By Aaron Keebaugh
As Ward 2 Councillor Ira Novoselsky held the large ceremonial gavel while standing at the podium Monday night, he joked, “I’m going to have to learn to use this thing.”
In a decisive vote, the Revere city council elected Novoselsky as its new council president. Ward 6 Councillor Charles Patch originally cast his vote for Ward 1 Councillor and former president Richard Penta. But after Novoselsky won the 10–1 election, Patch changed his vote in favor of the new president, making the vote unanimous.
As councillor of Ward 2 for many years, Novoselsky has served as council vice president three times. Monday’s election marks his first time as council president.
“I look forward to working with the mayor this year… To all department heads, I look forward to working with you,” Novoselsky said to those packed into the Council Chamber after he assumed the reins of Monday’s organizational meeting.
In another unanimous vote, city councillors elected Jessica Ann Giannino as council vice president. Recognizable as the youngest face and the only woman currently to sit behind the council desk, Giannino, daughter of popular Police Sergeant Chris Giannino, was elected as a councillor-at-large in fall 2011. She was 20 years old at the time.
In 2012 she served as chair of the parks and recreation subcommittee. She kicked off her reelection campaign during a gathering at the Beachmont VFW this past fall. Giannino is currently enrolled at Salem State University, majoring in English and Education. She has expressed interest in pursuing a teaching career.
It was also a big night for Ashley Melnik, who was reappointed for a second term as city clerk in a unanimous council vote. The city council had appointed Melnik clerk in 2010, replacing longtime clerk John Henry after his retirement in 2009.
“If there’s anyone who deserved this job other than John Henry, it’s Ashley,” Council President Novoselky said Monday night before he administered the oath of office to Melnik. “She has done yeoman’s work… It’s an honor to swear her in.”
Later that evening Ward 5 Councillor John Powers asked for a moment of silence for William Flynn, an active Revere resident—he served as Ward 5 councillor and as Little League President—who died unexpectedly last week due to heart complications.
“This city and city council lost a valuable resident of this city,” Powers said. “He was about putting Revere first, whether voting on issues, hanging around Oak Island where he lived, or [serving] as president of the Little League.” Powers then read a Resolution of Condolence, which was signed by the council and the new council president, as a tribute to Flynn’s memory.
Novoselsky reminded the audience that flags were flying at half staff Monday in Flynn’s honor.