Some Heat But Mostly Agreement

School Committee Chairman Tom Abruzzese smiles after being sworn in.

By Josh Resnek

The School Committee’s organizational meeting for 2019 had some fire and some ice but when all was said and done, everything was about fair weather and a clear road ahead.

The meeting’s highlight was the election of longtime School Committeeman Tom Abruzzese by a 9-0 vote.

However, his nomination by School Committeeman Lester McLaughlin, was challenged, but briefly, by outgoing SC President Bernie D’Onofrio.

D’Onofrio suggested that the rules the SC operates under be suspended and or amended to allow him to be nominated for and to serve another term, which, is not allowed under the city charter.

This caused School Committeeman Frank Parker to stand and to be heard and then to give a short lecture reading from the city charter and Roberts Rules of Order.

“This rule does not provide for its own suspension,” Parker told his colleagues. He referred to the rules of succession, that no school committee person can serve more than two consecutive 1 year terms.

Mr. Abruzzese also spoke briefly on the matter.

He said suspending the rule so D’Onofrio could serve another term was an unprecedented move.

“I have no idea why we’re contemplating it. There’s a conflict here. He also made it clear he held nothing personal against D’Onofrio, who he considers a friend.

At that point D’Onofrio tossed up his hands and said, “Alright. I’m voting for Abruzzese.”

Nominations were closed.

The vote was tallied – 9-0 for Abruzzese – and the tempest in a teapot was over.



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