The Town Council and Town Manager made important appointments this week that we feel will prove extremely beneficial to the town in the days ahead.
The council voted to appoint Attorney Mark Rotondo to the Winthrop School Committee to fill one of the two vacancies recently created when two committee members stepped down, with Rotondo taking over the seat of Gus Martucci.
We believe that this is an outstanding appointment by the council. Mark not only is the father of two children in the Winthrop school system, but he also brings a background in education to the committee in his capacity as an Assistant Dean of Arts and Sciences at Suffolk University. He obviously is eminently qualified to sit on the School Committee and we laud the council for its selection.
Town Manager James McKenna also announced the appointment of Peter Lombardi to the new position of part time grants administrator for the town. We would note that the post is not really a new one, inasmuch as Winthrop had a grants administrator for decades under the aegis of the former Officer of Community Development.
However, because of budget constraints and the new town government format, the position fell by the wayside. In addition, voters specifically rejected the creation of such a post at the Prop. 2 1/2 override referendum a couple of years ago.
However, the reestablishment of the position by Town Manager McKenna is a smart move. The voters’ rejection of a grant administrator was, quite frankly, a classic case of a penny wise and pound foolish decision Winthrop’s previous grant writers brought in millions of dollars of state and federal funds for local projects over the years, but the town has been left out in the cold in recent years for the many state and federal grants available to communities like Winthrop because we have not had a grant administrator.
Peter Lombardi is a graduate of St. John’s Prep and Vermont. We have no doubt he will prove his worth to the town many times over.