Can Tahiliani be saved?
By Josh Resnek
What really matters to both sides in the battle to save Superintendent of Schools Priya Tahiliani or to get rid of her – a process already underway – gives gravitas to all the school committee races.
What happens with all the school committee races abounds with possibilities.
On the other hand, there is the likelihood that nothing much is going to change.
If enough votes can be turned around, the effort to send Tahiliani packing could possibly be reversed.
For Tahiliani proponents this means the new school committee to be convened in January when all is said and done would need to have a 6-4 vote in favor of Tahiliani to outnumber the present line-up.
The present lineup is strong with the mayor, Millie Cardello, Jason Marcus, Joe LaMonica, Mike McLaughlin and Cynthia Sarnie all aligned against Tahiliani.
McLaughlin has already announced he is not running.
So his seat is up for grabs.
However, Cardello is facing a strong effort by opponent candidate Margaret Cornelio.
If Cornelio were to beat Cardello, it is likely Cornelio would support Tahiliani. Cardello has a strong following.
Marcus is another anti-Tahiliani force. If he were beaten by his oppo- nent candidate Joanna Garren, it is likely Garren will support Tahilani. Marcus has shown an ability to lose and then to come back over many years in politics here. La Monica appears rock solid in the at-large position.
Sarnie is another anti-Tahiliani vote. She is an at-large incumbent with a solid following.
With School Committee Chairman Mike Mangan not running, there are three candidates seeking to replace him.
We have received no public statements from any of them about where they stand with Tahiliani.
The possible return of former school committeeman attorney Thomas Abruzzesse in Ward 6 would be another vote for Tahiliani.
However, Abruzzesse is facing Dan Skerrit, a popular and well known candidate who has run several times before, and Pattiann Scalesse and Joseph D’Onofrio who are both well known names in the ward.
It is very likely at large incumbent Samantha Lambert will be returned.
She is a Tahiliani supporter.
Some who follow the school committee regard Tahiliani’s possibilities of turning around the present votes stacked up against her as a “Hail Mary” type of situation.
In politics, anything can happen and it often does.
Everett at election time is generally not a fertile place for big surprises.
That being said, there is the chance for a change of faces on the school committee to impact the effort to replace Tahiliani.