Town Council member James Letterie, fulfilling a promise he made at the last Council meeting, viewed the videotape of the June 21 Council meeting to affirm for one and all that the Council did in fact vote (by a 9-0 margin no less) to change the Precinct 4 polling place location from O’Connell Hall to the Senior Center.
So Town Clerk Carla Vitale, whose actions in carrying out the Council’s wishes have somehow been clouded in confusion by the change, will appear before the Council at its next meeting to basically say that she is doing what they requested her to do and that’s the plan she’ll implement for the Massachusetts Presidential Primary Election on March 6.
The seniors and Housing Authority Executive Director Peg Lyons gave convincing and articulate arguments why the polling location should remain at O’Connell Hall for Precinct 4 residents. It’s unfortunate that the issue didn’t come to a head until January because the Council held a public hearing on the issue in June and voted unanimously to implement the new polling locations starting in March, 2012. That’s seven full months without so much as a comment made about it.
Carla Vitale was asked to save some funds for the town and she has done so. The Council voted to change the polling locations and now there seems to be a motion left over from the last meeting to perhaps change the location back to O’Connell Hall even though seven remaining councilors (Council President Peter Gill and Councilor Craig Mael are the new members) voted in June for the relocation of the poll to the Winthrop Senior Center.
It will be interesting to see how the Council approaches the issue at the next meeting and whether they laud Carla Vitale for not only running a superb election in November, but for seamlessly implementing the change in polling locations as requested by the Council.