Robert Van Campen, who made a triumphant return with his election as Ward 3 councilor in November, reportedly has the votes to be the next president of the Everett City Council.
Van Campen will be one of six new members of the City Council. The others who will take office at the Jan. 5 inauguration ceremony are councillors-at-large Guerline Alcy and Katy Rogers, and ward councillors Anthony DiPierro (Ward 3), Holly Garcia (Ward 4), and Peter Pietrantonio (Ward 6). The five returning officials are Councillors-at-Large Michael Marchese, Stephanie Smith, and John Hanlon, Ward 1 Councilor Wayne Matewsky and Ward 2 Councilor Stephanie Martins.
The new City Council will vote for president at its first meeting of the year on Monday, Jan. 8.
Matewsky, 65, had the inside track on the presidency, but he decided not to pursue it due to “recent health issues.” Matewsky proceeded to deliver his support to Van Campen.
“Robert is fair, knowledgeable, and an outstanding attorney,” said Matewsky. “I think he’ll do an excellent job as council president.”
Van Campen, 49, previously served for 14 years in city government, one term on the Everett Common Council and six terms on the Everett Board of Aldermen. He was president of the Board of Aldermen three times, last serving on the Board in 2014.
Van Campen asserted that nothing will be official until his colleagues cast their votes on Jan. 8, but he did acknowledge that there is talk that he will be the next president of the 11-member Council.
“At the end of the day, if I get elected and have the votes to become president, I’m looking forward to serving in that capacity,” Van Campen told the Everett Independent. “My goal would be to bring a stable voice to the debate, and I hope I can do that. I look forward to working with the new members, the existing members, the administration, and all the stakeholders in the community to keep things moving in the right direction and to try to get some stuff done.”
A former deputy mayor and city solicitor for the city of Melrose, Van Campen is currently the general counsel for AFSCME Council 93, a labor organization. He is a graduate of Melrose High School, Suffolk University and Suffolk Law School and has law offices on Beacon Street in Boston.
Van Campen and his wife, Lisa, have been married for 18 years, and they have two children, Lily, 17, and John, 14. Robert is the son of Marie (Ranelli) Van Campen of Everett and the late Richard Van Campen.
Van Campen said he will be attending the final meeting of the current City Council on Tuesday, Dec. 26 at which time the outgoing councilors will be recognized.