City Council turnover was big

Nov 7, 2019 by

Published November 8, 2019

MELROSE — As the dust settled after Tuesday’s game-changing city election, a few things are becoming clearer.

Three incumbents will join a majority of newcomers on the City Council; Ward 7 Councilor winner Cory Thomas can expect a challenge to his four-vote victory, and longtime School Committee member Margaret ER Driscoll topped the entire ticket of hopefuls during 2019’s municipal balloting.

Driscoll, who was running unopposed for reelection along with colleagues Lizbeth C. DeSelm and Edward J. O’Connell, received 6,220 votes throughout the city. Paul Brodeur, who was elected mayor, received 6,074.

Incumbent Kate Lipper-Garabedian got the most votes in the five-way Councilor-at-Large race for four seats, and will be joined by Jack Eccles, Leila Migliorelli and Chris Cinella, all first-time councilors. Maya Jamaleddine also ran.

AT-LARGE CITY COUNCILOR Kate Lipper-Garabedian (left) and volunteer Manet Mau greet voters in downtown Melrose Saturday morning. (Jim Shaer Photo)

Lipper-Garabedian said, “I’m incredibly excited that Melrose voters re-elected me to the City Council so that we can build on our efforts to date. It’s humbling to be the lead vote-getter among a group of talented, passionate advocates for our city. I look forward to working with them and with our Mayor-Elect Paul Brodeur.”

Jack Eccles, who received an impressive 5,696 votes across the city, said, “I am so grateful for everyone who helped me in this campaign and could not have done it alone. I am aware of the trust the voters have placed in me and am looking forward to representing Melrose as a City Councilor-at-Large.”

Leila Migliorelli commented, “Thank you to everyone for trusting me to represent the city we love. I promise to be a thoughtful, transparent leader who will always listen to my constituents’ needs, and act in the best interest of our city. I’m humbled by everyone’s support, and will be a voice for everyone in this city that we love. I can’t wait to get to work.”

Chris Cinella said, “I’d like to thank my family and friends and all my supporters. I’d also like to thank the outgoing City Councilors and administration for their years of service. I’m pleased with the outcome of the election and appreciate the support. I’m looking forward to serving the city and working with the new administration.”

In the Ward 7 battle between Cory Thomas and Ryan Williams to succeed outgoing Councilor Scott Forbes, Thomas received 697 votes in the two precincts to Williams 693.

WINNERS ALL AROUND (from left) Ward 1 Alderman John Tramontozzi is joined by newcomers to the City Council, Mark Garipay, Ward 4 and Robb Stewart Ward 3. (Jim Shaer Photo)

Williams said, “With a four-vote difference on 1,392 ballots cast, we owe it to everyone to conduct a formal recount so we can be confident in the results. Whatever the outcome of that process, I’m humbled and amazed that almost 700 people came out to the polls for me and I thank them all from the bottom of my heart for their time, their trust, and their courage.”

Thomas wrote, “I am incredibly proud and honored to be elected Ward 7 city councilor. It was a tight vote and I am looking forward to the city certifying the votes so I can serve the great city of Melrose and the citizens of Ward 7.”

Ward 1’s John N. Tramontozzi won reelection after being challenged by Alanna Nelson. The contest’s victor did not reply to a request for a comment on the results.

Nelson said, “What an election season it’s been! A vibrant energy, fueled with possibility and hope for the future buoyed us from our usual routines to actively support candidates in the November 2019 election. I, for one, hope that this enthusiasm powers Melrose into the future.

“No matter how you voted, I urge you not to retreat into your usual routine. To move ahead, Melrose needs informed citizens who participate in local government. What would you want to see in our future? It’s easy to let the daily details distract and divide us from that vision. Let’s look forward, gather our viewpoints and make it happen.

“Thank you to everyone who answered my knock on your door. I’m grateful for the 43 percent of Ward 1 who put their confidence in me. We’ve got lots to do, so let’s go!”

Mark Garipay won an impressive, lopsided victory over longtime Ward 4 Councilor Robert Boisselle.

In his post election comment to the Weekly News, Garipay wrote, “I would like to thank my family, friends and neighbors of Ward 4 who supported and helped me over the last five months of this campaign. I look forward to working with the new administration and colleagues on the city council to continue to move Melrose forward.

“I would like to thank Bob Boisselle for his many years of service to our city. He has been an integral part, over the last 17 years, in making Melrose what it is today.”

The out-going Boisselle said, “I would like to congratulate the newly elected Councillor for Ward 4 and I would like to thank the voters of Ward 4 who voted for me in this past election. I would like to invite the voters of Melrose to continue to participate in their local government by attending a Council meeting and contacting their Council members with questions, opinions or concerns. I look forward to working with the new Council in the future to move our community forward.”

 In Ward 3, Robert E. Stewart beat James T. Bennett for the right to succeed Frank Write on the City Council.

Steward said, “I am honored to be elected to the Ward 3 City Councilor position and look forward to serving the community over the next two years. I want to thank the Ward 3 voters for coming out to support me and provide encouragement to represent their interests. I also want to thank Jim Bennett for running a positive campaign and prompting an honest and open discussion of the matters important to the city. Congratulations to Paul and Monica for both running a tremendous campaign as well to all the candidates that worked so hard over the past six months to give the city great options for their representation. I look forward to working with the newly elected mayor, City Council and School Committee.

“I am grateful for all the volunteers that have supported me during this election, and appreciate the hard work and effort by many that stood with me to make this a worthy campaign. Finally, I want to thank my wife and daughter for supporting me throughout the process. I am proud to be your next Ward 3 City Councilor.”

Bennett offered, “While I am disappointed by the loss, I am proud of all of the votes that I earned and of all of the people who volunteered on my campaign. I lost this race to Robb Stewart, a person of great diligence and personal integrity, and I look forward to supporting him as he takes his seat on City Council.”

Jennifer Grigoraitis won handily in the Ward 6 race to succeed Peter Mortimer on the City Council, besting Robert E. Aufiero by about 640 votes.

She thanked Ward 6 voters and “my opponent for running a positive campaign. It is an honor and a privilege to have the opportunity to serve the residents and small businesses of Ward 6 as your City Councilor. Thank you to my husband, Bill, our children, my parents, and the many friends and neighbors who volunteered on this campaign. Public service is a great privilege and a great responsibility. I look forward to working together for Ward 6 and for Melrose.”

Aufiero said, “I ran a small, but vibrant campaign with dedicated volunteers. And I intend to remain involved as my time permits. I hope that we can continue to attract businesses and create new opportunities for our people. And at the same time, keeping our community affordable for our seniors.”

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