At its first meeting, Hyattsville's new City Council, with couldn’t agree upon who should work with Tartaro on the board’s executive committee.
Council members Matthew McKnight (Ward 3) and Paula Perry (Ward 4) were both nominated for the spot of council president, but the council was unable to make a choice and decided to table the matter until its May 23 meeting.
McKnight has been in office since 2009 and Perry since 1999.
On the previous council, Tartaro was president and William Tierney, who lost his Ward 2 seat to Shani Warner, served as vice president.
Here’s the rundown of how the council voted:McKnight Perry Ruth Ann Frazier (Ward 5) X Carlos Lizanne (Ward 4) X Matthew McKnight (Ward 3) X Candace Hollingsworth (Ward 1) X Shani Warner (Ward 2) X Tim Hunt (Ward 3) X Nicole Hinds-Mofor (Ward 5) X Paula Perry (Ward 4) X David Hiles (Ward 2) X
Municipal rules require that there be at least six votes for someone to be named to this office. With one open Ward 1 spot – a special election will be held this summer to fill this spot, which became vacant when Tartaro won the mayor’s race – there were only nine voters. McKnight got six and Perry took four.
Tartaro stated before this motion that he would abstain from casting his vote in this situation because he believed it should be left up to the council who represents them on the executive committee.
Normally, when the council is deadlocked, Hyattsville’s mayor casts the tie-breaking vote. However, the mayor is not required to cast a vote on any motions.
When nothing was resolved, Tartaro asked if anyone would consider changing their vote. Receiving no responses, he asked the council if they wanted to take two minutes and talk outside the council chambers to see if they could come to a resolution.
At that point, Perry and McKnight decided to speak out of earshot, but still no resolution was found and the decision to table the vote was made.