A Look at the New Bedford City Council’s Attendance Record
When asked by a WBSM caller which New Bedford City Councilor misses the most meetings, I decided to take a "deep dive" into the official city council attendance records to find out who does – and who does not – attend meetings.
There were 16 "Regular Meetings" of the New Bedford City Council between January 13, 2022, and September 22, 2022. According to city council records provided to me by City Clerk and Clerk of the Council Dennis W. Farias, Ward 4 Councilor Derek Baptiste missed four meetings, or 25 percent, of them, and was late for one meeting.
Ward 3 Councilor Hugh Dunn missed three of the 16 regular meetings and was late to four others.
President and At-Large Councilor Ian Abreu missed one regular meeting, as did At-Large Councilors Naomi Carney, Brian Gomes, and Linda Morad. Ward 5 Councilor Scott Lima was absent from one meeting.
Councilor Gomes was late to four regular meetings, while Councilor Carney was late to one.
There were three "Special Meetings," including the "Organizational Meeting" held on January 3, 2022. At-Large Councilor Shane Burgo, Ward 2 Councilor Maria Giesta, and Ward 3's Dunn were absent.
Councilor Dunn missed a special meeting on May 10, 2022. All councilors were present for the June 28, 2022 special meeting.
New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell delivered his budget address to the city council on May 18, 2022. At-Large Councilors Gomes and Morad were absent, as was Ward 1 Councilor Brad Markey.
There were seven budget hearings and meetings between May 25, 2022, and June 27, 2022, where councilors could quiz department heads about their spending requests and department needs. Councilors can propose budget cuts and vote on the administration's budget blueprint during this time.
Councilor Gomes missed three budget hearings, while Councilor Dunn missed two. Councilors Baptiste, Lima, Markey, Morad, and Ward 6 Councilor Ryan Pereira each missed one meeting.
When councilors are not meeting in regular sessions or discussing the budget, they participate in committee meetings and hearings.
There were 43 committee meetings and hearings between January and mid-October, 2022. Here are some of the highlights – and low lights.
The Committee on Appointments and Briefings met nine times between February 22 and September 20, 2022. Councilors Baptiste and Dunn each missed four meetings, while Councilors Gomes and Morad missed two each. Councilors Abreu, Burgo, Giesta, Lima, Markey, and Pereira each missed one meeting.
Burgo was late for four meetings, Gomes for two, and Lima, Markey, and Morad were each late for one.
The Committee on Properties met seven times between March 23 and October 12, 2022. Councilor Baptiste missed four meetings, while Councilors Morad and Pereira each missed three.
Councilors Carney, Dunn, Gomes, and Lima each missed a meeting.
The Committee on Finance met 11 times between February 17 and September 22, 2022. Councilor Gomes missed four meetings, while Councilors Baptiste and Morad missed three each. Councilors Burgo and Lima missed two, while Councilors Giesta and Dunn missed one apiece.
Councilor Baptiste was late for three meetings, Carney for two, and Burgo and Dunn for one.
The Ordinance Committee met seven times between January 18 and September 21, 2022. Councilors Baptiste and Carney missed three meetings, while Councilors Burgo and Morad missed two. Councilors Giesta, Gomes, and Lima each missed one.
Council Gomes was late to one Ordinance Committee Meeting, while Pereira was tardy for three.
The Council's Committee on Public Safety and Neighborhoods met on April 21 and September 28, 2022. Councilors Abreu, Baptiste, and Dunn missed both, while Councilors Burgo and Giesta missed one.
The Committee on Environmental Affairs met on September 27, 2022. Councilors Carney, Dunn, and Gomes were absent.
Councilor Baptiste missed a meeting on COVID-19 in March, and Councilors Abreu and Gomes missed a Memorials and Dedications meeting. Councilor Burgo missed two.