By Cary Shuman
Councillor-at-Large Jessica Giannino will stand at the podium for her first full meeting as president of the Revere City Council Monday night in the City Council Chambers.
Giannino led a special meeting on inauguration night following her unanimous election as Council president. Monday’s meeting has a full agenda and Giannino will be the one holding the gavel and guiding her colleagues through all debates and discussions.
The 24-year-old graduate of Salem State University graduate takes on the role following an overwhelming vote in the citywide election. She topped the ticket with close to 5,300 votes.
One of Giannino’s first responsibilities as president was the announcement of the 10 council sub-committees. Giannino said she tried to match each councillor’s expertise with the committee assignment.
“For example, [City Councillor] Charlie Patch was a police officer for years, so he’ll be heading our public safety committee,” said Giannino. “I made very responsible decisions based on where people have expertise and what their interests were.”
Giannino said she will try to administer meetings fairly and professionally, giving her colleagues adequate time to express their views on issues before the board.
“I want to make sure that the Council is run fairly and I want to do justice for the councillors that elected me,” said Giannino.
Giannino said she will give councillors additional time to review potential motions that come out of subcommittees and before the entire Council for a vote.
“I don’t want situations where there is a subcommittee meeting at 4 p.m. and the Council is forced to make a vote that same night,” said Giannino. “I feel that there should be adequate time between subcommittee meetings and actual votes by the Council. I don’t want my colleagues to feel pressured (for a vote) or people to feel they don’t have time to get their opinion across.”
As the Council’s new leader, Giannino has set a few priorities for the year ahead.
“The first priority is to make sure that subcommittee meetings are accessible to residents,” said Giannino. “I want to work with the committee chairs to best accommodate the public’s schedule and make sure that people have adequate notice to attend subcommittee meetings.”
“My second priority is to work with the chairmen and chairwoman on the Council – they had the faith to elect me as Council president and I want to serve them justly as well and make sure we’re working together to see what their goals are for the year. I want to make sure that we can come to some sort of understanding about what the Council’s goals in general are.”
A third priority will be working effectively with Mayor Brian Arrigo’s office. “I want the councillors to have enough notice when something is coming before the Council from the Mayor’s office and I want Mayor Arrigo to have enough notice if the Council is trying to change something.
“I want to unify the city and have the most effective government we can have.”
Asked about her impressive vote totals in past elections and her popularity that stretches across the entire city, Giannino responded, “I think over the past four years people have had the chance to get to know me and to know that I do whatever I can to serve the city.
“At the end of the day, I live here. I’m a resident. My family is invested in this community and we have lived here over 100 years. So it’s genuinely a part of my life and my family’s and it’s something I care deeply about and I hope that people see that – and that’s why they have faith in me. They know that this city means just as much to me as it means to them. Their concerns are my concerns.”