In year that will be monumental for Everett City government, City Councilor Rich Dell Isola has received the votes from his colleagues to be the leader of the City Council in this coming, historic year for the city.
Dell Isola has been rumored for weeks to have secured the votes over some challenges from Councilor Wayne Matewsky and a few others, and this week he did confirm that he had the votes in line to be president when the Council casts their choices on Jan. 7.
“I do have the votes and I’m excited to serve as president,” he said last week. “It’s going to be an exciting year for the city and a challenging year as well. The casino is going to be opening up and there are a lot of businesses that want to come into our city. We have to be very aware about what we allow in. We don’t want to choke the City up with condos all over the place. We have to be watching what’s going on…What we invite in during 2019 is going to have a result on 2020 and 2021. Wynn is doing great, but we have to keep an eye on what other things want to develop down there.”
Dell Isola, 58, has spent eight years on the City Council, and works in the gas division of Eversource in Somerville as his day job. A long-time Everett Pop Warner volunteer, he is one of only two sitting councilors that have not yet been Council President – the other being Michael McLaughlin.
Lately, Everett has seemed to get a lot of negative publicity, and Dell Isola said he hopes they can all pull together and get more positive things out into the public square.
“The biggest thing is we have to work together,” he said. “It has to be the Council, Mayor’s Office and School Committee on the same page to make things work in the city. If we’re all together, we’ll get things done. That’s my biggest goal going into 2019.
“We’ve had bad press lately as a city – the Council, the City and the School Department,” he continued. “Every time we are in the press, it’s a little negative now. I want us to put Everett in a better light, like it was before.”
Part of that will be building more rapport with the residents of Everett. Dell Isola has always been a very active councilor, attending most every event and City function. He said he wants the Council to begin to come together as an entire body at such events.
“I want to try to put the Council out there at the different events, whether it’s popcorn at the Movie Nights or giving out hot chocolate at the bonfire this January,” he said. “Every event I’m going to try to be at and I’ll push the rest of the Council to attend as well and hopefully we can get everyone there. I don’t want us to just be there on Monday night, taking votes and then disappearing into the sunset. I want to try to make all of the events and try to push for everyone on the Council to be there too.”
Dell Isola said he knows the procedures, but has been working with Clerk Sergio Cornelio to learn the ins and outs of running a meeting. Likewise, it is an election year, so he’ll be doing his best to manage that aspect of the meetings as well.
One of the first things he’ll be doing within the ranks is reviving the Opiate Committee, which had several meetings in 2017, but then kind of fizzled out this past year.
“I’m proposing that to come back,” he said. “There’s only so much you can do on that issue at the Council level, but with that every little bit helps.”
Beyond that, he mentioned that he would like to add a new part of the Council meeting where they announce upcoming community events. Additionally, he said he hopes to put business cards for the councilors in the back of the meeting room so that the general public can easily find out how to contact the legislators.
This past week, Dell Isola was taking requests from the rest of the Council as to their committee preferences. The finished committee assignments will come out after the Jan. 7 meeting, he said.