Council OKs mayor’s bid to join school committee

City councilors Wayne Matewsky and Jimmy Tri Le at January’s swearing in ceremony. (Photo by Joseph Prezioso

Resolution sent to Beacon Hill for approval, Matewsky’s effort to return to ward voting fails


A resolution asking the state House of Representatives and the Senate to consider a home rule petition allowing the mayor to serve as a voting member of the School Committee passed Monday night. The vote was 7-4.

Another vote taken on the issue of changing voting practices from at-large to ward district voting failed.

The mayor’s initiative to gain a vote on the School Committee will now be judged and voted on by the legislature.

If and when an affirmative vote approves the measure, the mayor will sit as a voting member.

The voting change measure met a different fate.

It failed to pass.

“Exclusive district representation, that’s what I’m in favor of,” Councilor-at-Large Wayne Matewsky told his colleagues Monday night.

“I’m just trying to correct something. This has to be fixed. We’re the only city in the state that elects district representation citywide,”

A great deal of debate concerning the voting charter change as requested by Matewsky drew mixed reactions from his colleagues. Councilor Fred Capone answered that he believed the voters of the city should decide this issue.

“I don’t believe 11 people should make this decision for the city at large,” he said.

“A charter change of this magnitude belongs to the people. This should be put into committee and decide how we put a charter com- mission into place and then ultimately let us allow the voters to choose how their city is going to function,” he said.

Councilor Stephanie Martins said she liked the city-wide voting but wanted to separate the issue of the mayor being added to the school committee as a voting member from Matewsky’s motion.

She asked for those two to be decided individually and that the mayor’s request be put off until December.

Councilor Michael McLaughlin said, “We need to do what is right. Vote to fix what is wrong. Leave the rest to the future, he said.

“I’m OK with letting people vote by their ward,” Councilor Jimmy Tri Le told his colleagues.

Councilor Gerly Adrien said we must be sure we’re not doing anything against the city’s rules.

“It is crucially important that we have more representation which is crucially important. We should do what best represents the people. Hold the mayor accountable separately. Don’t waste any more time,” she said.

She also said that the mayor had held two ZOOM meetings about becoming a voting member of the school committee and that in both instances the respondents had been lopsided in favor of it, which she obviously questioned for all the right reasons.

Capone piped in again, “We need to split the ques- tion. Let’s move on the main motion.”

The roll call vote on dividing the question about the mayor as called for by Councilor Martin passed, 6-5.

Matewsky asked for a vote on favorable action for the change in voting.

That failed.

Then came another vote for favorable action for the mayor to be a voting member of the school committee which passed.

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