Councillor Debbie DeMaria sworn-in as 2018 Council President
By Barbara Taormina
During this week’s inaugural ceremony, outgoing City Council President Peg Crowe passed the gavel to Debbie DeMaria who will serve as council president for 2018.
Crowe said she was honored to represent Ward 1 for the past six years and to lead the council over the last year which she described as a time of transition.
“It has been a learning experience and a leadership opportunity that I will truly treasure,” she said adding that a lot had been accomplished during 2017.
“They are our accomplishments as a city council, an administration and as a community,” she said.
DeMaria began her brief speech with a happy New Year shout out to the entire city. She then broadly outlined some goals for the upcoming year.
“I consider my fellow councilors part of a dream team,” she said. “Their experience, education, knowledge and broad range of political views will help Malden become everything the city can be.”
DeMaria listed a number of plans, projects and issues for 2018, beginning with the promise to reintroduce a resolution to allow for public commentary at City Council meetings. She also hopes to reboot the Citizens Engagement Standing Committee to bolster communication and community involvement in local government.
“We can never discount the voice of the stakeholders,” she said.
She also said the council will continue to work on “inherited issues” such as affordable housing, lead pipe replacement, blue trash bags and parking and traffic.
“While we are not the actual owners of the hospital site land, a new hospital site review committee has been formed to work with the administration to identify the best possible answer for that beautiful property,” she said.
She also promised that the Waterfront Access Committee would be very active this year as it works to create a network of parks and paths along the Malden River. And a local cannabis committee will be scoping out the best ways to incorporate new marijuana laws and opportunities into the community.
DeMaria also called on residents to do their part to build a caring community.
“We have each other,” she said. “Look to your neighbors, help when you can and respect one another. We are all Malden.”
DeMaria said that good government requires individuals who bring commitment, a strong work ethic and honesty to the table.
“My promise is just that,” she said.