President Otis currently serves as President of the Council, on a narrow vote where he was supported by the three democrats on the body. He was elected at-large running as a republican.
His switch changes the balance of power on the council to three Democrats and three Republicans, though Otis has often voted with Democrats since he took office.
Even the council’s first vote upon inauguration last December showed division. With four Republican members, it was the three Democrats — M.C. Keegan-Ayer, Jerry Donald and Jessica Fitzwater — that joined with Otis to elect him president of the council. A second vote — to elevate Republican Billy Shreve to president — drew a 3-4 vote, with the other Republicans Kirby Delauter and Tony Chmelik supporting his bid, but Otis voting against it.
Dozens of times since the election, Otis has broken from the Republicans on the council to join Democrats in supporting various measures. He has said the council has a “good majority” that works to get things done.