NEW YORK (Dec. 6)
Amid a chorus of tributes to the late B. Charney Vladeck, the City Council today elected George Backer, real estate operator and leader in Jewish communal activities, to fill the remaining year of Mr. Vladeck’s two-year term. The Council acted on recommendation of the American Labor Party approved unanimously by the Committee on Privileges and Elections.
Mr. Backer was seated by a vote of 24 of the Council’s 25 members. councilman Abner C. Surpless abstained as a gesture of disapproval of Mayor LaGuardia’s assertedly unwarranted interference in Councilmanic matters by letting it be known that he had “approved” the Labor Party’s selection. In explaining his abstention, Mr. Surpless paid high tribute to the character and qualities of Mr. Backer and personally congratulated him upon his election.
Following the election, Mayor LaGuardia administered the oath of office and Mr. Backer was escorted to the Council chamber by Councilmen Robert Straus and William McCarthy, where he was officially welcomed by Council President Newbold Morris. Mr. Morris said Mr. Backer was taking the seat of a man “beloved by the members of all political parties comprising the council — a man of great nobility and purpose of mind.” Other councilmen, including newly -elected minority leader Andrew Armstrong and Vice-Chairman John Cashmore, expressed similar sentiments.
Mr. Backer, who was seated at the end of one of the Council’s stormiest sessions, will have his first opportunity to go into action on Thursday, when the council meets in special session to consider the question of county government reorganization. Mr. Backer will continue his Jewish activities, as president of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, vice-chairman of the Joint Distribution Committee and chairman of the sponsoring committee of the World’s Fair Palestine Pavilion.