For years, everyone knew Mayor Richard Daley had an iron grip on the City Council. However, like any savvy dictator, he didn't brag about it. He wasn't overly cocky.
With each unanimous, or near-unanimous, vote, he was demure, as if to say, "What, again? You guys shouldn't have."
That was until December 1999, when aldermen voted 42-5 to confirm James Joyce, Daley's new pick for fire commissioner. A whopping five aldermen dissented!
Daley was hot.
"This will be a vote you will remember," he told the naysayers. "And I think you will apologize someday."
Then when those who voted against Joyce's appointment didn't rise when other aldermen were giving him a standing ovation, Daley said: "My father always taught me respect. Even though you vote no, you should stand up and clap. … Please stand up."
Joyce retired in 2004 and Daley's next choice was Cortez Trotter, who would become the city's first black fire chief.
That appointment was unanimously approved.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun