By Joseph Domelowicz Jr. and Seth Daniel
Election Day arrives next Tuesday, Nov. 7, and Everett voters will finally get to decide who shall represent them on the City Council and School Committee for the next two years, though a dearth of candidates for Ward Council seats means there will only be two races to pay attention to and few newcomers in the mix.
The races to watch, and where all the action is occurring, is in the Council At-Large category, with 10 candidates for five seats and in Ward 2, where incumbent Stephen Simonelli faces a challenge from newcomer Stephanie Martins.
In the At-Large race, there are several highly-qualified candidates vying for the seats and the competition has been stiff since the Preliminary last month and leading up to voting day.
The 10 candidates vying for election this season, in order of their preliminary election finish in September are Wayne Matewsky, Michael Marchese, John Hanlon, Richard Dell Isola, Peter Napolitano, Stephanie Smith, Catherine Tomassi Hicks, Cynthia Sarnie, Joseph Lamonica and Leo Barrett.
In the at-large race, there is a recent surge of support to keep the current Council in place. One of the narratives throughout the last year has been how well the Council, City Departments, Mayor’s Office, Police, Fire and Schools are working together in harmony.
That was emphasized in campaign literature put out last week featuring four of the five incumbent at-large councilors – literature that the candidates did not produce but did welcome.
Councilor Sarnie said there is a sense that the current Council is headed in the right direction and has very good momentum.
“We have a good team and everyone is working well right now,” said Sarnie. “We want to see the Council stay together and continue the growth in the City. We have the casino opening up soon and we have all been working on that. We need to make sure we work to get the people of Everett jobs the casino, and not just any job, but the right jobs there…This Council we have has really been moving things forward and working together.”
On the School Committee side, all current incumbents are running unopposed for re-election.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the Election on Tuesday will be the watch to see if newcomer Marcony Almeida can secure 20-percent or more of the vote as a write-in candidate.
With the recent passing of long time School Committeeman Robert Carreiro, Almeida is seeking election to succeed Carreiro on the school board.
The City Council and School Committee are scheduled to meet on November 13 to vote to appoint a temporary School Committee member to fill the vacancy left by Carreiro’s death until January 1, 2018. There is widespread believe that the two bodies will vote to appoint Almeida at that time.
However, if Almeida can secure 20-percent of the vote total next Tuesday, he will be eligible to fill the remainder of Carreiro’s entire term.
Polls will open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. on November 7. For information about your polling place or to ask about a absentee ballot contact the Elections Commission at Everett City Hall.