On the Madison Common Council, the president and pro tem leadership posts have traditionally been revolving - nobody serves for more than a year, and usually the current pro tem is the next president.
But Ald. Tim Bruer, the council's current president and longest-serving member, has proposed shaking things up by seeking a second consecutive term.
After a new council is sworn in on April 21, the first order of business is electing leaders. Officers must be elected by a majority among the 20-member council.
"We've had a pretty productive year, working closely with the mayor's office and department heads," Bruer says. "I'm considering another term that would continue and expand upon the course of the last year."
Bruer thinks his colleagues may be amenable to this. "The last time, I was elected by unanimous consent," he says. "If you don't have the support of the majority members of the council, which is difficult even on a good day, you won't be effective, and it'll result in a political logjam at a time we can least afford it."
Ald. Larry Palm, who survived an electoral challenge by perennial candidate Will Sandstrom, is interested in either the president or pro tem position.
"I might put my name in there. It depends on who is running," he says. "I'm not enthusiastic about changing policy by having someone in the presidency two years in a row. It's not right to have people repeat, especially if there are other candidates interested in running."
Ald. Marsha Rummel would consider voting for Bruer but sees the need for some change: "I had been hoping to have some women leadership, so I'm eager to see how that will play out."
The current pro tem, Ald. Mark Clear, feels that "one year is a relatively short time to accomplish anything," and wouldn't mind "staying the course for another year." But he doesn't rule out seeking the top job over Bruer.