As the Cambridge City Council candidates met last night at their first meeting since Thanksgiving, an air of expectancy hovered over the Sullivan Council Chambers.
The council, which will officially meet as a new body this January with newly elected member Henrietta A. Davis, is already beginning to take shape around the political lines decided in last month's city elections.
The balance of power on the council is four to four, with Mayor Kenneth E. Reeves '72 an unendorsed member.
Councillors Francis H. Duehay '55, Kathleen L. Born, Katherine Triantafillou and Davis have been endorsed by the progressive Cambridge Civic Association (CCA).
Vice Mayor Sheila T. Russell and Councillors Michael A. Sullivan, Timothy J. Toomey Jr. and Anthony D. Galluccio are among those endorsed by the more conservative Cambridge Alliance.
Reeves, who was endorsed by the CCA in past year, broke with the group in 1993 when he became mayor for a second term.
Cambridge's charter is based on the "Plan E" type of government. As stipulated in that charter, the city council elects the mayor each term.
"The city council shall, by a majority vote of all the members elected, elect a mayor and a vice-chairman form its own members and the persons elected as such shall likewise make oath to perform faithfully the duties of the prospective offices to which they are elected...," the charter reads.
Currently, it is anybody's guess who the next mayor will be.
According to Geneva T. Malenfant, chair of the CCA, three candidates are rumored to be soliciting the other councillors for their votes.
"Individual city councilors go out and talk and discuss with other city councillors," she says. "First time candidates pledge support for a stronger one."
Malenfant has little to say on Reeves controversial break with the CCA two years ago. But she says she is encouraged by the "progressive" preponderance on the council.
"I think that there is a strong belief that whoever the mayor is should be a progressive because the progressives won the majority of the council," she says.
Although councillors do not officially declare themselves candidates for mayor, Malenfant says that she believes Duehay, Russell and Reeves are already campaigning for the post.
Duehay has already served as mayor and Reeves has served two consecutive terms, which may mean that Russell feels she has a right to the job.