Bartomioli named to North Smithfield council

Bartomioli named to North Smithfield council

NORTH SMITHFIELD – After no one supported an effort by one Town Council member to enforce the will of 2016 voters, the council unanimously voted on Monday to appoint Teresa Bartomioli to the Town Council seat formerly held by Daniel Halloran.

Bartomioli is a current member of the town’s Charter Review Commission and the president and co-owner of North Smithfield Fence. She has an associate’s degree in interior design from Endicott College, and was the chairwoman of the town’s Juvenile Hearing Board from 1997 to 2002.

A Taylor Drive resident, Bartomioli has worked for the North Smithfield, Smithfield and Woonsocket School departments as a teacher assistant and clerical substitute. She served on the North Smithfield Budget Committee in 2012 and 2013 and is a current member of the group that recently proposed potential amendments to the Town Charter for inclusion of town residents’ 2018 election ballot.

She ran for the Town Council in 2012, coming in eighth out of nine candidates for the board with 2,213 votes.

Council members named Bartomioli to the seat Monday night after a motion by Councilor Paul Zwolenski to appoint Lucien Benoit, the sixth highest vote getter in the 2016 election, died for lack of a second. The charter dictates that a special election be held to fill vacancies of more than a year, but Halloran’s resignation became efffective on Dec. 1, triggering the alternative process of council appointment.

“It is my thought process that we nominate the next highest vote getter,” said Zwolenski. “I think if someone ran for political office in this particular election cycle, I think they should get it.”

Benoit came in sixth for the five-member board in 2016 with 2,168 votes, 83 votes shy of resigning Councilor Halloran, who came in fifth.

“History will tell you that I have very seldomly agreed with that individual,” Zwolenski said of Benoit, noting that, “the residents have voted.”

Zwolenski said the election’s seventh-place finisher, Michael Clifford, would be his second choice.

But other councilors remained silent on the issue,choosing instead to go with Bartomioli, who was nominated by Councilor Thomas McGee.

She was immediately sworn in and joined the board for the remainder of the meeting.

Halloran, a 76-year-old former law enforcement official elected last November, cited health issues in the resignation. He had previously served on the council from 1993 to 2001, holding the title of president for four years.

On Monday, his fellow board members thanked him for his service.

“It was an honor to serve with Dan,” said President John Beauregard, noting that after the election last year the pair engaged in extensive discussion about who should lead the board. “For awhile there it looked like he was going to be president.”

He said that he became friends with Halloran during their year of mutual service.

“He was whispering in my ear a lot, giving me advice,” Beauregard said.

Councilor Claire O’Hara said she has known Halloran and his family for many years, teaching his kids in grade school.

“He was there for his family, he was there for his town, and if anyone in town needed him he was there for them too,” O’Hara said.

McGee jokingly called Halloran “the best looking guy on the council,” saying he was hard to replace.

“I’ve always agreed with him,” said McGee, smirking. “I think he’s a great guy. I’m going to miss half of his jokes.”

He added, “I’m not going to miss him because I’m going to keep calling him until he gets better.”

Bartomioli will now fill the remaining months of Halloran’s term until an election is held next year.

Comments

the town council got this one right.

Lucien Benoit would have been good too.

Will of the people not honored again. Continued deconstruction of the democratic process. Why have elections at all if they are not honored? Just because these Councilors do not like Mr.Benoit,his voter results obviously showed that residents wanted him to represent them. It's called America.

The will of NS voters was enforced November 2016, when voters elected five Town Council members. Mr. Benoit was not elected, and therefore has no entitlement to "getting it", and neither does anyone else who ran. And determining that a Council member's "thought process" is enabling the enforcement of "the will of 2016 voters" is really quite a stretch.

Especially when you consider the NS Charter, which clearly states (Article IV, Sec. 3. Vacancies.) "Any vacancy in the membership of the town council may in the discretion of said council be filled for the unexpired term, except that if a vacancy in the council shall occur more than one year prior to the time for the holding of an election, the council shall, within 30 days after the vacancy occurs call a special election for the purpose of filling such vacancy."

No reference in the Charter to any succession requirement, will of the people or entitlement. The NS Town Council followed the rules of our Charter, a basic tenet of the democratic process. I suggest we applaud the appointment and work with the TC toward a better North Smithfield.

Tony Guertin
Member - North Smithfield Charter Review Commission

Dear NS Taxpayers,

Please stop questioning our authority. We won't need you again until the next election. You may go back to sleep now.

There is nothing to see here. Move along.

YesforNS