Farmer Enters Council Race:Sinatra Withdraws

By John Lynds

East Boston resident and chair of the Jeffries Point Neighborhood Association Margaret Farmer pulled papers last week for the City Council seat being vacated by Sal LaMattina. Farmer said as a Jeffries Point Neighborhood Association’s leader she has dealt with and understands housing, land use, and development issues at ground level and her leadership also confronts schools challenges, parks and recreation, traffic, parking, and public transportation problems, coastal flooding — all of them impacting her neighborhood and its residents every day.

“The same problems that we in Jeffries Point live with, so does the entire Council District,” said Farmer. “Whether you live in Charlestown, Orient Heights, Eagle Hill;, Day Square, or the North End, you know personally what we have to live with, and what we do not have but need. As our new Councillor, I will use my experience as a Neighborhood Association president to address the effects of city density, to devise innovative solutions when the opportunity avails, and to assure that the people who actually live with these challenges are heard whenever and wherever City planners have us in their sights. The same goes for State planners. Massport and Mass DOT control so many of our District’s neighborhoods. Decisions affecting us are made every week. Others, that should be made — such as direct transit access from East Boston to the Airport — keep getting put off.” As your Councillor, I will never let these decisions be made without assuring the planners hear from you, the voters of our District.”

In a surprising twist, East Boston resident and City Councilor Sal LaMattina’s Chief of Staff, Michael Sinatra announced this week that he will no longer be a candidate for District 1 City Council, a seat held by his boss for the past 11 years.

Sinatra joins Charlestown’s Jack Kelly as two early candidates who pulled papers and announced they would seek the office only to have a change of heart.

Sinatra said he would throw his support behind North End candidate and former Mayor Martin Walsh aide, Stephen Passacantilli.

“After much discussion with my fiancée and family, I have decided to withdraw from the City Council race,” said Sinatra. “I am getting married in August, so I have many life events to look forward to in the coming months and I want to be able to enjoy this happy and exciting time in my life. With that in mind, it would be unfair to me as well as all the residents of District 1 if I cannot give this campaign the undivided attention that it deserves. Therefore, at this moment in time I have decided to explore other job opportunities that would allow me more time to spend with my new wife and family.”

Sinatra added that he has been honored to serve District 1 for the past four years working under Councilor LaMattina.

“I truly have been blessed to meet and work with all of you and I am extremely proud of all that we have accomplished together,” he said. “I would like to thank everyone who has supported me throughout this process and I apologize if my withdrawal from the race is a disappointment to you.”

For now, Sinatra said he will remain working in Councilor LaMattina’s office until the right opportunity presents itself and took the opportunity to endorse Passacantilli.

“I will not be far away and remain dedicated to working for you until the day that I leave,” said Sinatra. I also wanted to take this opportunity to publicly endorse Stephen Passacantilli for the District 1 City Council seat. Now that I have stepped aside, I feel that Stephen is the right person for this job. Many of you know that Stephen worked for Councilor LaMattina before I did, so he understands what this job entails better than any other candidate left in this race and I have full confidence that Stephen will act in the best interest of the entire district, especially East Boston. I have gotten to know Stephen well during my tenure at City Hall and am proud to endorse him and call him a friend. Again, I thank you all for your support and allowing me to serve you. East Boston is in a great place and will only get better. Let’s all work together to make sure that happens.”