Jennings taps Calsolaro for gun team (yeah, you read it right)
Published on 3/23/2009 by the Times Union written by JORDAN CARLEO-EVANGELIST, Staff writer
On Friday we reported that some Common Council members are upset that Mayor Jerry Jennings moved to name seven people to a committee charged with implementing the Gun Violence Task Force’s recommendations without consulting them — or at least without consulting all of them.
Among the seven Jennings wants on the committee is Councilman Dominick Calsolaro, who agitated for five years for the creation of the task force and who has frequently been critical of Jennings.
That appointment may have caught some by surprise. Here’s some of the back story.
Concerned about the pace at which the city was (or was not) moving to act on the recommendations of the task force, which finished its work in early December, Calsolaro introduced an ordinance in January that would create a 7-member team appointed by the council.
“It just seemed to me that it was taking a little too long to get beyond the meeting and get to the point of implementing the committee,” said Calsolaro, who seriously considered running against Jennings this year.
That prompted three meetings earlier this year between Jennings’ office and Calsolaro, during which, according to Calsolaro, the mayor made it clear he wanted Calsolaro on any committee formed.
The scenario put Calsolaro “in a strange position,” he acknowledged, because he was well aware that council members would want a say over at least part of the committee membership.
Calsolaro relayed all this to the council’s Public Safety Committee, which on Wednesday night took up the topic of the task force’s recommendations for the first time. Calsolaro also mentioned he’d missed a phone call on the topic earlier in the day from the deputy mayor, Phil Calderone.
That was apparently the call in which Calsolaro would have been informed that he and six others were being asked to serve on the mayor’s committee. Those letters were going out late last week.
In an interview Thursday, Calsolaro said he was told by Calderone that the Common Council will have the chance to appoint two other members, for a total of nine.
That would represent a swing from the actual task force, for which the council appointed seven members to the mayor’s six. Jennings agreed to the committee’s formation in July 2007 after he was given a say in its membership.
“I’m glad that he thought of me considering that we don’t always see