By The Advocate
Reportedly, Councillor-at-Large Richard Dell Isola, 58, has secured enough votes from his colleagues to become the 2019 City Council president. If his support holds, he will be appointed at the City Council’s next meeting on Monday, January 7. If he succeeds, it will be his first time serving in the role. He has eight years of experience on the City Council.
Dell Isola has named a number of priorities for the 2019 session, not the least of which is carefully steering the ship of development as Encore Boston Harbor comes online this summer. “The casino is going to be opening up, and there are a lot of businesses that want to come into our city,” said Dell Isola. “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 an impact on 2020 and 2021.”
Revitalizing the Opiate Committee, which became increasingly inactive over the course of 2018, will be another major priority. Dell Isola is also hoping to change the mood in the city, getting the City Council, Mayor’s Office and School Committee “on the page to make things work in the city” and resist negativity. “I want us to put Everett in a better light, like it was before,” he said.
Stepping up City Council engagement in the community will be a major element of that campaign. Dell Isola intends to put the councillors’ business cards in the City Council Chambers to give the public easy access to their contact information, and he hopes to encourage his colleagues to spend more time at local events. “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 hopes to make some changes to the meeting structure as well, creating a portion of the regular meeting where community events could be announced to the public.
Committee assignments are currently being developed. Dell Isola has spent the week asking his colleagues about their committee preferences. The assignments are expected to be announced after Monday’s meeting.