Mayor Art Ward said Monday night that he's going to ask the City Council on Tuesday to appoint Ed Krawiecki, Jr as an assistant city attorney.
Krawiecki, a Republican, was the city attorney during the administration of former Mayor Bill Stortz, also a Republican.
But Ward kept Krawiecki on in the job until Democratic lawyer Dale Clift stepping into the post in May after some prodding by the Democrat-controlled council.
Ward said he decided to ask the council to put Krawiecki into the part-time assistant city attorney's role because there's nobody better for the position.
"We're in difficult times. We're in trying times. That calls for bipartisanship," the mayor said.
Only two city councilors - Republicans Mike Rimcoski and Ken Cockayne - are sure to back the appointment. But Ward said he's hoping the four Democrats will put the community ahead of partisan considerations and vote for Krawiecki as well.
He said that Krawiecki has two and half years of experience in the city's legal issues and a wealth of information about the background of many projects that are ongoing.
Ward said that Krawiecki has also had "positive communication" with state economic development officials and was in on the ground floor of school site negotiations.
That background, the mayor said, can only help the community.
"The need is pressing today to work in a more bipartisan manner," Ward said.
Ward said that Krawiecki was "very contributory and helpful to me" during his first few months in office.
What's more, the mayor said, after he asked for resumes from attorneys interested in the job, not a single Democratic lawyer expressed interest.
Ward said there were some Republicans who sought the job, some of them excellent, but nobody had the experience that Krawiecki possesses. Krawiecki is also a former state House minority leader.
Ward said that neither Krawiecki nor Clift has any qualms about working together.
"This is an opportunity for us to stay on an even keel," the mayor said.
He said that if any councilors oppose the appointment, he hopes they will speak up about their reasons. People deserve to know where everyone stands and why, Ward said.
But, Ward said, he remains hopeful that in the end there will be a unanimous vote to tap Krawiecki for the job.
Update at 9:30 p.m. Monday - In an email this evening, I asked all of the city councilors to discuss their reasons for supporting or opposing Krawiecki. So far, I've only heard back from Cockayne.
Cockayne said he's sure that the four Democrats - Frank Nicastro, Cliff Block, Kevin McCauley and Craig Minor -- will vote against Krawiecki.
He said that if Krawiecki isn't approved, "it will be a loss to the city."
Cockayne said that Krawiecki is the best possible choice for the position because of his sharp legal knowledge, his loyalty to Ward, his personal relations with state development officials and more.
"In the long run, it would hurt Bristol not to pick him," Cockayne said.
He also said that with two Republicans on the council, there ought to be a GOP lawyer at City Hall, too.
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