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North Suburban News

Deadlocked Woburn City Council Will Try Again to Fill Empty Alderman Seat

Feb 19, 2019 07:30AM ● By Lisa Redmond

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WOBURN – The City Council will try again on Tuesday to fill formerAlderman at-large Richard Haggerty’s seat after the council was deadlocked between retired Woburn Police Chief Robert Ferullo Jr. and former City Council President Bryan Melanson after 41 rounds of voting two weeks ago.

At its Feb. 5 meeting, the Council was evenly divided between Ferullo and Melanson, who were culled from 13 initial applicants for Haggerty’s seat. Haggerty’s unexpired term became available after he resigned in January to begin his new job as state representative of the 30th Middlesex District. Haggerty also left vacant the City Council president’s post which was filled by Ward Four Alderman Michael D. Anderson.

During the voting two weeks ago, the lines were drawn with Ward 1 Alderman Joanne Campbell, Ward 2 Alderman Richard Gately, Ward 3 Alderman Mark Gaffney and Ward 7 Alderman Lindsay Higgins voting for Melanson. Voting for Ferullo was Alderman at-large Michael Concannon, Ward 5 Alderman Darlene Mercer-Bruen, Ward 6 Alderman Edward Tedesco and Anderson.

While there is no deadline to fill the seat, the longer this stalemate continues it could impact city issues such as issuing special permits. Any city business discussed between now and when a replacement is chosen will require the new person to abstain from voting since he won’t have been involved in the public discussions.

If a sensitive issue is scheduled to be heard by the Council, rather than face the possibility of a 4-4 vote, the proponent may delay until all nine aldermen can participate.

The City Council meeting is open to the public and scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. on Feb. 19 in the Council Chamber, Woburn City Hall, 10 Common St., Woburn.

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