The City Council got back to business Monday night with a special organizational meeting and then quickly taking care of the new year’s first agenda items.
As expected, the Council approved a second term for Damali Vidot as council president. District 2 Councillor Luis Tejada was voted in as vice president, and Yamir Rodriguez as the Council’s delegate to the School Committee.
“I want to thank all my colleague’s for entrusting me with one more year as president,” said Vidot. She is the first female councillor to serve two back-to-back terms as council president.
Vidot said she is looking forward to a year of unity and respect on the council.
In other business, the Council unanimously approved funding for new contracts for the City’s two police unions.
The contracts include a retroactive salary increase of 2.5 percent for FY17 and 3 percent for FY18 and FY19. There is also a 3 percent increase slated for FY20 and an additional 1 percent increase that goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2020.
The contract also implements residency requirements for all new hires for the Police Department.
Later in the meeting, the Council also approved an amended residency ordinance for all police, fire, and civil service employees.
The ordinance requires that all personnel who live in Chelsea at the time of the hire must maintain residency for five years from the date of hire. Personnel who do not live in the city at the time of hire have six months to relocate to Chelsea.
Councillor-At-Large Leo Robinson cast the lone vote against the amended ordinance, using the example of a child who might have to look after sick parents as a possible reason an employee may not be able to relocate.
•During the public speaking portion of the meeting, some familiar guests dropped in to say thank you to the Council.
Several members of the Chelsea High senior class thanked the council for its recent vote to fund a turf field cover to the tune of $170,000 for the new high school field.
With the field cover, the senior class and subsequent classes will be able to hold outdoor graduations.
“We’ve put so much hard work into this, and everything that has happened has been amazing,” said Senior Class President Jocelyn Poste.
Poste and several other seniors presented the Council with a signed letter in appreciation for their efforts. They also asked the council for their signatures on a proclamation documenting the students’ and the Council’s efforts to work together to make the turf field cover a reality.