Cliff Ponte Considering a Fall River City Council Comeback
Two years after launching an unsuccessful bid for Mayor of Fall River, former City Council President Cliff Ponte says he is considering a run for the council once more.
Ponte served six years on the city council, four as the body's president, and nearly three months as acting mayor when Jasiel Correia took a leave of absence from October 15, 2019, until his term expired on January 6. 2020.
Correia was convicted of federal corruption charges and sentenced to prison.
Former Fall River School Committee member Paul Coogan was elected to replace Correia as mayor in November 2019 and assumed office in January 2020.
In July 2021, Ponte launched a bid to unseat Coogan, but Coogan won re-election in November 2021. It's expected Coogan will seek re-election in November.
So far, the only candidate to announce a challenge to Coogan this fall is former mayor and Bristol County District Attorney Sam Sutter.
Ponte, now 34 years old, is a broker and operating principal for Keller Williams South Watuppa. He also operates Al Mac's Diner and Al Mac's On-The-Go.
"Since leaving office, I have remained committed to Fall River in more ways than one by establishing a charitable foundation called S.H.I.N.E. Together = With Strength, Hope, and Integrity," he said. "We work together to create neighborhood enrichment."
Ponte said he remains "fully engaged in the issues that impact taxpayers, business owners, and residents because local issues and a better city are passions of mine."
"At times, I get really frustrated on behalf of the taxpayers and ratepayers for lack of accountability, planning, and good government," he said.
Rising tax rates, the use of one-time monies to balance municipal budgets, and the lack of a plan to fund the construction of a new Diman Vocational High School are just some of Ponte's concerns while considering a return to the council.
Election day in Fall River is Tuesday, November 7, 2023.