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May 22, 2013

Solicitor: Vogler next in line for vacant School Committee seat

(Continued)

In 2011, Vogler received 3,550 votes, or 11.5 percent of the total votes cast. But he won 39.5 percent of the 8,981 ballots cast for School Committee.

The School Committee candidate with the most votes, Deborah Quinn with 4,426 votes, only received 14.3 percent of the total votes cast.

McQuillan’s opinion also stated that filling out Graziano’s term would not count as a full term relative to the term limits set out in the charter, which restricts School Committee members to three consecutive terms. It was unclear whether that appointment would count as a full term and bar Vogler from seeking a full term this fall.

Vogler served for two terms before losing his seat in the 2011 election.

Yesterday afternoon, before Zanni read the opinion at the meeting, Vogler said he had not been notified of any decisions and had not been invited to the meeting. He said he did not plan to attend. Instead he planned to spend the evening at Taste of Methuen.

“Like I said, whatever will be will be,” he said.

The specific language the charter uses outlining how to fill the vacancy of a School Committee member is, “The School Committee shall elect as acting School Committeeman whichever of the defeated candidates for election to the School Committee who received the highest number of votes at the last regular City election immediately preceding the date the vacancy is declared to exist and who received at least 20 percent of the total votes cast for the office at such election, and who remains eligible and willing to serve. There being no such person, the School Committee shall choose from among the voters an acting School Committeeman to serve the balance of the unexpired term.”

Graziano, a Methuen native who was in his first term, resigned May 7 after he purchased a home in Salem, N.H.

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