By Adam Swift
The City Council’s youngest member will not be running for reelection in 2023.
Ward 6 Councillor Richard Serino announced his plans not to seek a third term at the beginning of Monday night’s meeting. Serino said the one-year lead time to the 2023 municipal election will give potential candidates plenty of time to decide if they want to run for the open seat next year.
“Earlier this month, people of Revere went to the polls in a statewide election day,” said Serino. “That election having passed, though nearly still a year away, we are now officially on our municipal election cycle for the 2023 city election. As we begin to contemplate candidacies, I wanted to announce tonight to my constituents in West Revere and North Revere, that I will not be seeking reelection to the Revere City Council in 2023.”
Serino said it might seem unconventional for a councillor to announce reelection plans so far in advance of the election, but he said he was doing so because he had made up his mind. Like his Ward 6 predecessor, Charlie Patch, Serino said he wanted to give enough lead time for decent, good candidates in Ward 6 to consider a run.
“This decision to not seek a third term on the council was not made in haste, but after careful consideration and much discussion with my family and closest friends,” said Serino. “Having turned 30 this year, I have spent some time contemplating and reassessing my goals for myself in both my personal and professional life and where I see myself when my current term expires in 2024 and beyond. Having had the honor of being elected by the people of Ward 6 in 2019, I came onto the council in January, 2020 with a set of goals, including promoting economic development in the ward and the city, helping to alleviate flooding in West Revere, and working towards solutions to traffic flow in the ward.”
On the economic development front, Serino said he made a commitment during his campaign to promote economic development in the ward. He pointed to the closing of the Showcase Cinema in 2020 during the height of the pandemic, and its current transformation into an Amazon warehouse and shipping facility.
“I was disappointed, and ideally would have preferred to see a development built in its place that was entertainment driven and would draw families to the site,” he said. “However, in the end, I was glad that the redevelopment of the movie theater did not bring more residential units, but rather will bring job opportunities for Revere residents, revenue from increased property taxes, and new excise taxes paid to the city.”
The councillor also noted that he made a commitment to fight for commercial development and oppose any residential development on Squire Road, which he said he views as the ward’s main business corridor.
Serino also thanked the mayor and the water and sewer department for fixing some of the flooding and drainage issues in the ward.
“When it comes to traffic patterns in the ward, I think I have been pretty bold, to say the least,” said Serino. “Although it was controversial, I listened to my residents of Sigourney Street and Derby Road, who for years have been plagued with speeding vehicles going to and from Squire Road. As the ward councillor, I advocated to the Traffic Commission to change the one ways on those streets.”
Serino said the change was met with a lot of criticism, and understandably so for the streets that were impacted as a result.
“But you know what, we tried something that had not been tried before by my predecessors, albeit for 60 days, and because we took that initial step, we have the attention of the traffic commission and the administration to take a serious look at the traffic flow on the streets off of Squire Road that they see every day,” said Serino.
He added that two of the initiatives he is most proud of during his time in office is the creation of the city’s veterans fund, and an ordinance calling for later meeting start times, giving residents a better opportunity to participate after typical work hours.
With more than a year to go as the ward councillor, Serino reiterated that his announcement was not a resignation or a goodbye speech. He added that it also did not necessarily mean he would not run for city-wide office in the future.
“I have determined that two full terms, or four years, will have been an adequate time for me to complete the work that I set out to achieve as the Ward 6 Councillor, and that after this term, it is not only appropriate, but it is right, for me to step aside and clear the way for someone else in West Revere, or perhaps North Revere, with new ideas and a fresh perspective,” he said. “My remarks tonight should also not be taken as a farewell to Revere politics, as I would certainly consider and entertain the possibility of a run for councillor at large or higher office sometime beyond 2023 and a few years down the line if the time is right and I feel that my experience and voice can contribute to a future conversation in the city.”