By Sue Ellen Woodcock
People were certainly surprised last week when Robert Driscoll Jr. resigned his position as Town Council President, but the town’s charter proved itself worthy of handling such a change in leadership.
The Town Charter, adopted in 2005 specifies that the Council President is elected to that specific position for a term of two years. The vice president of the council is elected by fellow council members. According to the charter, which has been in existence for the past 11 years, when the Council President resigns the council vice president automatically becomes president. The council then elects a new vice president.
Precinct 5 Councillor Russ Sanford, automatically became the council president. Sanford was sworn into office last week by Town Clerk Carla Vitale. At-Large Councilor Phil Boncore was elected at the Council meeting as Vice President and was also sworn into office last week. The vacant Precinct 5 seat will be filled at the next election and already one candidate, Peter Christopher has taken out nomination papers for Precinct 5.
According to the town charter “The powers of an acting council president shall be limited to only those powers of the office indispensably essential to the performance of the duties of the office during the period of such temporary absence or disability and no others and shall include acting as a member of the school committee only when the absence or disability continues for more than thirty days.”