Milton Councilman Michael Coté passed away April 3, reportedly after suffering a stroke.
Coté, 72, was in his third term as a councilman, having first been elected in 2013. He purchased a home in Milton in 2008, moving to town full time in 2011. He began attending Milton Town Council meetings and grew concerned about accounting-related issues.
Coté was a laid-back man with a scholarly salt-and-pepper beard and glasses, but very easy with a smile. Despite his easygoing personality, Coté took his work seriously. He retired to Milton after a career as a certified public accountant, corporate auditor and budget manager for large companies in New York. After being elected to town council, he assumed the role of town treasurer. He is survived by his wife, Barbara, and his daughter, Lisa.
Coté’s death came just as council was about to have seven members for the first time since Councilman Charlie Fleetwood resigned in December. New council members John Collier and Lee Revis-Plank were formally sworn in April 5, but noticeable in the room was Coté’s empty seat at the far left side of the council table.
Mayor Ted Kanakos read a formal statement on behalf of the town.
“Ironically, this evening’s meeting would have marked Mike’s eighth year on town council,” Kanakos said. “His contributions were many. I personally will remember Mike Coté as an extremely decent and good man who worked tirelessly for the people of Milton.”
Former Councilman Kevin Kelly said Coté was someone who was always available when something needed to be done.
“He was a fine councilman. He was a fine leader of the Cannery Village community. He was a good and honest man, most important. We’re going to miss him,” Kelly said.
Former Councilman Emory West said, “Mike and I worked on a couple of projects together. He was great to work with on anything that came before the council and was always fair to everyone. Such a loss.”
Councilwoman Randi Meredith, who served with Coté for his last year on council, said, “He was a jovial fellow and I’m happy we had the chance to work together. You could always tell when he was smiling, even with his mask on.”
Councilman Sam Garde said, “I was deeply saddened when I heard of Michael Coté passing. As a member of council, he always came extremely well-prepared and was ready to vote his conscience on anything.”
Garde recalled a night when the two were discussing Garde’s 53rd wedding anniversary. When Garde mentioned how lucky he felt, Coté told him, “I thought I hit the jackpot.”
“He was so proud of his marriage to Barbara and their unity. We will miss him,” Garde said.
Coté had a year left on his term before he would have been up for re-election in 2022. Kanakos said he had thought of candidates to fill the seat, but he wanted to wait a month before making a nomination. He said he was not looking for someone with a cause; he wanted someone who would handle nuts-and-bolts types of issues.
See the full obituary here: capegazette.com/article/michael-alfred-coté-gentle-giant/217891