By Joseph Domelowicz Jr.
The 2017 legislative year in Everett began with a changing of the guard on the Everett City Council, as outgoing Council President John Hanlon was presented with a plaque and thanked for his leadership during the past year, while the Council’s youngest and newest member, Anthony DiPierro, was officially elected to lead the body for 2017.
The pomp and circumstance of the first Council meeting of 2017 began with senior member John Leo McKinnon making a presentation to Hanlon and thanking him for his service.
“John’s been a strong leader for our Council this past year and I want to make sure that we thank him for his service and recognize him for that,” McKinnon told the Independent prior to the Council meeting on Monday.
Hanlon is one of the most experienced and veteran members of City Government, having served as Alderman, City Clerk and Mayor before being elected back to the Council three years ago.
Following McKinnon’s presentation to Hanlon, McKinnon called for the election of a new President, with DiPierro winning the election unanimously, 11-0.
“This is a unique time in the history of our city – a time when we have to work closely together to shape the city we want to see in the future,” he said after his election.
According to City Hall insiders, DiPierro is seen as a consensus builder with great enthusiasm and energy after just his first year on the Council. He began asking his colleagues for their support of his candidacy for Council President several weeks ago. The vote to support DiPierro in just his second year is reminiscent of the Council electing newcomer Fred Capone to the Council Presidency in his second year, just two years ago.
Councilor Mike Mangan rose to nominate DiPierro, recalling that he was once the councilors T-ball coach – later working closely with him on Sen. Sal DiDomenico’s campaign.
“I know he’ll be fair,” said Mangan.
Councilor Wayne Matewsky also rose in support of DiPierro. He recalled that he once saw DiPierro three times in one day. First, he saw him dressed to the nines at the State House near Suffolk University. Later, he saw him back in Everett laying a roof with his family’s construction business. Finally, he saw him at a wake working at the Funeral Home.
“I’m voting for this gentleman because of the respect I see him give to people,” said Matewsky. “I’m never seen him speak badly about a person or a thing. This guy is the real deal. He’s Everett’s future.”
The job of the Council President is to moderate discussion on the Council floor, introduce items for consideration from the administration and assign Councilors to the various Council subcommittees.
DiPierro has indicated that he will largely keep the Council Committee appointments unchanged, as many Councilors have indicated satisfaction with their various assignments.
However, he has also indicated a desire to establish a new committee, the Council Committee on Utilities, which will tackle issues related to utility requests and service. The need for that new committee, said DiPierro, grew out of recent presentations to the Council from various utility companies over the last few months of 2016.