Morad Elected New Bedford City Council President for the Fourth Time
NEW BEDFORD (WBSM) — The New Bedford City Council elected a new council president for 2023 on Tuesday night, as Councilor at Large Linda Morad returns to the big chair for the first time since 2019.
This marks Morad’s fourth time with the gavel in her 19-year tenure on the city council.
“I didn’t even realize that until last night when I was looking back while preparing notes,” she said of it being her fourth term as president. “I enjoy the position, and hopefully we’ll do good things this year.
Morad ran unopposed for the council presidency, winning with a 8-1 vote as the council is still without a Ward 3 councilor following Hugh Dunn’s resignation in December. Councilor at Large Ian Abreu, the most recent council president, was the lone dissenting vote.
Morad said part of the allure of running for the council presidency was the fact that a new councilor will be coming in this March, following a special election on February 28 (there will be a preliminary election to whittle the seven candidates down to a final two on January 24).
“I thought it would be interesting this year, with a new councilor coming in part way through the year, and an election year for that person, there will be an awful lot for that person going on,” she said. “Hopefully, as I’ve done with others in the past, and what was done for me when I was originally elected to the council, was to be able to help. I think being in a leadership role will facilitate that.”
This will also be a year of big changes in New Bedford, with the incoming offshore wind industry and other planned improvements to the city’s waterfront. Morad said there’s been a lot of activity going on in the city for a long time now, and that the council can play a role in it.
“It’s been a really interesting time, and the council plays an interesting role,” she said. “Our responsibilities per the city charter are limited to legislative and fiduciary, but we certainly can get ourselves involved in a lot of things.”
Morad said one of the things she’s done in the past and hopes to do this year is use her colleagues’ strengths to full advantage.
“I have colleagues on the council with different expertise, and I hope to leverage that expertise to help facilitate things,” she said. “I’ll use the strengths of my colleagues, as I have in the past, to work on initiatives that they might have more talent and more expertise in.”
Part of that too will be working with Mayor Jon Mitchell and his administration. Morad admitted she hasn’t always had the best working relationship with Mitchell.
“Our relationship has been strained over the last year or so, and I think it will take some giving and taking on both parts to fix that,” she said. “It needs to be fixed if we’re going to move the city forward, both with the city council and the administration.”
“I’m just one of 11 (councilors),” she said. “It won’t just be Linda Morad and Jon Mitchell, it will be the entire city council.”
In his weekly appearance on WBSM Wednesday, Mitchell said he intends to work with Morad in the year ahead.
“I want to congratulate Linda Morad for becoming president again,” he said. “She’s been president before, and I look forward to the work with her ahead.”