Recount Date to Come

Thursday, November 16, 2017
By Transcript Staff

By Sue Ellen Woodcock

Council President candidate Jeff Turco has filed papers with the Town Clerk Carla Vitale to call for a recount in the council president race between him, Ron Vecchia and Rich Boyajian. But the date for the recount has not been chosen yet.

The results of the election held last week showed Vecchia finishing with 1,991 votes, Turco garnering 1,980 votes and Boyajian with 584 votes.

Vitale said the Board of Registrars has not yet set a date for the recount. Vitale said she believes they are hoping for a day in the last week of November.

Turco, with lawyers Martin O’Brien, Dennis Newman, and Vecchia, with his lawyer James Kelly, watched Monday morning the town clerk and the Election Clerk Joanne DeMato, assistant town clerk, opened the eight provisional ballots with the Board of Registrars in the meeting room of Town Hall. The town’s attorney Lauren Goldberg, of Kopelman & Paige guided everyone through the process. She acted in the same manner during the mayoral recount in Revere a year and a half ago.

All ballots have been kept under lock and seal in the police chief’s office across the street.

The candidates and their lawyers, along with the attorney for the town carefully watched everything that was done. The sealed containers in the office were each open and resealed after a bright-orange bag with provisional ballots in it was obtained.

The group walked back to town hall to the Harvey Meeting Room and began the process of opening the provisional ballots. The only name read aloud was the name of the person who cast the vote  on the provisional ballot.

Provisional ballots are for people who did not have a verifiable Winthrop address when they checked in to their local polling place. They must show identification. Their votes are individually sealed and put to the side to be verified by the town clerk and counted later by the Board of Registrars.

“If you only have a couple of them then they should’t be counted today,” Goldberg advised.

She noted that there are several reasons why the voter doesn’t appear on the list. They may have registered years ago, been removed from the list, or had an issue with the Registry of Motor Vehicles.

With eight provisional votes there is still a narrow gap between Turco and Vecchia, enough to call for a recount. The provisional ballots once verified will be counted during the recount.

Goldberg described what the recount will look like. She said it should be held in a large room with all the ballot boxes. On the first day of the recount all boxes will be opened and ballots will be counted out in groups of 50.

“Day one is methodical with no rush,” Goldberg said.

On day two of the recount tables of two will be set up with one person reading the vote and the other.

“There will be five to 10 teams,” Goldberg advised. “We will go through each ballot. Votes can be challenged.”

  • Tom McNiff

    The town council president recount is almost nonsensical. This paper dos not report the difference in total votes between Candidates Jeff Turco and Ron Vecchia.
    Secondly, is there any excuse that the Winthrop Fishwrapper will not present a comprehensive wrap-up of the town ferry season – like maybe who runs this scow offering service to any town (or city) that offers to use the boat? How much of the Winthrop taxpayer’s hard-earned revenues are subsidizing this Quincy service, which none of the commercial ferries serving Boston Harbor are offering. There are rumors that the ex-town manager, from Essex, thought he was the town’s chief of boat operations. In the final analysis there seems to be a major unanswered question – who is the chief manager of the ferry service and does that person have any experience supervising a water transport system – especially one suddenly designed to try and serve 2 communities, without getting any systematic payment from that city – Quincy. That South Shore city apparently offered $75,000 for the Winthrop taxpayer-subsidized service to Quincy-based passengers. Total revenue from Quincy-based passengers to all landings accounted for in a report written by Acting town manager Delahanty and another guy named Collins. Delahanty said that after finishing the report on the 2017 ferry season, Quincy had not completed its payments – though Delahanty seems to have believed that his police powers may persuade Quincy to pay up. In total, there were 12,652 users of the ferry services this summer, with total revenue of $104,455.98. Without going into the entire budget claims included in the Delahanty report, one can only agree with him (and Delananty says the former town manager, James McKenna) both believe that a ferry n not be run without subsidies. Gosh awmighty, folks, somebody had a ‘truth be . . .’ mental lightnining strike in the town manager’s office.. Somebody also reporting in this very long document also said there was a learning that ‘water transportation is very expensive’. And it didn’t take these two guys who supposedly have and are running Winthrop as a town reason to think a mistake had been made in having the Winthrop landing barge, Valkyre, built to custom for mainly Winthrop service. Imagine – 77 passengers, with claims of ticket sales of 40-60 a day. There is also in this long report a mention of town revenues above and beyond the $100,000 Winthrop taxpayer-provided subsidy.

    Delahanty and McKenna claIm the Winthrop ferry service can operate. But how long do Winthrop taxpayers want to see their hard-earned to finance well-surfaced streets, far less dithering with National Grid over electric cable routings and relandscaping the high school football field and Winthrop golf course. Two of those projects are quit e expensive in a town with Winthrop’s revenue collections. There’s been very little Transcript reportage on the effort to find a real town manager for this town. Does that mean the town can afford to operate under an acting town manager who has been playing grand admiral even as he tries to control MS-13 members and the local juveniles who are likely to be inspired to imitate the fellows from El Salvador and Los Angeles. Nice mixture: water breezes over the harbor and gangsters who have little or no reason not to kill somebody or other.

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