GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

May 16, 2013

Rockport selectmen delay choosing chairman

By James Niedzinski
Staff Writer

---- — ROCKPORT — Town Clerk Patricia Brown formally swore newly elected and re-elected town leaders into office Tuesday night.

But the new Board of Selectmen, including Eliza Lucas, who won last week’s election for the lone contested seat and took the oath of office for the first time Tuesday night, has not yet chosen its new chairman.

As of now, Erin Battistelli still chairs the Board of Selectmen, Brown said Wednesday, explaining that, once an official is elected to an office, they serve until a successor is chosen.

The board was scheduled to vote on a new chairman at Tuesday night’s organizational meeting, but selectmen Paul Murphy, the vice chair, and Wilhelmina Sheedy-Moores were not present for voting.

The elected offices are staggered, and the current candidates for chairing the board are expected to be Murphy and Battistelli, whose will be in the final year of their terms.

But town regulations indicate that a chairman must be elected with a majority vote, no matter the number of members are present. With only three members present when the board was set to vote last night, all three would have had to agree on one candidate.

Town officials say selectmen will vote on the new chairman at their next meeting, scheduled for Tuesday, May 28.

James Niedzinski can be reached at 978-283-7000, x 3455 or at jniedzinski@gloucestertimes.com.