By Joseph Domelowicz Jr.
Longtime Everett public servant Millie Cardello has returned to public service and the Everett School Committee following Monday night’s super-intense vote of the Joint Convention of the Everett City Council and Everett School Committee.
Cardello won by a vote of 10-9 of Amanda (Burley) Patterson, with the outcome of the vote coming down to the wire as candidates and their surrogates lobbied hard for votes through last weekend.
There were actually two School Committee appointments to be made on Monday, with the Cardello/Patterson vote being the more controversial of the two.
City Clerk Sergio Cornelio began the proceedings for Cardello and Patterson by opening nominations to fill the vacancy created by the December death of School Committee member Richard Baniewicz.
As reported in the Independent last week, in the weeks since Baniewicz’s death, two viable candidates to fill the vacancy emerged in former School Committee, Common Councilor and Alderman Cardello and former EHS student-athlete Patterson, who is also the daughter of City Council Clerk John Burley.
Patterson was nominated by City Councilor Michael McLaughlin, who gradated EHS with Patterson, and Councilor Anthony DiPierro seconded the motion.
School Committeeman Thomas Abruzzese nominated Cardello, with the nomination seconded by Councilor Stephen Simonelli.
The roll call vote resulted in a 10-9 vote for Cardello, with Councilors Richard Dell Isola, Rosa DiFlorio, Leo McKinnon, and Simonelli voting with School Committee members Abruzzese, Marcony Almeida, Bernardino D’Onofrio, Joseph LaMonica, Lester MacLaughlin and Frank Parker voting for Cardello.
Councilors Fred Capone, DiPierro, John Hanlon, Michael Marchese, Wayne Matewsky, McLaughlin and Peter Napolitano voted with School Committee members David Ela and Alan Panarese for Patterson.
Following her election and swearing in, a gracious and grateful Cardello thanked Patterson, calling her “a very valid opponent,” and promised to work with all of her new colleagues and the City Council in the best interests of the schools and the City of Everett.
The Joint Convention actually also voted to appoint Ward 5 School Committee member Marcony Almeida, who was voted in once before last fall to the Board. Almeida to be re-elected since his first election by the Joint Convention was only for the remainder of his predecessor’s unexpired term and ended on December 31, 2017.
On Monday night, as directed by Charter, the two bodies took up the election of Almeida first. Since Almeida had already won the support of the two boards in with his first special election in November, and there were no other candidates who had expressed interest in the post, the two boards quickly voted, unanimously, to re-elect Almeida on a motion by School Committeeman Frank Parker and a second by fellow School Committeeman Abruzzese.
As with his earlier election, Almeida’s appointment to the School Committee fills the vacancy that was created by the untimely death of Robert Carreiro in October. Since Carreiro was the only candidate on the November ballot and Almeida’s 11th hour sticker campaign did not win him 20-percent of the votes cast in November, he had to be appointed by the Joint Convention to fill the seat for the new term, which began on January 1, 2018.