A Tough Choice – But Letterie did the right thing

Life is all about decisions and Town Councillor James Letterie had a tough one this week: Whether to remain on the Council or submit an application to become a member of the Winthrop School Committee. There are currently two vacancies on the School Committee because of the sudden resignations of Gus Martucci and Pat Milano and Letterie had been giving a lot of thought to applying for a seat on the Committee.

But after giving it serious consideration, Jim has opted to stay on the Council and continue to serve his four-year term through 2011.

Letterie’s wife is a teacher in the Winthrop school system, which prompted the councillor to seek an opinion from the State Ethics Committee whether his service on the School Committee would have constituted a conflict of interest. The Commission told Letterie that he could in fact serve on the School Committee if he so wishes and it would not be a conflict of interest. But Jim felt it was in the best interests of the town to continue to serve on the Council.

We agree with his decision. He has been a very productive councillor who has represented well the residents of his district. His recent opinion that the tennis courts at Ingleside Park should not be placed under lock and key displays his understanding of the nature of the town and its people. We have come to know Jim Letterie as a strong voice for the people of Winthrop and it’s refreshing to know that he will continue to make his voice heard at Council meetings.

The Council and the School Committee will be meeting on July 6 and July 20 for a joint vote to appoint one new School Committee member at each of the two meetings. It’s yet another important choice for our elected officials.

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