NEW BEDFORD — New Bedford City Council President Ian Abreu has added three new special committees and one ad hoc committee to the city council.

A statement from the Clerk of Committees office noted that new committees include Affordable Housing and Homeless Affairs, Blue Economy and Emerging Industries, and Solid Waste Services.


Abreu has also set up an Ad Hoc Committee on the Revision of City Council’s Rules of Order, a temporary committee that will examine the rules that dictate how the council conducts its business.

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With the new additions, New Bedford's city council now has nine special committees along with the ad hoc one and its 10 standing committees, for a total of 20.

Abreu told WBSM's Marcus Ferro on Saturday that he appointed newly elected councilor-at-large Shane Burgo to vice-chair of the Public Safety committee to balance the leadership of longtime chair Gomes.

"Shane Burgo obviously has some different perspectives about matters as it relates to policing and community activism, and I think he will bring a unique perspective to this committee," he noted.


Burgo will also chair the new housing committee, while Ward 3 councilor Hugh Dunn will chair the Blue Economy committee and Ward 2 councilor Maria Giesta will head up the Solid Waste Services committee.

Abreu said he created the Blue Economy committee to explore fishing and offshore wind as well as aquaculture and emerging technologies.

In terms of housing, he noted, "we have a very serious housing crisis here in New Bedford," calling the rising cost of rents and mortgages "just not acceptable."

"Obviously, homelessness is directly dovetailed into all of this," he added, noting that the topic also includes food security, mental health, and drug addiction.

"This is going to be a very serious committee with very serious topics that have tremendous socioeconomic impacts in New Bedford," he said.

As for the new ad hoc committee, longtime at-large councilor Linda Morad has been named chair.

Meanwhile new Ward 6 councilor Ryan Pereira will also get some experience as chair, as he's set to head up the Special COVID-19 Business Committee.

Here are the various committees and the council members that make them up:

New Bedford City Council Standing Committees

APPOINTMENTS & BRIEFINGS: Councilors Carney, Chair; Baptiste, Vice-Chair; Abreu, Burgo, Dunn, Giesta, Gomes, Lima, Markey, Morad and Pereira

AUDIT: Councilors Lima, Chair; Morad, Vice-Chair; Dunn, Gomes, and Markey

CITY PROPERTY: Councilors Giesta, Chair; Markey, Vice-Chair; Abreu, Baptiste, Burgo, Carney, Dunn, Gomes, Lima, Morad and Pereira


FINANCE: Councilors Markey, Chair; Lima, Vice-Chair; Abreu, Baptiste, Burgo, Carney, Dunn, Giesta, Gomes, Morad and Pereira

FISHERIES: Councilors Giesta, Chair; Dunn, Vice-Chair; Abreu, Baptiste and Burgo

INTERNAL AFFAIRS: Councilors Carney, Chair; Giesta, Vice-Chair; Abreu, Dunn, Gomes and Pereira

LABOR & INDUSTRY: Councilors Dunn, Chair; Baptiste, Vice-Chair; Abreu, Morad and Pereira

ORDINANCES: Councilors Dunn, Chair; Lima, Vice-Chair; Abreu, Baptiste, Burgo, Carney, Giesta, Gomes, Markey, Morad, and Pereira

PUBLIC SAFETY & NEIGHBORHOODS: Councilors Gomes, Chair; Burgo, Vice-Chair; Abreu, Baptiste, Carney, Dunn, Giesta, Lima, Markey, Morad and Pereira

VETERANS AFFAIRS, ELDERLY, YOUTH, HEALTH & HOUSING & DISABILITY ISSUES: Councilors Gomes, Chair; Giesta, Vice-Chair; Markey, Morad and Pereira


New Bedford City Council Special Committees

AFFORDABLE HOUSING & HOMELESS AFFAIRS: Councilors Burgo, Chair; Baptiste, Vice-Chair; Giesta, Lima and Pereira

AIRPORT: Councilors Markey, Chair; Lima, Vice-Chair; Carney, Giesta and Morad

BLUE ECONOMY & EMERGING INDUSTRIES: Councilors Dunn, Chair; Lima, Vice-Chair; Abreu, Carney and Markey

CANNABIS REGULATION AND HOST COMMUNITY AGREEMENTS REVIEW: Councilors Baptiste, Chair; Pereira, Vice-Chair; Abreu, Burgo, Carney, Dunn, Giesta, Gomes, Lima, Markey and Morad

ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS: Councilors Morad, Chair; Burgo, Vice-Chair; Abreu, Baptiste, Carney, Dunn, Giesta, Gomes, Lima, Markey and Pereira

INFRASTRUCTURE & REDEVELOPMENT: Councilors Lima, Chair; Dunn, Vice-Chair; Abreu, Baptiste and Pereira

MEMORIALS & DEDICATIONS: Councilors Carney, Chair; Burgo, Vice-Chair; Abreu, Gomes and Markey

SOLID WASTE SERVICES: Councilors Giesta, Chair; Carney, Vice-Chair; Abreu, Baptiste and Gomes


SPECIAL COVID-19 BUSINESS COMMITTEE: Councilors Pereira, Chair; Dunn, Vice-Chair; Baptiste, Burgo and Giesta

AD HOC COMMITTEE ON THE REVISION OF CITY COUNCIL'S RULES OF ORDER: Councilors Morad, Chair; Gomes, Vice-Chair; Abreu, Lima and Markey

Smaller New Bedford City Council Committees and Boards

The City Council also has several commissions and boards with just one or two members.

These are the Traffic Commission (Gomes and Markey), the Tax Increment Financing Board (Morad and Dunn), the Energy Resource Commission (Gomes), School Traffic Committee (Baptiste), Sign Design Review Board (Markey), Water Board (Carney), Condominium Review Board (Pereira), Exhibition Hall Committee (Burgo), and Mayor's Youth Council (Baptiste).

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