District 8 candidates interviewed by city council and residents

Five candidates are vying with one another to be Ron Morgese’s replacement for the District 8 seat that he vacated last month.

Wednesday evening at city hall in the council chamber, all five candidates made presentations to the council.

John O’Brien, Joe Roman, David Rudolph, Dan Cortell and Mike Nappo, all residents of District 8, delivered their five minute speeches enumerating why they want to be the District 8 councillor and to explain to the council, which makes the appointment, exactly who they are and what they bring to the table.

With the public invited and a question and answer period with the public and the council as well, it is expected to be a long night at city hall as the vetting process for choosing a replacement gets underway.

Candidates be delivered their five-minute summation following the question and answer period.

O’Brien, who resides on Admiral’s Hill at 7 Boatswains Way, is a lifelong resident of the city who has served in City government as a member of the School Committee and City Council.

He is also a past member of the former Chelsea Redevelopment Authority and currently is a member and financial supporter of the Friends of the Chelsea Public Library.

Professionally, O’Brien is a retired Suffolk County court officer and past president of the court officer’s union.

O’Brien is regarded as a fiscal conservative and a law and order advocate.  Regarding the latter, he has a daughter on the Chelsea Police Department.

O’Brien attends many community functions. He is widely regarded as a level-headed, amiable community advocate.

Joe Roman, who resides at 56 Beacon Street, is a political newcomer, having never served in Chelsea city government.  He has been active in the neighborhood and vocal in his opinions about quality of life issues and public safety concerns such as noise from the bridge, parking issues, and trash in his neighborhood.

Roman’s professional efforts include work as a managing automaker for Volvo’s North American advertising and promotions. 

David Rudolph, a lifelong resident and a longtime resident of District 8, lives at 3 Eldridge Place.

He is a dedicated community advocate who has championed environmental issues and the arts.  He has been active in promoting his hometown through grassroots affiliations, City government board appointments and regular communication with City policymakers.

Through his own media productions, he has chronicled the Chelsea River, highlighted local restaurants and illuminated the salt pile.

His affiliations with the arts includes his work as a lighting and camera support professional for cinematography and videography productions.

Rudolph is an active participant in community clean-ups and youth activities, including his current participation in the Chelsea Youth Basketball League.

Dan Cortell lives on Admiral’s Hill at 100 Captain’s Row.

He is a committed public servant who utilizes his law degree for his vocation and avocation.  During the day, he is a hearings officer and special assistant attorney general, having also served in the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office as an acting assistant district attorney and gang task force administrator.

At night, he is a commissioner on the City’s Licensing Board.

In that capacity, he works with the Chelsea Police Department and other enforcers and regulators to oversee licensing activities in the city’s liquor, restaurant and taxi operations, among others.

Cortell is regarded as studious in his approach and fair, yet firm, in his convictions.

Mike Nappo also lives on Admiral’s Hill at 100 Boatswains Way.

He is an affable clinical social worker at the Chelsea Soldiers Home who also coordinates that facilities interaction with numerous colleges and universities, as well as other community based organizations.

Nappo was a Commonwealth of Massachusetts "Employee of the Year" in 2008.

Perhaps the most active of all the potential candidates in matters involving Admirals Hill, Mike is also a member of the board of directors for CAPIC, the venerable agency that provides Head Start, fuel assistance, housing search and employment assistance to thousands in the region.

The selection process, according to the candidates, remains open.

While some introductions have been made to various councilors by the candidates, Council President Leo Robinson believes the seat is open to the person who best makes their case to the council and the public.

Following Wednesday’s meeting, the council will reconvene on January 25 to make its selection – which is anyone’s guess at this point.

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