Council hires new administrative assistant

During a special summer meeting Monday night, the City Council approved the hiring of its new administrative assistant as well as the warrant for the state primary election on Tuesday, Sept. 6.

The council voted 9-0 to hire Chelsea native Marilyn Ingles Guzman as its new administrative assistant. Councilors Judith Garcia and Melinda Vega Maldonado were absent.

“The committee met on a number of nights and we had a number of applicants and resumes we went through,” said District 8 Councilor Calvin Brown, who chaired the subcommittee to select the administrative assistant. “We have a candidate tonight tonight we feel will fit the description and the details we outlined in the position for the administrative assistant. She’s Chelsea grown, Chelsea educated, and very excited about the opportunity.”

Guzman currently works for the Suffolk County Superior Court and has worked as a paralegal.

City Council President Roy Avellaneda thanked Brown and Councilors Damali Vidot and Norieliz De Jesus for serving on the special subcommittee.

“I want to publicly thank the subcommittee for their work and their time during the summer, away from their family and friends on this process of having the job posted, doing the interviews, and reviewing all the resumes,” said Avellaneda.

While there was no disagreement over approving the selection of the candidate, several councilors said they did take some issue with the hiring process.

Councilor-At-Large Leo Robinson has pointed to Section 2.6 of the City Charter in the hiring of a replacement for clerk to the council Paul Casino as stating that the entire council is responsible for hiring staff, not just a subcommittee.

In a legal opinion regarding the clerk hiring process, City Solicitor Cheryl Watson Fisher stated that the council and Avellaneda as president were acting within the charter by setting up a special subcommittee.

Robinson has maintained that he disagrees with that reading of the charter, and that the full council was once again left out of the full hiring process with the selection of the administrative assistant.

District 1 Councilor Todd Taylor said he was disappointed that the subcommittee meetings for the administrative assistant search were held in executive session that did not allow members of the council who were not on the subcommittee to attend or give input.

“I’m not complaining about not being able to vote (in subcommittee), but I thought all the councilors should have been allowed into the meeting to review the material and give their opinions,” said Taylor. “I am all about transparency, and this process was less than transparent.”

Taylor said he had no issues with the councilors appointed to the committee, but that the process put in place was less than transparent.

In other business, the council approved the warrant for the state primary election on Tuesday, Sept. 6, highlighted by the race for the new district that includes all of Chelsea and one precinct in Everett.

In addition, the council approved the city administration’s plan to have at least one police officer at each polling location for the location.

Fisher said the city typically has at least one officer at each polling location, but under the recently passed MassVotes act, the City Council must sign off on the number of police details during an election.

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