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North Suburban News

Woburn City Council to Fill Two Vacancies

Nov 27, 2018 11:18PM ● By Lisa Redmond

WOBURN – The new year will bring some major changes to the Woburn City Council as it takes up the task to name a new president and fill the position currently held by Council President Richard M. Haggerty, who heads to the Statehouse for his new position as state representative from the 30th Middlesex District. 

Haggerty told North Suburban News that he plans to officially resign as President of the Council and as Alderman at Large on Jan. 2, 2019 – the same day he is sworn in as a state representative- but he will be submitting his letter of resignation to the council on Dec. 18.

 “I am looking forward to this next chapter and I’m ready to get to work for the people of Woburn and Reading,’’ Haggerty said.

He said he will stay out of the process of selecting a new member of the council to fill his one-year unexpired term. That seat will be available for a full, two-year term in the 2020 election.

“I have total confidence in my colleagues on the City Council and I know they will have an open and transparent process for filling the vacancy. I am sure they will post the position, conduct interviews and then make an informed decision about who the new member of the City Council will be,’’ Haggerty said.

 Haggerty, a Democrat, won the race for state representative in the November general election by beating out Republican Claire Malaguti with 70 percent of the vote. The district includes Wards 2-6 in Woburn and Precincts 2-5 in Reading. 

At the Statehouse, Haggerty will replace outgoing state Rep. Jim Dwyer, also a former Woburn City Councilor, who has represented Woburn and Reading at the Statehouse since 2009. Dwyer decided not to run for re-election citing a commitment to spend more time with his family, according to published reports.

But Haggerty’s departure leaves two holes in the city council.

As council president, Haggerty, a five-term city councilor, made history in January when he was elected by his fellow councilors to his third-term as council president without opposition. While the council president term is typically two years, Haggerty’s departure means an early vote for a new president.

City Clerk William C. Campbell explained that once Haggerty vacates his position on the City Council, he will post a notice of the vacancy. At the council’s first meeting, seven days after the opening was posted, the council’s first task is to select a new president who will sit for two years. Then the council will have to choose a process to fill Haggerty’s alderman at large shoes.

The city is divided into seven wards with each ward represented by a Ward Alderman elected by the residents of the ward. There are two Alderman at Large elected by the residents of the entire city.

 “In theory, they could pick the next person who walks in,’’ Campbell said. But historically that doesn’t happen.

Applicants typically submit a “letter of interest’’ or a resume detailing their experience and interest in the position. The council can have a personnel subcommittee sift through the applications, interview people, and then select finalists or make a recommendation to the full council.

Since Haggerty is an alderman at large, anyone in the city can apply to fill Haggerty’s unexpired term, Campbell said.

As a final note, Haggerty said, “I have enjoyed every minute of my time serving on the City Council. I have been incredibly lucky to have the trust of the people of Woburn and I’ve been fortunate to work with so many dedicated professionals along the way.’’


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