With Council President Wayne Matewsky still recovering from health challenges, the City Council took the cautionary step to vote Councilor Anthony DiPierro in as President Pro Tempore – with DiPierro getting eight votes from his colleagues to lead the body until Matewsky can return.
On Monday night, with Matewsky still in tough condition from a major heart attack he suffered while in Florida last month, Councilor DiPierro put a piece on the agenda calling for the election of a Pro Tempore.
Councilor Michael McLaughlin – noting he and DiPierro have had their differences – said he would nominate DiPierro to be the Pro Tempore.
“Unfortunately, due to Councilor Matewsky’s condition, he is unable to do the job at this time,” McLaughlin said. “We need to keep things going and have a President Pro Tempore that knows the ropes and has been the President before and can run a meeting. I leave my personal feelings aside and do place a nomination for Councilor DiPierro. I know he can do the job and I know Council President Matewsky would want him to.”
DiPierro said he would only want to run a fair and efficient meeting. He said he would move the meetings to the School Committee meeting area immediately at the next meeting, to allow for the Chambers to be renovated and for the meetings to be supported better technically. He said he wanted to use the Committee structure extensively and that he would restore the meetings to Facebook Live as soon as possible.
Not everyone was for the move.
Councilor Fred Capone said he felt everyone was jumping the gun to elect a new leader when it wasn’t totally certain the condition of Councilor Matewsky and his timeline for a potential return to office.
“I don’t take any issue with Councilor DiPierro,” he said. “I think he was a good leader…but my concern was to be open and transparent. I haven’t heard any others that were interested. I would have liked to lay this over to the next meeting for everyone to have time to think about it.”
Councilor John Hanlon said he could understand the concerns about relatives serving in the two highest offices, but he also said he believes that the Council can be independent.
“The mayor doesn’t rule the Council,” he said. “Anthony DiPierro doesn’t rule the Council. The Council rules the Council.”
In the end, DiPierro got the vote of eight colleagues, and abstaining from the vote were Capone and Adrien.
DiPierro said he would serve only as long as Matewsky was unable to do so.
Matewsky said to return to Everett this week
By all accounts, things weren’t looking great for Council President Wayne Matewsky last Friday following surgery in Florida. He had been in critical condition for days, and things weren’t reversing fast.
However, over the weekend it was reported that he has taken a step in the right direction and is on the mend. He is supposedly going to be able to travel back to Everett from Florida this week.
Councilor Anthony DiPierro said Matewsky was doing better than expected and had improved significantly over last weekend. He was not expected to be able to return anytime soon, but now that has seemingly changed. Once back, it was expected he would have a long recovery and rehabilitation period in Boston. No one is sure when he’ll return to the Council, but his health situation has certainly improved since last Friday.