By Shawn Regan firstname.lastname@example.org
---- — HAVERHILL — The City Council is getting a shakeup.
Councilor John Michitson has told his colleagues he will resign the presidency at Tuesday’s meeting for work-related reasons and will support Councilor Robert Scatamacchia as his replacement.
In an email, Michitson, an electrical engineer, said he has taken a new position at the Bedford-based MITRE Corporation. The position involves a heavy travel schedule, he said.
“I will be engaged in important government business in the Middle East and the west coast from time to time,” Michitson said in the email. “As you know, this is the last thing that I wanted to do, but I accept the reality.”
Michitson said he will finish out his current term, which has a little more than a year left, but probably will not seek re-election.
“It has been an honor to serve the citizens of Haverhill as president,” he said. “I look forward to having a positive impact as a member of the City Council as I serve out my term.”
A lifelong city resident who graduated from Haverhill High School in 1977, Michitson has for some time been one of the most popular politicians in the city. He lost a hard-fought mayoral campaign against incumbent James Fiorentini in 2009. Prior to that, Michitson served on the council from 1996 to 2005 and was president in 2004 and 2005.
Michitson said he intends to support Scatamacchia for president and Michael Hart for vice president. Scatamacchia received the second most votes in the previous election. Hart placed third.
The council is expected to choose its new president and vice president Tuesday night.
In a brief phone interview Friday, Scatamacchia said he was surprised by the news, but will be honored to assume the presidency.
“It’s really just running the meeting, and certainly I’ve done that before,” Scatamacchia said of the presidency. “I’ll still have the same positions on issues, I’ll just be voting last instead of first. ... It’s sad to see John give it up, but apparently his new position is going to involve a lot of travel.”
Scatamacchia, the current vice president of the council, ran a council meeting earlier this month when Michitson was in California for work.