By The Advocate
Ald. Sal Sachetta and Councilor John Leo McKinnon were installed Monday night as the last presidents to serve under the city’s unique bicameral form of legislative government as the city’s transition begins to a single-body, 11-member city council, which will officially take effect next January.
Both Sachetta and McKinnon were unanimous choices of their colleagues for the 2013 leadership posts.
Sachetta succeeds Joseph McGonagle as the aldermanic president, while McKinnon takes the council’s gavel from Daniel Napolitano.
Ald. Chuck DiPerri nominated Sachetta, who is serving his third term as the alderman of Ward 6.
DiPerri cited the new president’s “strong financial background” as being a key asset for the city government, especially considering the fiscal issues that Everett faces this coming year.
Alderman Sachetta, after expressing his appreciation for the board’s vote of confidence in him, took the opportunity to point out that while members may differ on votes, things never get personal.
“We may disagree on an issue, but then we come together when it’s necessary and we act in the best interests of the city”, said the new president.
Sachetta then told the other aldermen that “I can’t thank you enough for giving me the honor to serve as president”, quipping that his selection is especially appreciated “considering that I’m old enough to be your father”.
McKinnon, a councilor for 12 years and chairman of the public safety committee for the past decade, was nominated for president of the common council by long-time member Wayne Matewsky.
“Leo has had an outstanding record on the council,” said Matewsky, who also noted the Ward 4 councilman’s devotion to his family and the local community is unchallenged.
“There is no doubt that Leo will be a fair president,” said Matewsky.
McKinnon admitted that the year ahead will be a difficult one for the city, telling his colleagues that “we will have to work diligently”.
“I look forward to working with all of you,” said the new council leader.
State Sen. Sal DiDomenico, a former member of the local common council, was on hand to present legislative citations from the State Senate to each of new presidents, wishing them well as they begin the task of leading the “monumental transition” of the local city government.
DiDomenico also presented Senate citations to their predecessors, Ald. McGonagle and Councilor Napolitano, for their leadership efforts over the past year.
The mayor’s mid-term address regarding the “state of the city”, which had been slated to be part of Monday night’s agenda, was postponed and will be rescheduled.