New officers assumed duties leading the Somerville Board of Aldermen this week, with Bill White appointed president and John Connolly vice president.
White and Connolly, both at-large aldermen, had been selected in a caucus in December. They were formally elected to the posts in a meeting on Jan. 7, receiving unanimous support from the other aldermen.
Somerville's aldermen rotate leadership responsibilities, with no alderman serving as president for longer than one consecutive year. In a speech Monday, White said the rotation of leadership helped the board avoid personal conflict and focus on issues facing the city.
"This has avoided needless conflicts and divisions that could have created long term grudges and hard feelings between members," he said. "... We agree on the ultimate goals, but healthy debate on how to achieve those goals is necessary."
White and Connolly assumed their new duties in the aldermen's regular meeting on Thursday.