And The Rubby Goes To ...
by Thomas MacMillan | Dec 17, 2013 8:36 am
Posted to: City Hall
In City Hall and at a nearby bar Monday night, lawmakers saluted the end of another term with farewell remarks from departing colleagues, some words from the mayor, and honorary rubber stamps.
The rubber stamps are also known as “Rubbies,” the annual tongue-in-cheek awards that mark the end of the year. They’re given out by the “Academy of Legislative Arts and Sciences” otherwise known as the Office of Legislative Services, the City Hall staffers who work for the Baord of Aldermen.
The annual Rubbies ceremony, held at Michael’s restaurant behind City Hall, was the final part of an evening of looking backward—at another year and another two-year aldermanic term drawing to a close.
The evening began Monday with remarks by Mayor John DeStefano, at the Board of Aldermen’s last meeting of the year.
“I’ve come to say thank you for what you’ve done,” said DeStefano (pictured), who’s leaving office in a couple weeks after 20 years as mayor. He called out the names of long-gone aldermen, people who had occupied the seats in the chamber when he first arrived in City Hall. He said he counted 127 aldermen whom he’s worked with during his two decades as mayor.
“You guys made me a better mayor, and I want to thank you for that,” he said,
DeStefano urged lawmakers to “feel real pride of what you’re a part of.”
At the close of the meeting, several aldermen shared similar sentiments of gratitude, including East Rock’s Justin Elicker, one of six aldermen who won’t be returning in the new year.
Newhallville/Prospect Hill Alderwoman Alfreda Edwards (pictured) said goodbye to 16 years as an alderwoman. “It’s been an honor and a privilege,” she said.
After the meeting, aldermen walked through the cold to Michael’s, where they dug into salad, chicken, and ziti before Al Lucas, head of the legislative services, revealed this year’s Rubby winners.
First, Jorge Perez (at center in photo), president of the board, handed out official citations to departing aldermen, like Alderman Mark Stopa (at right in photo). Lucas (at left in photo) handed out gag gifts.
Elicker, erstwhile candidate for mayor, picked up a board game called “Cityville.” (See top photo.)
“Even though you didn’t win this particular city, we wanted to give you Cityville,” Lucas told Elicker, as the aldermen hooted.
Ten aldermen picked up Rubbies, which are given out for funny or noteworthy remarks or actions throughout the year.
The awards carried a theme of “superstitions” this year, which led to some inscrutable titles. The Groaning Cheese Rubby, for instance, went to Aldermen Tyisha Walker and Jeanette Morrison, for publicly comparing their first years in office to childbirth.
Other Rubbies highlights included:
• Alderman Sal DeCola’s Ringing Bells Rubby for chewing out Chief Administrative Officer Rob Smuts during a Public Safety Committee meeting.
• Alderwoman Edwards’ God Bless You Rubby for (as reported in this story) asking a landlord, “How many Caucasians you got living in that building?” (The question arises 1:15 minutes into the video.)
• Alderwoman Evette Hamilton’s Old, New, Borrowed, and Blue Rubby for her turn at offering “Divine Guidance” before a meeting of the Board of Aldermen, when she said, “I know and continue to serve and praise the same awesome god that served us in 2011.” She went on to exhort her colleagues to “fight” in the 2013 elections, promising, “No weapon shall stand against us.”