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January 6, 2013

McLaughlin a candidate as next New Albany council president

Ethics commission could meet this month for first time

NEW ALBANY — The New Albany City Council will elect officers for 2013 during its first meeting of the year Monday.

Chief among the selections will be the choice for council president — a role currently held by two-term Councilwoman Diane McCartin-Benedetti. A name that has been circulated as a potential choice for the new president is Councilman Pat McLaughlin, who is also serving his second term on the body. He said Friday he’d be honored if selected by his fellow council members for the position, but added he expects there to be other nominations.

“I just feel like at some point in time you have to step up and have your time in the seat,” McLaughlin said.

Though he conceded it may seem like one of the most elementary duties of the position, McLaughlin said that if chosen for the presidency, he would seek to run the meetings in an orderly and professional fashion.

He added he would try “to look at having a more unifying effect with the council and the administration, within reason.”

A message left for Benedetti on Friday seeking comment for the story hadn’t been returned as of press time.

On the current body, council members Dan Coffey, John Gonder and Benedetti have served as president. The current vice-president is Kevin Zurschmiede.

Jeff Gahan served as council president in 2011 before being elected as New Albany mayor.

The council president assigns members to committees and also approves the agenda before it’s presented at official meetings.

Beyond electing officers for 2013 and setting committees, the only resolution or ordinance on the agenda for Monday is the final reading for a pool regulations measure. The Floyd County Health Department requested the council grant the organization certain authorities as they pertain to the inspection and potential suspension of pool permits.

The ordinance also calls for all public facilities that have swimming pools to retain a certified pool operator. The council split 4-4 on first and second readings of the measure last month.

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