The City Council says 'farewell' to four of their own
During the last Council meeting of the year, the chamber was filled with joy, emotion, and the families and friends of the departing Councilors.
One by one each Council member stood to bid their partners in government adieu. In turn, Councilors Ciommo, Garrison, McCarthy and Zakim thanked their staff, Central Staff, and each of their colleagues for their friendship, banter, debate, and interaction over the years.
Brighton’s City Councilor, Mark Ciommo, who held the position as Chair of the Committee on Ways and Means for 10 years, shared that his farewell speech was an ode to his mother. Speaking of his role as a City Councilor and father, Councilor Ciommo choked up, saying, “My favorite and most rewarding role was being an active dad for my two sons. Not having a dad that was present and involved in my life made this a priority. I wanted to be the kind of dad I didn’t have… Serving on the Boston City Council gave me the unique opportunity to have a greater impact on my community, and also model to my children the value of service that was instilled in me as a kid growing up in Brighton.”
Councilor Tim McCarthy, City Councilor for Hyde Park and parts of Mattapan and Roslindale, served the City of Boston for 27 years and held his seat as City Councilor for six of them. He also spoke to the importance of family while in this particular position and noted that in all of his years as a City Councilor, his staff remained the same. “It’s tough. You’re giving up a lot. A lot of time, weekends, calls.” He jokingly added, “Don’t ever read the comments at the end of Facebook or Twitter. All that stuff really rings true,” he continued, “but you have to be true to yourself. I think all of us in this room have been, and I hope that the next Councilor who moves on always remembers that… This is not a wake. I’m not disappearing. I will be very active in my community. I hope the person who fills in my seat is ready.”
As District 8 City Councilor, Josh Zakim served three terms on the Body. He thanked the residents of his district for their trust, confidence and support in him, as well as Mayor Walsh for his partnership and work in this City. Reflecting on the work he has done during his tenor Councilor Zakim said, “You all have given me such a privilege and opportunity to work on so many issues that are important to me in our communities.” To his fellow Council members, he said, “Though we have not always agreed on every issue and the way of approaching every issue, we have all been true partners. I think that was illustrated by how many of our votes have been unanimous on this Body.”
During her last meeting as At-Large City Councilor, the Council voted to adopt a resolution offered by Councilor Althea Garrison in support of the Boston Police Department and the Boston Patrolmen's Association. Through tears she said, “I would greatly appreciate it if my colleagues would support this non-controversial resolution, which would be the greatest Christmas gift I’ve ever received in my public life.” The resolution was adopted and the chamber was filled with applause.
As the Council says farewell to this group, it opens its doors in excitement for what the future holds. We wish each Councilor the best as they move on to new adventures and endeavors.
To hear these speeches in their entirety, watch the last Council meeting of 2019.