There’s something that’s becoming a little eerie about the Ward 1 City Council seat.
Newly elected Ward 1 Councillor Corey Abrams resigned his post suddenly and with little explanation early on Thursday morning, sparking a host of rumors, speculation and concern for the newest and youngest member of the council.
His resignation follows a host of health-related problems that have plagued seat holders and candidates in Ward 1.
Late on Thursday, Abrams officially submitted his resignation to City Clerk Ashley Melnik and indicated that it was because of previously unknown medical reasons that he was stepping down.
Those medical issues, apparently, are quite severe.
“Due to the onset of an unforeseen and serious health condition, which has resulted in my hospitalization and is not expected to improve in the near future, I am unable to effectively represent the residents of Ward 1 at this time,” he wrote in his resignation letter. “The people of Ward 1 deserve a representative who can devote all of his or her efforts to the job of councillor.
“After much deliberation and soul-searching, and in accordance with advice from my medical doctors, it has become apparent to me that despite my best efforts, I am not able to fulfill these responsibilities,” he wrote.
In another communication last Thursday from Abrams’s sister, Kerry Bryce Abrams, she pled for privacy for Abrams and his wife, Kristin.
“Although a specific diagnosis has not been made, Corey’s condition is quite severe and not expected to improve in the near future,” she wrote. “I would like to reiterate Corey and his wife’s…request for privacy at this difficult time.”
Abrams was apparently released from the hospital over the weekend, and is still in limbo as to what is wrong. No further details have been forthcoming about his condition or treatment.
He was a councillor for 18 days, having been sworn in on May 24th.
City councillors on Monday night said they had been blindsided by the news, and had no idea what had happened.
“I’m shocked and saddened to hear of Corey Abrams health problems,” said Council President Tony Zambuto. “I wish him well. I hope it’s not as serious as it seems…He’s a young man and we were looking forward to serving with him. We’re all just very concerned about his health.”
Said Councillor Steve Reardon, “There’s nothing in his character that would suggest he would fight for this job and then give it up so quickly unless he was forced to do so by something like poor health. That makes us all the more concerned about how serious this must be.”
With the untimely death of former Ward 1 Councillor Jim Kimmerle earlier this year, and now with Abrams sudden medical issues, many are wondering if anybody really wants to occupy the seat; wondering, half jokingly, if it indeed has a curse on it.
Such bad luck extends even to candidates.
This spring, a poisonous spider bit candidate Ken Orne just after he announced his campaign. That landed him in the hospital for a long stretch and stalled his campaign for several weeks.
Several years back, a heated Ward 1 race that included Fran Mazzeo cooled off a bit when she developed cancer and had to drop out.
Nevertheless, an election has been called for and will take place on Aug. 31st.
The question is, will anyone chance a run?
Election Commissioner Diane Colella said that there would be an official meeting of the Board of Election Commissioners today, June 16, to formally accept Abrams’s resignation and to call for a new Ward 1 special election.
The cost is estimated at $5,000 to $7,000.
Colella said that potential candidates would be able to start pulling nomination papers next Tuesday, June 22nd.
So far, about four names have been tossed around for the job.
Two of those names are returning candidates Richard Penta and Ken Orne – both who challenged Abrams and lost last month.
Right now, though, much of the talk is just speculation.
Another issue is whether or not there is some voter fatigue in Ward 1 and the whole city.
Colella pointed out that there had been six elections in Revere in the past seven months. This will be the third election in Ward 1 in the span of one year.