One of the longest-serving members of the Town Council, James Letterie, has taken the first step to become a candidate for Council President in the November election.
Representing Precinct 2, Councilor Letterie has served on the Council and its Finance Committee since its founding in 2005. In the past 16 years, the Council elected him Vice President a handful of times.
The Council Vice President has historically been a ceremonial position, filling in for the Council President in his absence. But Councilor Letterie said the role has taken on more significance in recent years, and that his experience as Vice President has prepared him to lead the body.
â€œWinthrop is at a crossroads both financially and structurally,â€ he told the Transcript in an email. â€œWe need to act, not react.â€
Whoever is elected Council President also becomes an automatic member of the School Committee. Councilor Letterie is passionate about the school department and welcomes the chance to â€œraise the bar on education.â€
Councilor Letterie will be challenging the current Council President, Phil Boncore, who has also pulled papers. As of our deadline, no other councilors had expressed a desire to run for Council President.
â€œWe are lucky to have two highly qualified candidates running,â€ said Councilor Rob DeMarco. â€œI enjoy working with both Jim and Phil.â€
â€œWe work with all councilors regardless of their position and remain committed to moving the Town forward,â€ said Interim Town Manager Terence Delehanty. â€œWe wish everyone the very best.â€
In order to appear on the November ballot, candidates for Council President have to collect 150 signatures from constituents by Sept. 10. All signatures must be from registered voters and are meticulously verified by the Town Clerkâ€™s office.
Councilor Letterie has not yet made an official declaration of his intent to run, but plans to do so on social media, where he will outline his campaign platform and priorities for the town.
Council Pres. Phil Boncore did not respond to our requests for comment.