Kelley has served as council president since 2013.
Before the Monday vote, the caucus invoked what’s called the “unit rule.” That’s a procedural measure that requires party members to vote with the majority when the leadership vote is officially recorded on the council floor Jan. 1.
Kelley said the rule gives a sense of certainty while drawing up committee assignments.
“If I go through and put in place a certain leadership team, and appoint certain people to committees and chairs, and then people elected somebody else, that would be a pretty chaotic start to the new term,” said Kelley.
All reelected and newly elected council members cast votes at the meeting, aside from one who was absent. Councilmen-elect Basheer Jones and Joe Jones also voted, though their races are so close that the results could be overturned when provisional ballots are counted.
The year ahead
Following the reelection of Kelley the conversation turned to policy.
Kelley said council has been part of big undertakings in recent years, such as increasing funding for neighborhood streets and the police consent decree.
But he said the city is not where it needs to be on public safety, lead poisoning or building and housing inspections.
Councilwoman Dona Brady said members should agree on what needs to change in city neighborhoods, particularly on quality-of-life issues like nuisances and abandoned housing.
And Mayor Jackson’s administration, she said, needs to be receptive to council’s concerns.