by Jillian Jorgensen
CITY HALL — Councilman Vincent Ignizio will be the next City Council Minority Leader.
Ignizio will take over the mantle from Councilman James Oddo (R-Mid-Island) who has been Minority Leader since 2002.
The closed-doors vote wasn’t quite as contentious as the one that will name the Council’s next Speaker: There are just three members of the minority Republican party in the Council, including Ignizio.
The other Republicans who will serve in the next Council, and who voted for Ignizio, are Councilman-elect Steven Matteo who will take Oddo’s seat as he leaves the Council to become borough president, and Councilman Eric Ulrich of Queens.
Ignizio was elected to represent the South Shore in 2007.
The choice of Ignizio was not unexpected. For weeks he’s been talking about the role he hopes to play as the leader of his three-person delegation in choosing the Council’s next Speaker.
“The delegation has played a pivotal role in partnering with other delegations, be them county or ideological, in helping make the Speaker the last two times — that being Speaker (Gifford) Miller and Speaker (Christine) Quinn,” Ignizio told the Advance in November. “And our intention is to do the same thing this time.
But Oddo, who has worked closely with Ignizio in the Council, isn’t going quietly. He staked his claim to the Minority Leader’s office — prime real estate beneath City Hall’s grand rotunda and just next to the Council chambers — for the rest of the year.
He jokingly taped the handwritten words “Still the” above a sign that reads “Office of the Minority Leader James S. Oddo.”