Glen Cove Mayor Reginald Spinello's proposed appointment of a former city councilman to fill a vacancy on the panel drew praise Tuesday.
Spinello announced Monday that he plans to nominate Anthony Jimenez, a Democrat, to serve in the seat until the November election, after Republican Joseph Capobianco withdrew from consideration.
The mayor has called for a special meeting Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in City Hall to vote on Jimenez.
"It's a great solution to take some politics out of the mix," Republican City Councilwoman Pamela Panzenbeck said. "Tony is the consummate public servant."
The death of Democrat Nicholas DiLeo in April left the council with three Republicans and two Democrats. The proposed appointment of Capobianco faced opposition from Republican Councilmen Anthony Gallo Jr. and Efraim Spagnoletti.
That opposition flared last month at two public meetings. Spinello said Capobianco reluctantly withdrew because he did not want his appointment "to be a political distraction."
Jimenez said he had offered to fill the seat temporarily, but it wasn't until Spinello faced opposition in the council that the mayor tapped him.
"I said I would fill a position with a guarantee of not running for the position," Jimenez said.
Capobianco plans to run in November and would face Democrat Theresa Moschetta.
Gallo said he plans to support Capobianco, but that Jimenez's appointment would allow them to move past a "flawed process that was established by the mayor."
Gallo said the appointment "would simply restore the votes and the voices of the people, which is an evenly split council. [Jimenez] . . . really epitomizes what a public servant should be."
Jimenez, who served on the council for 14 years, lost his re-election bid last year. Spinello said Jimenez would bring knowledge of city government and issues -- which will be important in an upcoming budget vote.
"It's time to move forward and continue growing our great city," Spinello said in a news release Monday.
"People know me and know that I'm open minded and fair with no political agenda," Jimenez said. "I think it would be an honor to fill the position of a good friend that we lost."
For Democrats at issue was control of the council: Capobianco's appointment would have put them in minority status. "I always felt it should be a Democrat as Nick DiLeo was a Democrat, and the people had voted for a split council," City Councilman Michael Famiglietti, a Democrat, said Tuesday. Famiglietti said Jimenez was levelheaded and up to speed on the city's issues.
Spagnoletti said in an email that he is "looking forward to the general election in November where the fine people of Glen Cove will decide who to best represent them in government."