An era ended in City Hall Wednesday, as the Common Council met for the last time with Richard P. Mullaney as city clerk.
Mullaney is retiring next week after spending 26 years manning the microphone as the reader of resolutions. He also serves as budget director, a post he held before he was appointed clerk by Mayor Thomas C. Rotondo Jr. in 1985.
"They say everybody is replaceable, but this guy is going to be hard to replace," Mayor Michael W. Tucker said as he presented Mullaney with a plaque bearing the nameplate from his desk in the Council Chambers.
"It's been a pleasure," Mullaney said. The aldermen gave him a standing ovation.
The identity of Mullaney's successor is unknown. Tucker and the Council had wanted Personnel Officer Mary Pat Holz to add the clerkship to her portfolio, but that turned out to be illegal.
Corporation Counsel John J. Ottaviano said his legal research determined that state law forbids a civil service chief such as Holz from holding another city post simultaneously.
"You'd pretty much have to strip Mary Pat of her duties with civil service and rely more heavily on the Civil Service Commission than we have," Ottaviano said.
Tucker said he doesn't want to do that, so Holz stays put and the search for a clerk is on. The job is a mayoral appointment that carries a five-year term.
In action Wednesday, the Council unanimously approved substantial increases in ambulance fees.
The charge for a basic life-support ambulance ride will go from $400 to $600. Advanced life support will cost $800, also a $200 increase. Advanced life support II, which involves more drugs, will rise from $700 to $900. A dead-on-arrival call increases from $210 to $400. Mileage charges for trips outside the city limits will rise from $8 to $12 a mile.
Wednesday also was the last meeting for Alderman Andrew D. Chapman, R-4th Ward, Alderwoman Flora M. McKenzie, D-3rd Ward and Alderman Jack L. Smith Jr., D-2nd Ward.
None sought re-election to the Council.