In its first order of business at the twenty first re-organizational meeting held on Wednesday, Dec. 5, the newly elected Bristol town council elected incumbent Republicans, Mary Parella and Halsey Herreshoff, to lead the Democrat dominated council as its chairwoman and vice chairman.
Ms. Parella’s nomination came from Timothy Sweeney, a first term councilman. That vote was supported 3-2 by Mr. Sweeney, Ms. Parella and Mr. Herreshoff.
Edward Stuart nominated party mate Nathan Calouro to the chairman’s seat, however they were the only two to support that nomination.
For vice chairman, Mr. Herreshoff’s nomination came from Mr. Stuart, and supported 4-1 by Mr. Stuart, Mr. Herreshoff, Ms. Parella and Mr. Calouro.
Mr. Sweeney nominated Mr. Stuart for the vice chairman seat, but he was the lone vote.
In a tradition that began after the 2010 election, newly elected town officials reaffirmed their oath of office on Wednesday evening.
After deputy town clerk, Jennifer Walsh administered the oath to town clerk, Louis Cirillo, Mr. Cirillo administered the same to Town Administrator Antonio Teixeira, then, as a group, to the council.
Once “official,” Mr. Cirillo handed the chairwoman’s gavel to Ms. Parella.
“Maybe at one point I’ll give it a whirl,” Ms. Parella said about the seldom used tool.
Mr. Herreshoff, who, as past chairman, may have been heavy-handed with the tool at times offered his colleague some friendly advice.
“Don’t break it,” he said.
As chairwoman, Ms. Parella said she is “open to new ideas” including streamlining the agenda for efficiency.
”We’ll keep tweaking it until we get it right,” she said of the process.
In other business, the town council made appointments as governed by charter to allow the town’s business to continue.
Michael Ursillo, town solicitor
Richard B. Abilheira, probate judge
Jane F. Howlett, municipal court chief judge
Paul Silva, municipal court associate judge
Richard Sousa, Sr., municipal court bailiff
One person, Archie Martins, submitted his interest for the position of town sergeant to replace Marshall J. Netto who is not seeking re-appointment. The council decided to postpone the appointment until they could interview Mr. Martins.
Likewise, town council members were asked to submit their top three choices of departments they wish to be liaisons to. Once the choices are collected, Ms. Parella and Mr. Cirillo will notify the council members of their assignment.