By JOSH RESNEK
It is still a bit early in the coming election game to make predictions about who will run for empty council seats or whether or not empty council seats will exist.
However, speculation abounds about what might happen if Councilors Fred Capone and Gerly Adrien run for mayor.
In addition, the recent illness suffered by longtime Councilor at Large Wayne Matewsky, the present council chair, leaves some to wonder whether or not Matewsky will run again in the fall if he isn’t feeling up to it.
Capone is said ready to announce his candidacy.
Adrien is thinking seriously about doing the same. Matewsky remains in the hospital recovering following surgery after a heart attack in Florida.
If Capone and Adrien run for mayor, this leaves two council seats open for newcomers.
If Matewsky decides he needs more time to recover and does not run, his seat will also be up for grabs.
Three empty council seats in one election are something this city hasn’t experienced in many, many years.
Three new councilors elected is not as strange as three empty seats.
In the last citywide election, Stephanie Martins, Jimmy Tri Le, and Gerly Adrien were all elected for the first time to the council.
Their elections were made all the more significant because all three are minorities. Also, Martins and Adrien are women.
Add to this bit of political speculation that the mayor will carry through with his earlier disclosed plans to “pack” the school committee.
This is believed to possibly lead to as many as three to five new candidates picked by the mayor to run for the school committee. The mayor is apparently seeking to “pack” the school committee to remove Superintendent Priya Tahiliani from her position and to take control of the school committee through a superintendent of his choice.
Some political observers believe the mayor’s packing effort could be counterproductive.
“If he runs a slate of candidates against present members, you can bet present members will all go out and will urge their followers and families to vote against the mayor for re-election,” said a school committee member who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
To date, the only former candidate saying he is considering another run is Al Lattanzi, the popular hardware store owner and close friend of the mayor.
Lattanzi was roundly defeated by Councilor Mike Mclaughlin last time out.
The mayor remains the only announced candidate for re-election in the city at this moment in time.
He is opening his Main Street campaign headquarters Saturday.
A canvas of the city will follow with the mayor leading the way.