By Mike Dunn
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Bill Green, as expected, has resigned as Philadelphia City Councilman and has been sworn in as the new chairman of the School Reform Commission. But the Council President is still mum as to whether he’ll call a special election to fill the vacancy.
The decision on whether to call a special election rests now with Council President Darrell Clarke, and for the moment he is not commenting about his plans. Bill Green was one of seven at-large members of City Council, and those members do not represent a specific part of town, so it’s entirely possible that Clarke could leave the seat unfilled — a possibility that Green himself brings up.
“He doesn’t have to have a special election, so really he’s in the driver’s seat, despite everything else everyone hears, he doesn’t have to call a special election,” Green said.
If there is a special election, it would likely come during the May primary, with ward leaders for each party choosing their nominees. And in this heavily Democratic town, that would virtually ensure whoever is chosen by the Democratic ward leaders would win a special election.
Opting not to call an election does present some difficulties for Clarke, not the least of which is that it leaves an even number of council members (16) presenting the possibility of tie votes.