Paul Varone, councilor for Precinct 1, was unanimously re-elected vice president of the Winthrop Town Council at the first meeting of the new year Tuesday night at the Cummings School.
Varone was the only candidate nominated for the position. He rejoins President Peter Gill at the helm of the nine-member Council for the second year in a row.
â€œIâ€™m honored that the Council has expressed their confidence in me and I hope that I will be an asset to Peter Gill and the Council for the rest of the term,â€ said Varone.
Varone, 50, is beginning his fourth year as a councilor.
â€œIâ€™ve certainly enjoyed my time as a member of the Council,â€ said Varone. â€œIâ€™ve been blessed by having people on the Council who are very dedicated to the community, care very deeply, and put in lot of their personal time and effort to make sure that we live in a better community.â€
Looking ahead, Varone listed three issues that he is following closely: the proposed casino at Suffolk Downs, the new Winthrop middle/high school proposals, and the Winthrop Street corridor improvement project.
â€œWith the casino possibly coming to East Boston, I would look to see Winthrop in the best negotiating stance we can get,â€ said Varone.
Varone said he supports the construction of a new school in Winthrop.
â€œI think to do nothing is certainly not an option,â€ said Varone. â€œI would like nothing better than seeing the best that we can get for our students in Winthrop. I think a new school would benefit not only people who have children in the system but it benefits all of us to have a good school system where our real estate values will increase.â€
Varone also has high hopes for the area encompassing Winthrop Street.
â€œThe Winthrop Street corridor project involves TIF (Tax Increment Financing) funding that weâ€™re in the process of trying to apply for,â€ said Varone. â€œIt would mean a great deal of federal and state money to improve the area from Winthrop Street and Metcalfe Square up to Jefferson Street, down to Town Hall, all the way to Mageeâ€™s Corner and up to Highland Avenue. Weâ€™d get new sidewalks, new streets, new traffic signals, trees, and period lighting. I think it would be a great boon to the community.â€
Varone also took the time to congratulate new council clerk Denise Quist, who was appointed to the position Tuesday night.
â€œDenise Quist is my neighbor and Iâ€™m very happy to have her aboard the Council,â€ said Varone. â€œSheâ€™s a very diligent and hard-working person and Iâ€™m sure sheâ€™ll do very well for the Council. Iâ€™m confident that we have a very good clerk.â€