WOBURN – In a historic action, the City Council last night unanimously and without comment elected Alderman at-large Richard Haggerty to his third-term as president of the legislative body.
Haggerty, who faced no opposition in his bid for the leadership role, will now reportedly become the longest continuously serving council president in Woburn’s history.
According to City Clerk William Campbell, former City Council President Tom Shaughnessy also led the legislative body for six years, but unlike the current chairman, he did not do so for consecutive terms.
Haggerty was appointed on the first ballot to the center dais in the council chambers during an organizational meeting that followed the city’s inaugural ceremony in City Hall.
“Thank you everybody,” responded Haggerty, after being sworn in by Campbell last night.
“I am humbled and honored to have my colleagues’ continued confidence, but the council is really a team effort,” the Leonard Street resident later said in an interview with The Daily Times. “Everyone plays an important role in making the council work well for our community, and I’m fortunate to work with a great group of people who always put our city first.”
Also last night, the council adopted its rules and procedural orders for the upcoming 2018 session, another routine business matter that was voted upon without debate.
Haggerty, who last November was elected to his fifth term on the City Council, was first elevated to the leadership position back in Jan. of 2014, when he succeeded former council president Paul Denaro.
As chairman, Haggerty is tasked with appointing his peers to various committee assignments. According to the council president, he does not anticipate any major shakeups, but he will solicit feedback from his counterparts before finalizing the committee rosters.
He is expected to announce those appointments next week.
“This week, I will ask members for their interest in committee assignments and hope to have that out by the end of the week. The last two years, the chairmen of our committees have each done a great job reviewing petitioners’ requests and keeping the work moving,” Haggerty remarked.
Also last night, during its reorganizational meeting, the School Committee appointed Joseph Demers as chairman. Demers, who was first elected to the local education board back in Nov. of 2013, will be taking the chairman’s gavel for the first time.
He assumes the leadership post from School Committee member Ellen Crowley, who last night finished her first stint as chairwoman.
“I’m honored and humbled by my colleagues naming me the chairman during such an important year for the district, especially given the transition to a new superintendent,” said Demers in a phone interview this morning.
Crowley and Demers, both of whom first won election to the school board back in 2013, topped the ticket during municipal elections in 2015, which earned them four-year terms in office.
History was also made last night when Mayor Scott Galvin became just the third City Hall executive to be sworn into the corner office for a fifth term.
Since Woburn shifted to two-year mayoral terms back in 1931, only former Mayors John Rabbitt and William Kane, both of whom served six-terms, have been in office longer than Galvin.
Last November, Woburn’s electorate swept all incumbents back into office, so there will be no new faces on the city’s elected boards in 2018.