, who was seeking a third term, and she also will be sworn in on Jan. 4.
Marchetti said this week that he doesn't want to comment yet on the president's post, except to say, "I am going to seek the position, and it will be an honor to serve if I'm elected."
Mazzeo, a strong supporter of Bianchi in the election, has said she is still considering whether to seek another term as president but has not made a decision. A majority vote of the 11-member council will decide the issue at the reorganization meeting held on inauguration day.
Previously, the person elected council president would then automatically pick a vice president. Mazzeo chose Ward 4 Councilor Christopher Connell for the role in 2014.
However, the council in a special meeting on Tuesday night debated whether to also elect the vice president, which many believe is the intent of the city's governmental charter approved in 2013. But at the meeting, a compromise option was approved by councilors, allowing the newly elected president to propose a vice president for confirmation by the full council.
Krol has said he'll be a candidate for vice president and added, "Certainly, I favor Pete Marchetti as president."
Connell said he also would like to continue as vice president, saying, "I am going to be campaigning for it."
He said he has tried to redefine the role of vice president beyond a ceremonial one by working closely with other elected officials and with city department heads on issues before the city. "I also have the ability to meet during the daytime with department heads," he said.
Connell said he has always tried to work with everyone in city government, regardless of their political leanings. "I think people know that about me," he said.
Newly elected Councilor at large White said it is difficult to know anything for certain about the presidency or vice presidency before Jan. 4, but he intends to support Marchetti and Krol for vice president.
"I've been a Marchetti supporter and worked with Pete on committees for 12 to 14 years," White said.
"I like John for it," White said of Krol. "He has the background and I think he can do the [vice president's] job."
Both were Tyer supporters who should able to work well with her administration, White said.
Ward 3 Councilor Nicholas Caccamo said he is strongly leaning toward Marchetti as president. "He rallied the voters and put up some impressive numbers," Caccamo said.
He added that Krol "is one of the senior councilors at this point, and I am good with [backing him for vice president]."
An ability to work with Tyer should be a key factor in selecting the council leaders, he said.
Ward 1 Councilor Lisa Tully said she has thought for some time that she'd support Mazzeo if Bianchi had won another term and Marchetti if Tyer won on Nov. 3, hoping that the council president and mayor could work well together for the good of the city.
She declined at this time to publicly support a candidate for vice president.