THE INFANTE SAGA INITIATES
While watching the City’s City Council Inauguration on January 3, 2022, one major item stared me right through the television which I found very odd. No, it wasn’t that Governor Charlie Baker or Congresswoman Lori Trahan (who thought that she was campaigning) were guest speakers. Something simple.
The inauguration of the members of the City Council is a not to be missed event for me. I don’t pay much attention to the speeches because most people don’t remember anything they heard and they amount to empty praises. But this year, being extra careful, I settled for watching it on television and I missed the best part – the meeting.
As many of you know, immediately following the oath of office, a meeting takes place to decide the President and Vice-President of the Council. These two individuals will take that position for the next two years. However, much more happens during this initial council meeting than just a simple vote for President and Vice-President.
However, much more takes place weeks before the inauguration. Weeks before the individuals take the oath there is posturing and discussions regarding getting support to become President and Vice-President. With these discussions comes promises of sub-committees assignments and favoritism (of such other assignments and placement of office spaces and possibly seating assignment.
As you may know, the City Clerk has always brought playing cards to the inauguration. This year was no different for the new City Clerk (Diane LeBlanc). She wanted to continue the tradition as it was accustomed by returning councilors. The playing cards are used after the inauguration and each sworn councilor gets to select a card. The cards are numbered from number 1 to number 9. The number selected, by the council, corresponds to the seating of the council as they take their vote for the two leaders.
You won’t see it on the city council recorded videos, but if you were present, you witness that newly elected Councilor Gregory Del Rosario was seated number one, and newly elected Council, Stephany Infante was seated number nine. This meant that when the time came Councilor Del Rosario would cast the first vote and Councilor Infante would cast the last vote. Voting last has its advantages in any council vote, no matter what the topic or the meeting.
So, on January 3, 2022, two names were nominated for the Presidency of the Council – Councilor and former Council President Mark Laplante, and Councilor Jeovanny Rodriguez. Councilor Rodriguez had been calling for support, from all newly elected councilors, for his shot at being the council president. There were many calls and even some slight underhanded political plays on behalf of himself for the spot.
Councilor Rodriguez was a major underdog for the presidency because he chose to support Interim Mayor Vasquez for mayor, and we all know the results of that election (plus all the historical underhanded plays by him as well).
There were others, on the council that voted, and heavily supported, Kendrys Vasquez. However, the highlighted councilor at that meeting on January 3, 2022, was Stephany Infante.
Stephany was supported, at first by then-candidate Brian DePeña. Brian even provided Councilor Infante with some funds to pay for her campaign advertisement. However, Stephany eventually heavily supported Kendrys Vasquez – probably thinking he would be victorious.
As many of you know, Stephany was running for the council seat vacated by former Councilor David Abdoo. David endorsed Stephany with the promise that Stephany would vote for Councilor Laplante for Council President which did not occur on January 3, 2022. If you witness the meeting after the oath of office was taken by those newly elected individuals, you would have known that Councilor Rodriguez was slaughtered by a vote of 6 to 3 in favor of Laplante.
As I had stated previously, Councilor Rodriguez was hard at work trying to convince his colleagues to vote for him for President. He convinced Stephany and she sure did give him that vote.
But here is where one can ascertain the intelligence of a city councilor. Stephany was seated at number nine. What she should have done is a vote for Laplante. You see, by the time the vote came to her, it was already 6 to 2 in favor of Laplante. She did not take time to think how a vote for Laplante would have placed her in favor of sub-committees and other favorable placements if she had voted for Laplante. She should have known that a vote for Jeovanny was dead in the water, and it was a wasted vote. Her vote made it 6 to 3, still in favor of Laplante.
Now, if she were any smarter, she should have voted to place herself in a position to ensure she had some favor for the people she represents, not because she fought alongside Jeovanny on the election battlefield. She should have asked her constituents their choice for the Presidency. She should have thought more intelligently about her vote knowing it was going to fail. If she would have voted Laplante, the vote would have made her look smarter and more strategic.
After the meeting, the entire Infante family was surrounding Mayor DePeña and taking photos like they endorsed Brian. The audacity that even after Ms. Infante left Brian’s support and jumped over to Kendrys’ campaign. What she did not know, or failed to know, was that most of the councilors that voted for Laplante had voted, endorsed, and receive huge support from Mayor DePeña.
And then I saw a picture of the Mayor having dinner with Councilor Infante. I am not sure why he still needs her, but according to her social media page, she states that Brian is looking after her once her father passed. That’s what a good person does, and she should have supported Brian from the get-go.
I hope she learned a lesson, both off and on the council table. But, I know for sure I can’t, yet believe anything she says or promises for my district.
Franklin Miguel’s termination
This morning I mentioned during my radio show that the former DPW director was fired by Mayor Brian DePeña but I have not been able to find out about the reason.