Ward 4 Councilor Patrick Keefe completed a successful year as City Council President. The Council will elect its new leader at its first meeting of 2021 on Monday, Jan. 11.
Keefe led the 11-member Council through an unprecedented year that was dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic which had a major impact on all areas of life in Revere. Due to the coronavirus, the Council began holding its meetings on Zoom, giving councilors the opportunity to participate remotely from their respective homes. To their credit, Keefe and virtually all of his colleagues had perfect attendance records in 2020.
Keefe drew praise from his colleagues for his leadership and accessibility throughout the year. He was held in high esteem by the longer-serving councilors and the newer members such as Councilor-at-Large Gerry Visconti and Ward 6 Councilor Richard Serino.
As a newly elected member of the Council, I felt President Keefe was very welcoming and cordial,” said Serino. “In the early days of the pandemic, we got to know each other and bond a bit while we put together food packages at the Senior Center for the City’s COVID food delivery program. I always found Pat to be receptive to my ideas, and I thank him for his service as our Council President during a very challenging year.”
The Revere Journal asked President Keefe to talk about his and the Council’s achievements during the past year and the challenge of leading the Council during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Keefe issued the following statement reflecting on his year as the president of the Revere City Council:
“The last year serving as Council President has been a pleasure. It was my honor to represent my colleagues and I feel like I represented them well.
The year 2020 was nothing that we expected and since early March it has certainly reshaped our focus on how council business is handled and what our priorities should be.
I don’t like to personally list my accomplishments as I feel they should speak for themselves and the residents of Revere certainly acknowledge me when they are happy, and I hear when they are not happy with the decisions we make. This is how I always do my job. It’s not about me, it’s about the residents we serve.
One of the most significant achievements we as a Council made this year was an enormous sense of inclusion and communication within the council membership.
Even though we may not have met in person as much as we would have liked, I can honestly say that the entire team chatted almost every day – more often it was all throughout the day. Technology has certainly brought us closer together, even for my senior colleagues!
Whether it was about how we can better serve our residents in need during these tumultuous times or just checking in on each other, everyone at some point came across a personal or family struggle.
If I can look back, I will say my most important accomplishment was this: creating a better bond among the group. And we had a few tough meetings -communicating through Zoom can at times be misinterpreted and give the wrong impression or you might miss what a fellow councilor meant to say. But in the end, we had a productive year and we are all stronger because of it.
As I said before, maybe I’ll go down as the first Zoom President in Revere’s history, but I hope at some point I’ll get another chance to yield the gavel in front of a live audience.
Let’s all hope we can go back to normalcy soon, but in the meantime I want to wish our residents, my fellow councilors and the next President of the Revere City Council (Tony Zambuto perhaps) a happy and healthy new year!
And thank you.”