Austin: Reasons behind no second motion?

Austin: Reasons behind no second motion?

I was an unaffiliated Scituate voter for 30-plus years to allow me to vote for any candidate in any election on local, state or national level. In 2020 I ran for a 2021 Town Council seat and decided my political leanings were more Democratic than Republican for a Scituate election. I received 1,902 votes but not enough to win a seat. Votes cast for me suggests I received many votes by Democrats, some unaffiliated and maybe even a few Republicans.

The 2021 Town Council held its first meeting on Jan. 14. I attended this meeting via Zoom. Mike Marcello, a longtime friend and my political mentor, won a seat on this council as sole Democrat. I told him if a Budget Committee opening existed to nominate me as my work experience with FleetBoston included creating, reconciling and living within an annual budget of $29,000,000. My Fleet budget in 2001 was slightly less than the Scituate budget is in 2020.

The time came for nominations to this committee and Mike made a motion for me to be considered. After a short silence the committee moved on and no seconded motion. Without a second there could not be any discussion. None. I was flabbergasted that a person nominated for a non-voting volunteer position and there was no second motion so the council could learn of my qualifications. But equally frustrating was it seemed the Republicans must have agreed prior to this meeting to shoot down any motions made by Mike.

I sent an email to council members on Feb. 3, which included these statements:

“I believe the lack of seconded motion was simply that I ran for a Town Council seat in 2020 as a Democrat candidate. It is a sad day in our town, one that I have called home for +32 years, when a Town Council will not even consider an individual interested in sharing his career experience and time necessary to assist the Town Council is a non-elected and non-policy making position. ... It is ironic that in the mid-’90s two prominent town Republicans asked me several times to consider candidacy for Town Council as a Republican. At that time, I had a strong Republican leaning although I was registered as an independent ... (but) reasoning was as member of the Fire Department would lead to potential need for me to recuse myself on Town Council issues. So, what is the reason none of you, other than Mike, would even entertain discussion on my appointment?”

I have not received a response from any of the members of the council except Mike. I wonder how many other Scituate citizens will be rejected out of hand simply for similar non-elected and non-policy making positions?

William K. Austin

Scituate