1. Natalia Rudiak jumps into the beneficent, hyperactive and enigmatic position that Ricky Burgess occupied originally two years ago.
2. Ricky Burgess's shift is made overt into Jim Motzik's position as the occasional Hammer of the Administration.
3. Sala Udin takes over for Tonya Payne, which is really the big news of the night. Only this time Udin will be younger, a different person, and eager to demonstrate his independence and individualism.
4. Patrick Dowd will take over for Bill Peduto, in at least a couple of respects. Man, have you ever seen a victor coldly ask a loser to apologize after an election? I mean, in America? You might remember that in March of 2008, Patrick Dowd referred to Pat Ford on at least one occasion as "unethical" -- and then Ford complained publicly and famously that it is difficult working productively with a City Council that uses words like "illegal" and "unethical". So this is all sounding very familiar.
5. Bill Peduto will take over for Doug Shields.
So you can call it a 3-6 Council, to the extent that that is useful. Everything as always will be driven by its particulars.
6. Luke Ravenstahl will remain Mayor.
Being Mayor is still extremely important, obviously. A mayor is charged with and fully empowered to run the government. Almost everything regarding the day-to-day, month-to-month practice of running the government is always held so far away from any Council it is a little troublesome in my opinion, but that's our Home Rule Charter. On top of that, there is nothing to indicate that certain things won't be kept even more extra far-away from the new Council than usual. Yes there is state oversight, but oversight doesn't oversee operations.
On top of all that, let's face it: a mayor can do a lot of things for a given council district and its residents and stakeholders. Without Motznik and Payne to kick around for very much longer, it will probably become a fun sport among Council's new majority to defect to "the mayor's side" on occasion just to get things done. Hopefully they will all select their opportunities cannily.
However -- a six vote majority is materially different than a five vote majority. A six vote majority can override a veto. A six vote majority can sit and write legislation with the expectation of being able to override its eventual veto. A six vote majority can initiate actions from among its own slender portfolio of extralegislative powers more easily than can a five vote majority.
The City's Number Two official was right: it's going to be interesting.
And now, once again, the blog changes a little...
PS - Four more years of Fetterman! Good stuff! Something tells me this will be covered by the Economist.