OFFICE SEEKERS: Who in Council's got the best workspaces - and why

Bill Greenlee's new City Hall office, with two bathrooms, has more amenities than some apartments. (Alejandro A. Alvarez / Staff Photographer)
Bill Greenlee's new City Hall office, with two bathrooms, has more amenities than some apartments. (Alejandro A. Alvarez / Staff Photographer)
Posted: December 23, 2011

CITY Councilman Bill Greenlee is about to move into one of the best digs in City Hall - a spacious office with two bathrooms, a kitchenette, a ceiling fan and a large alcove behind a big wooden desk - assigned to him by incoming Council President Darrell Clarke.

Greenlee was Clarke's closest ally in his recent successful bid to become Council president.

Coincidence?

Greenlee thinks so.

"The space opened up, I requested it and got it," Greenlee said, adding that when constituents come to the office he wants "to try to have as nice accommodations as possible."

"I think Darrell is fair in the way he deals with people," Greenlee said.

Council is undergoing major reorganization as Clarke prepares for the largest number of new members since 1992. Some members, like Greenlee, have secured the offices of their dreams; others got whatever was left. Some insiders say that those who supported Clarke in his presidential bid got first dibs. It's Council tradition, they say.

"I didn't get an office with a bathroom until my fourth term," said Councilman Jim Kenney. "It's presidential prerogative."

"The reorganization has been done in a fair and equitable manner," Clarke said, admitting that "to some degree, seniority matters."

Kenney, whose last-minute attempt to snag the Council presidency failed, said that Clarke "tried to accommodate people's needs" in awarding office space. He said that while the issue of who supported Clarke may have played a role, he didn't think it had a major impact.

But incoming Republican at-large member David Oh, who backed Councilwoman Marian Tasco for president, got stuck with Councilman Bill Green's old office, which is one of the smaller offices and lacks a view.

And Cindy Bass, another incoming freshman who supported Tasco for the top Council job, will move into retiring Republican at-large Councilman Jack Kelly's office across from Green's former office - also one of Council's smaller offices. Bass will take over Miller's 8th district in the Northwest.

Greenlee, Council's soon-to-be majority deputy whip - a newly created post - will move into retiring Councilwoman Joan Krajewski's huge office, the only Council office with two bathrooms. Krajewski snatched up the lavish space in 2001 after Judge Frederica Massiah Jackson left it behind when she became president judge.

Only 10 of the 17 Council offices have bathrooms, Council spokesman Tony Radwanski said. Some of those offices are available now, as members retire - and they are a hot commodity.

Green insisted that offices are not important, adding that when he and members Maria Quinones-Sanchez and Curtis Jones Jr. arrived in Council four years ago, he opted to take the "worst" office. "I didn't care about what office I was in; it was more about the job," said Green, who will be moving into retiring Councilwoman Donna Reed Miller's office. It has a bathroom.

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