School Committee up for grabs

Crowded field already at 18

By JOSH RESNEK

As of Tuesday, 18 men and women have taken out nomination papers for School Committee seats.

With the mayor’s effort not just to get himself re-elected, but to control the School Committee by packing it with his own slate in full swing, there is a great potential for a substantial change of representation on the board.

The School Committee Ward 6 race epitomizes the moves being made to replace an influential incumbent.

Attorney Thomas Abruzzese, the former chair of the School Committee who was instrumental in hiring Superintendent Priya Tahiliani, is being set for extinction by the mayor, sources claim.

Unbelievably enough, the mayor is said to have enlisted Councilor Mike Mc- Laughlin to run in Ward 6 in the effort to unseat Abruzzese.

Abruzzese has been beset by serious difficulties regarding two sons who both work for the school department, and who have both been involved in legal entanglements inside and outside of school.

Right now, Abruzzese is facing former School Committeeman Berardino D’Onofrio and Catherine Tomassi Hicks. Hicks has also taken out papers for a city council run and will shortly be making a decision about which seat to ultimately seek.

D’Onofrio just left his seat with months to go – a problem for many voters in Ward 6.

Hicks is a tenacious campaigner who might very well score a good vote in Ward 6.

However, it is McLaughlin who is considered the bonus ball for the mayor.

McLaughlin’s perceived recent rapprochement with the mayor has led a good number of political know- it-alls to suspect that McLaughlin will run for this seat when push comes to shove.

McLaughlin has had nothing to say about the matter publicly.

As for Abruzzese, he looks ripe for the picking. There is one member facing a free ride in the primary.

Ward 5’s Marcony Almeida Barros does not presently have an opponent while all of his colleagues cannot say the same.

Credit this to Barros’ personal integrity and dignity. He knows how to play the game – and he cares.

We are not sure what to make of School Committeewoman Dana Murray now facing City Council secretary Mike Mangan.

We also understand Murray’s husband is said to be considering a run for council in Ward 4 against Jimmy Tri Le.

Murray is the favorite. She speaks her own lingua franca. She keeps parents informed.

Chair Frank Parker will face Robert Santacroce in Ward 3.

Parker makes a good impression as the chair. He is fair. He conducts the meetings with respect. He is not one of the mayor’s votes.

Santacroce is running for the second time. He ran a vigorous campaign last time out.

Look for him to the same this time around.

Ward 2 could feature a threesome running for that space.

Jason Marcus needs no introduction. He is well known and well-liked. He is also running for the city council. He will decide shortly on which space he wishes to occupy.

Joe LaMonica should score a solid vote. He is well known and popular.

Caitlin Steinberg is a question mark, but a strong voice supported by observers who closely monitor the School Department.

Ward 1 offers Joanne Parris, Millie Cardello, and Margaret Cornelio.

Cardello cannot be beaten.

Cornelio is well known. Her association with the mayor could help or hurt.

School Committee At Large features Millie Cardello – who topped the ticket the last time out, Margaret Cornelio a new- comer Cynthia Sarne, a strong supporter of the mayor with solid back- ing, and Samantha Lambert, a second termer who does an able job communicating with parents and teachers.

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