ATLANTIC CITY — Leadership of City Council will remain steady for the third straight year as both the governing body’s president and vice president were re-elected for 2019.
Second Ward Councilman Marty Small Sr. was re-elected to serve as council president by a vote of 8-1 during the annual reorganization meeting Wednesday night. Councilman-at-large Jeffree Fauntleroy II voted against Small’s nomination.
“I’d like to thank my colleagues for their continued support,” said Small after the vote. “And even my colleague who didn’t vote for me, hopefully I can gain his trust and vote on future items. As we know, we have a lot of work to do. It’s still a tough task ahead. We are light-years from where we were two years ago, and a lot of kudos goes to this governing body.”
First Ward Councilman Aaron Randolph was unanimously elected to serve as council vice president.
Following the formality of selecting leadership, council approved the appointment of a new chief financial officer, Toro Aboderin, who will begin her four-year term Jan. 21. Aboderin currently holds the same position in Ventnor and will replace Michael Stinson, who had served as Atlantic City’s CFO since 2010. Stinson’s term expired at the end of 2018, and the state Department of Community Affairs chose not to renew his contract.
Council also adopted a resolution in support of police Chief Henry White. The resolution was in response to recent media coverage of the Police Department’s history with instances of alleged excessive force.
According to data collected by NJ Advance Media and presented in its Force Report, Atlantic City police officers “used painful holds, punches, kicks and other types of force to subdue suspects 2,854 times from 2012 through 2016,” a rate that ranked second among all New Jersey police departments.
Council members who spoke in support of White and the department noted that the figures partially predated the chief’s tenure and that use-of-force incidents in the city have declined in recent years. The rate at which force was used by officers in the department was comparable across several years despite a decrease in frequency, according to NJAM’s report.
Mayor Frank Gilliam Jr. did not attend Wednesday’s meeting. Gilliam, who ended 2018 under federal investigation by the FBI and IRS while also facing criminal complaints of simple assault and harassment stemming from a brawl outside a casino nightclub in November, did not attend council’s meeting last month either.
Council will next meet at 5 p.m. Jan. 16.