Ward 6 City Councillor Charlie Patch stunned his colleagues Monday night and the television audience at home with his announcement that he will be retiring from the Council at the end of the year.
“I just want to announce after 12 years as Ward 6 City Councillor that I am not going to run for re-election,” Patch said during the latter portion of the Council meeting. “I am going to retire and I want to thank the people of Ward 6 for their support. It’s been 12 good years.”
Patch received applause and thanks from his colleagues, who later requested a photo with the popular six-term councillor.
Council President Arthur Guinasso expressed his surprise at the decision. “This certainly comes as a great shock to all of us,” said Guinasso. “He certainly will be missed by this City Council and I am sure for all the folks in Ward 6, they extend their greetings to him because he’s one heckuva nice guy.”
Many observers felt the announcement at this time was another example of the class and dignity in which Patch has upheld the office following a stellar 32-year career as a Revere Police officer and detective. He is also a U.S. Marine veteran of the Vietnam War. Patch said one of the reasons he made the announcement so early in the year was to give residents ample time to consider running for the position.
The announcement also came on the night it was announced that Griswold Park, home to the Revere Youth Baseball and Softball League, will soon have a new concession stand. Patch has long been a strong and loyal supporter of the league of the league and believes the facility is important to the future prosperity of the league.
Patch, who had won six consecutive elections to the Council, said he intends to serve out the term. He was first elected soon after his retirement from the Revere Police Department.
Patch, who just turned 70, said he wants to spend more time with his family. The life of a public official can be a hectic one, with frequent meetings, conferences, city events, and constituent services. Patch was especially noted for his instantaneous response to residents’ phone calls and emails.
“I want to spend more time with my (four) grandkids, who are getting older,” said Patch. “I just felt it was time to step down. I didn’t tell anybody because I knew they would talk me out of it – I’m easy.”
Patch and his wife, Laurie, have been married for 45 years and have three sons, Billy, Charles Jr., and David, all of whom were superb hockey players and athletes. The Patches have four grandchildren, Ava, Abby, Sadie, and Danny, who has begun to display the family’s prowess in ice hockey.
Patch expects several candidates to look into the possibility of running for the Ward 6 seat. “It’s a good job. That’s why I announced early, to give people time to run.”
One thing is clear: Charlie Patch’s successor will have big shoes to fill.