Council Selects Costigan as New Precinct 1 Councilor

By Adam Swift

Patrick Costigan will serve as Winthrop’s new Precinct 1 Town Councilor for the remainder of former councilor Richard Fucillo’s term.

Fucillo resigned from the council earlier this year when he announced he was moving out of Winthrop. The Precinct 1 term runs through the end of 2025.

The council interviewed Costigan and Celeste Ribeiro Hewitt for the position on Tuesday night, and voted 6-2 to appoint Costigan to the seat. While Costigan was the council’s choice to serve out Fucillo’s term, councilors thanked both candidates for putting themselves into the mix and urged Ribeiro Hewitt to stay involved with town politics.

Both candidates answered questions about their background and why they wanted to serve on the council.

“My involvement with the town starts with my family moving here in 1950,” said Costigan, with his grandfather and father both known for their service to the town, as well as a cousin who served as an auxiliary police officer.

Costigan himself has served for over 30 years as a member of the Democratic Town Committee and worked on a number of political campaigns.

“I’m well involved with the town itself, and I work with the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority,” he said. “The reason why I was so interested in working for them was because I swam at the same beaches where when you came out you had a ring around your chest. Environmentally, to do something about that – I’m an avid fisherman as well – this town, it is a gem, it’s spectacular.

“I’m Winthrop through and through, so that’s my passion, to keep Winthrop, this little community we have, the gem it is.”

In addition to addressing environmental issues, Costigan said he would like to see the town invest in more opportunities for young people so that they can come to appreciate Winthrop and what it has to offer when they are older.

Ribeiro Hewitt joked that she moved to Winthrop about a decade ago from the faraway land of East Boston.

In the past, Ribeiro Hewitt said she has led grassroots political campaigns in opposition to casinos attempting to come to the region and has been hands-on with issues no matter where she has lived. She said she moved to Winthrop in 2015 and wanted to become involved in the local level at what she said is now her forever home.

“I did initiate the first Pride flag raising in East Boston … in cooperation with Massport and our other officials, which is unique for an East Boston activist,” Ribeiro Hewitt said. “Most currently, I am serving on the Harborkeepers, I have since 2016, and that is an environmental stewardship initiative that is really focused on folks on this side of Boston Harbor, the environmental impacts.”

Councilors Max Tassinari and Suzanne Swope cast the two votes for Ribeiro Hewitt while the remaining six councilors voted for Costigan.

“It’s incredibly hard to get out there and stand up in front of a lot of people and talk about yourselves and talk about your dreams for the town,” said Council President Jim Letterie. “I think you both love Winthrop … and wish for nothing but good things for all of us. We’re always going to agree to disagree on a lot of different topics, but we work together as a council to move the town forward and I applaud you both for taking the time and the effort.”

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