Call him the Common Council’s forgotten man.

For the past 10 years, since he was elevated to the second-highest elected post in Kingston following the death-in-office of Mayor T.R. Gallo, Jim Noble has played a behind-the-scenes role as alderman-at-large, researching legislation, creating and dissolving committees and riding herd on the volumes of correspondence which flows to the city’s legislative branch. He is rarely quoted in the newspapers, never (per the City Charter) votes or speaks to the issues during council meetings and maintains a position of strict neutrality in the often contentious confines of the council chamber.

At left, Jim Noble. At right, Joe Marchetti.

And that, Noble said, is exactly how it should be.

“I have no ego or overwhelming desire to be on the front page,” said Noble, a 61-year-old plumbing and heating contractor running for his second full four-year term as alderman-at-large. “I just want to do the job and have every else do their jobs to the best of their ability.”

Nobody could accuse Joe Marchetti of being a quiet presence in Kingston. The 57-year-old decorating contractor drew national attention to the city with an early ’90’s “Tea Party” on the Strand to protest high taxes. Along with the late Gordon Webb, he was a driving force in establishing Kingston’s public access cable channel as a home for firebrands and gadflies of all stripes. Marchetti, who’s running for alderman-at-large on the Republican and Conservative lines, said his brand of passionate, out-front involvement is exactly what’s needed for that office.

“It’s a lazy, lethargic, sluggish position where you don’t have to stand for anything, you don’t have to commit to anything,” said Marchetti. “I couldn’t live like that. You have to have an oar in the water.”