The Everett City Council will vote on the animal testing ordinance at its Nov. 14 meeting following an unusual development during the voting process at the Nov. 1 Council meeting.
The ordinance banning animal testing in the city failed to pass by a 5-2 margin, with Councillors Stephanie Martins, Vivian Nguyen, Richard Dell Isola, Al Lattanzi, and John Hanlon voting in favor of instituting a ban on animal testing in the city, and Councillors Michael Marchese and Stephanie Smith voting against the ordinance. The proposal needed six ‘yes’ votes for passage.
Ward 3 Councilor Darren Costa, one of the original co-sponsors of the ordinance, had left his seat in the Council Chambers moments before the Council’s vote and was thus unable to cast the sixth and deciding vote.
Costa said that he had to tend to a family emergency at his home at the time of the vote.
“I looked at the text and saw that it was somewhat urgent, so I ran to the back [of the Council Chambers], made a call, and got a little bit of an update from my wife. I needed to tend to it, and I had to tend to it right away, unfortunately.”
Costa said he tried to rush back to his seat in time to cast his vote, “but the vote had already been done.”
Costa said the ordinance will be back on the agenda at the Nov. 14 meeting and he will support the passage of the ban on animal testing in the city.
“Our city deserves that protection and really setting limitations on proposed usages,” said Costa. “A lot of times we, as a city, tend to be reactive. This is certainly a proactive approach to getting ahead of all the evolving development that is planned for Everett. So that’s why I support it.”
Everett resident Katy Rogers did extensive research on the issue of animal testing and has voiced her strong opposition to allowing animal testing in facilities in Everett. Rogers stated after the Council meeting, “I am deeply concerned about the future of animal testing in Everett. I am having trouble comprehending why we would allow opportunity for any animal testing to begin in the name of private interests. We must consider the potential ramifications animal testing would have on our animal control officer, public health department, and the people who live here. It is imperative our councilors understand the gravity of what is at stake on every vote they take, and I don’t feel Tuesday night was an accurate representation of Everett residents’ best interests, but I am hoping councilors will proceed to do the right thing on November 14.”