Saturday, March 08, 2008

Not Mourning for Maureen

If new schools and water mains are supposed to represent all that is good with the Lambert administration, perhaps nothing better symbolizes it's woes like Maureen Glisson.

When Mayor Lambert appointed Glisson as the Board of Elections Commisioner in August of 2002, he said he wanted the office to move in a "slightly different direction". He said he wanted an emphasis on voter registration and census counts. Glisson said she would "hit the ground running". But the Mayor's choice generated criticism from the get go, especially in light of Ruth Medeiros having applied for the position and having more than 20 years experience in the office. In the end, Glisson was confirmed by the council with a 6-3 vote.

The Mayor stressed that voter registration was key part of the job and a big reason why Glisson was hired. In 2001 the number of registered voters was 50,146, in September of 2003 the total was down to 49,766. In 2004 the number 'swelled' to 49,809 but was down to 47,010 in 2005. Apparently that number didn't change much in 2006 but dipped again in 2007 to 46,950. If Maureen generated little controversy in her first 4 years, it would also seem she generated little enrollment.

In 2007 Ed Lambert's name would not appear on the election ballot and much interest was generated in the mayoral election. With 3 City Councilors deciding to run for Mayor, the City Council race heated up. In 2007 the city election would take center stage.

Things started off badly when City Council candidate, Gus Suneson, discovered his name printed out of order on the preliminary election ballot. Glisson's office was shorthanded with Ruth Medeiros out on leave and some people might have started questioning just who kept the office running smoothly. It took three weeks before Glisson admitted the mistake was that of her office.

It was the events of the preliminary election night that caused the most concern. Glisson announced that Nathan Amaral was the 18th finisher in the City Council race the next morning she reversed herself and said it was Michael Canuel who had finished 18th. It would take several days before the Elections office could provide the official results. Suddenly their was serious doubt about the city's ability to conduct it's own elections. The Mayor asked the state to provide oversight and the City Council called Glisson to come before them and explain what happened.

Maureen Glisson found herself as the center of controversy. The Mayor, the City Council, the newspaper and radio station all expressed criticism over her handling of the election. There seemed to be little sympathy for Maureen Glisson.

Really, this should have been the end of the story. It had passed the point where Maureen could redeem herself. She had made mistakes and tried to cover them up. She should have been fired but was instead left out to dry. She was urged to resign by the public but instead chose to weather the storm.

Mayor Correia waited only as long as he had to. Once the city's special election for his vacated Rep. seat was completed Maureen's chain of events came to an end.

There was no question that Maureen would be fired, the only question was when.


Faye Musselman said...

Message to Maureen Glisson:

Don't despair, dahlink. From what I've read of your Fall River experience you could have a bright future in Washington if McCain is elected President. You'd be a perfect Assistant Press Secretary, gathering stats on how well the war in Iraq is going. Like Shindler said, "It's all in the presentation."

Good luck. And good night.

Anonymous said...

no comment about the completely inappropriate person the new mayor installed to replace glisson?

i hardly think he is going to be any improvement and my prediction is that in fact things will get worse.

Fall River Community said...

I disagree that the replacement is completely inappropriate.

Certainly age might be the first concern, but he has a degree in political science and a masters in business administration, not to mention the experience on Beacon Hill.

Mr. Chapdelaine has 6 months before his leadership skills are tested. I am confident that he will succeed at the task.

But I would be interested to read some explanation as to why he is completely inappropriate.

Anonymous said...

I agree with fall river community, I would think that even the most anti Correia person would have to admit that this kid looks good on paper so let's give him 6 months or so and see what he can do.

Lefty said...

I don't want to downplay the importance of our Elections commission but how tough can this job be?

Glisson did it for several years before getting the boot!

I don't have the background Mr. Chapdelaine does and I think I could at least do a passable job.

If Adam Chapdelaine isn't appropriate what qualifications do you want a candidate to have?