Mr. Chirigotis, Ms. Barton Reelected To Leadership Posts
By: Laura M. Reckford
No tears, no ovations; just a couple quick votes.
The leadership of the Barnstable Town Council will stay in place for another year after an election last night that showed the enduring strength of a voting block that has outlasted the past year’s struggles and last month’s election, which brought five new members to the council.
Barnstable Town Clerk Linda P. Hutchenrider ran the proceedings, placing the nominees names on the floor for a vote and calling for speeches.
The names up for president were Mr. Chirigotis of Centerville, Thomas Rugo of Centerville, and John T. Norman of Marstons Mills.
But Mr. Norman immediately took himself out of the running.He thanked those who had nominated him and said he did not think he had the votes to stay in the race.
That left Mr. Chirigotis versus Mr. Rugo.
The two men, both attorneys and representing adjacent precincts, have often agreed on major issues before the council.
Mr. Chirigotis was trying for an unprecedented fourth term as president of the body.
Neither man made a speech before the vote.
Ms. Hutchenrider called for a roll call vote and it was 8 to 5, with Mr. Chirigotis prevailing.
Casting votes for Mr. Chirigotis were Ms. Barton, Janet Joakim of Centerville, Debra S. Dagwan of Hyannis, James H. Cote of Osterville, Jessica Rapp Grassetti of Cotuit, Jennifer L. Cullum of Hyannis, June M. Daley of Marstons Mills and Mr. Chirigotis himself.
Voting for Mr. Rugo were Mr. Norman, Ann B. Canedy of Cummaquid, Michael P. Hersey of Hyannis, James M. Tinsley Jr. of Hyannis and Mr. Rugo, himself.
Ms. Hutchenrider then listed the names in nomination for vice president: Ms. Barton, Ms. Canedy and Mr. Tinsley.
Ms. Canedy spoke on her own behalf, saying a vote for her would help heal the divisions on the council.
Being one of only two left on the council who voted to oust former Town Manager John C. Klimm , she cast herself as being in a minority position on the board.
She emphasized her leadership skills, her experience running meetings, her availability, her work ethic and her recent election victory.
She ended her speech by saying she did not believe she had the votes, but she was respectfully requesting consideration.
Ms. Cullum said she was sorry to hear that Ms. Canedy felt marginalized and said she respected Ms. Canedy’s contributions.
Ms. Dagwan and Ms. Joakim urged their fellow councilors to vote for Ms. Barton, giving as a reason that after withstanding last year’s difficulties on the council, which saw deep divisions over the matter of Mr. Klimm’s departure, Ms. Barton deserved another year.
Mr. Tinsley said he had not campaigned for the vice president seat, but he was interested in serving.
He touted himself as someone who has tried his best to “bridge the gap” on the council.
Ms. Barton said she wanted to serve to continue to support the president and work on making the council into “a high performance team.”
Ms. Hutchenrider called for the vote and it was 10 votes for Ms. Barton to 3 votes for Mr. Tinsley.
Voting for Mr. Tinsley were Mr. Hersey, Mr. Rugo and Mr. Tinsley himself.
Ms. Canedy voted for Ms. Barton.
After the meeting, Mr. Chirigotis said, “I think we’re all going to work together very well. It think it’s a great council.”
He said he planned to hold a number of workshops over the coming months for the council, including a team-building session.
In other news, the council voted 12 to 1 on a contract for Acting Town Manager Thomas K. Lynch.
A subcommittee met twice this week to work on the contract with Mr. Lynch.
Serving on the subcommittee were Ms. Barton, who chaired it; Ms. Dagwan, Mr. Hersey; Ms. Grassetti; and Mr. Tinsley.
Ms. Barton announced that the subcommittee recommended Mr. Lynch be offered a salary of approximately $144,000 effective December 16 and lasting as long as he serves as acting town manager.
Mr. Lynch had accepted the offer, though originally he had asked for the salary to be retroactive to the date he began as interim town manager, which was September 30.
Ms. Canedy was the only councilor to vote against the offer, saying it was nothing personal, but that she did not have a copy of Mr. Lynch’s current contract or a list of pay grades to refer to.
Ms. Canedy asked whether the executive sessions where the contract was discussed were recorded, as is the council’s new policy. Ms. Barton said they were.
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