The sudden passing Sunday morning of City Councillor and former Mayor Robert J. Haas Jr. came as a shock to his colleagues and the many Revere citizens who came to know a man who truly was a giant among those who have served in our city government over the past four decades.
Bob Haas first was elected to the City Council in the 1980s and then was elected mayor in the 1990s, succeeding George V. Colella when Colella stepped down from the mayoralty. After Haas was appointed to a position with Massport in the late 1990s, which took him away from the local scene for a few years, he returned to the political arena by successfully running for City Councillor-at-Large.
Bob Haas was among just a handful of elected officials who have accomplished the feat of making a return to public office after an absence. The others who most notably come to mind are George V. Colella and William G. Reinstein, both of whom, like Bob Haas, served as mayor and both of whom made a successful return to politics.
And, similar to Colella and Reinstein, the reason for Bob Haas’s political success was simply this: The voters of Revere trusted a man whom they knew always had the best interests of our city and its citizens uppermost in his mind.
Bob Haas was a fighter for the little guy, and whether you were with him or against him on an issue, you always knew where he stood. In addition, though he certainly was a hard-nosed and tough-minded politician, Bob Haas understood the importance, especially in a city such as ours, of being able to disagree without being disagreeable.
Bob Haas will be missed for the expertise and the values that he brought to city government, as well as for the collegiality that he brought to public life. It was these qualities that earned Bob the respect of his colleagues in public office and brought the success that he enjoyed at the ballot box over the course of 35 years. As Mayor Brian Arrigo aptly stated, “All the residents of Revere have lost a champion and a friend.”
We know we join with all of our readers in offering our condolences to his lovely wife, Juanita, and their entire family.
May he rest in peace.