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    City Council chooses new president

    The new 11-member City Council, at its recent kickoff meeting, chose Ward 3 Councilor Michael K. Marchese to serve as its president for the current year. The council was created through a charter change to replace the city’s bicameral City Council, which consisted of a seven-member Board of Aldermen and an 18-member Common Council. The new councilors — five at large and six ward positions — won their seats in the city election last November. Prior to assuming his seat on the new council, Marchese served three terms as a Ward 3 alderman following a previous stint of five terms. “It’s a great honor,” Marchese, who owns and manages real estate, said of his selection as the first president of the new council. He said an immediate priority is to try to get the new council operating smoothly, noting: “It’s a whole new body plus a whole new charter.” Marchese said he also looks forward to working with the mayor, in particular to address ways to reduce the city’s high commercial tax and attract more businesses to the city. The council’s initial meeting also allowed the city to display the recently renovated Peter J. McCarron Memorial Chambers, where the council meets.