Councillors took their “point of personal privilege” segment at the end of Monday’s meeting to thank Patrick Keefe for his exceptional leadership as president of the City Council during a challenging year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Councilor-at-Large and State Rep.-Elect Jessica Giannino began the procession of praise for the president who served as Council leader throughout 2020.
“Mr. President, I just wanted to take a moment to commend you – this is your last meeting as Council President,” said Giannino. “As someone who’s done it, I know it’s not an easy task. And when you were voted in in January, I don’t think any of us knew what you were going to be in for this year. And you adapted, you made sure we were all safe, and I really commend you for that because I know you had a ton of other stuff going on, too, but you always put the city first and you did a great job serving all of us. Mr. President, thank you.”
Councilor-at-Large Anthony Zambuto said he wanted to commend Keefe for “a job well done as president.”
“It certainly was not a conventional year,” said Zambuto. “It’s been an interesting year and you adapted very well and I appreciate your service. And I wish you the best, not that you’re going anywhere.”
Ward 3 Councilor Arthur Guinasso, who was Keefe’s predecessor in 2019, said, “I also want to applaud you for the efforts as Council President. And I also want to applaud my colleagues for the efforts they put forth in this very trying time that we’ve shared. No one ever experienced a pandemic. This is amazing what we had to go through and the lives we all had to live in conjunction with providing community service to our constituents the best way we know how.”
Ward 5 Councilor John Power said to Keefe, “With regard to your presidency, mission accomplished, great job. No one could have done it better.”
Councilor-at-Large Gerry Visconti thanked his colleagues “for the warm welcome that I have received this year – we had some stressful times on the Council, but it has been enjoyable to work with each and every one of you.
“I want to say thank you to Patrick for his presidency,” added Visconti who joined his colleagues in wishing Revere residents a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah and a safe New Year.
Ward 1 Councilor Joanne McKenna began by jesting to Keefe, “Mr. President, that’s the last time I’m going to call you, ‘Mr. President’ this year.
“I just want to say kudos to you because I think you’ve had two rough times as an officer because when you were vice president and Councilor [Robert] Hass was president, Councilor Haas passed away. So you had that difficult time and now you’re president and you had this unpredictable time with the COVID-19 virus. I say kudos to you for handling both situations. I think you’ve done a fine job.”
Councilor-at-Large Steven Morabito lauded his colleague for “the visible representation that you’ve given the Council by attending events and acting on our behalf. It definitely did not go unnoticed.
“At every meeting you held, you were impartial. You put your heart into it and you were dedicated. And that’s all I could ask for in a President,” said Morabito.
Ward 6 Councillor Richard Serino thanked Keefe for his service as president. “It’s been a great year working with all of you, my colleagues. Thank you for the warm welcome. We bonded through the year and I think that’s a wonderful thing.”
In his own remarks, Keefe said he wanted to offer some quick anecdotes including one about meetings on Zoom, noting, “The quote of the year for all of us has been: ‘You’re still on mute.’ And I’m sure that’s not just with the Council – I’m sure that’s with everyone in the world.
“And as you all had alluded to, I really appreciate you trusting me to be your Council President this year,” said Keefe. “I know that whoever we choose to be Council President next year will do a fine job. No one expected me to be the first Zoom President, but I guess that will go down in the Revere history books and I hope that whoever takes this job on next is able to manage the screen. I think my youth helped me in that.
“To the residents of Revere, again I thank you for allowing me to your President as well,” concluded Keefe.