The City Council tried to elect a new chairman Monday but decided to try again another day after no four of the seven members could agree on a candidate.
The Council set about the task at the end of its regular meeting. But after two ballots, no candidate was able to get the four votes needed, so the Council decided to postpone the election.
On the first ballot, Michael S. Gawel, Barbara A. Geracitano, Anthony F. Quaranto and Anthony J. Rendina were nominated for the post. Rendina, who nominated himself and cast the only vote in his favor, withdrew after the first ballot.
On the second ballot, Rendina received three votes, and Mrs. Geracitano and Quaranto received two each.
"I think we should suspend this meeting until later in the week; it seems to be in disarray. We haven't been talking, and we should have," Quaranto said.
Henry J. Buchalski's term as chairman will expire Dec. 31. The Council canceled its Dec. 31 meeting and has no other meetings scheduled by the end of the year.
According to the City Charter, the Council must elect a chairman by Jan. 31 each year or one will be appointed by the mayor.
In another matter, the Council approved Mayor Michael C. O'Laughlin's request for an additional 1.25 percent raise for about 45 non-union employees, including department heads. The Council had approved a 5.75 percent increase during budget deliberations. O'Laughlin had asked for average raises of 8 percent.
Councilman Guy T. Sottile said he thought the Council had mishandled the raises by not granting the raises the mayor requested, since the executive branch supervises and evaluates the employees.
But Mrs. Geracitano said that the Charter calls for the Council to set salaries. She voted against the additional raises, as did Councilman Jacob A. Palillo, who called the increases raises a slap in the face for the Council.