Updated at 5:55 p.m. Originally posted at 3:45 p.m.
FRAMINGHAM – Five individuals whom the voters elected on November 2, will need to resign their positions on Framingham Boards, Committees, & Commission, due to the “Steiner Rule” before the inauguration on January 1, 2022.
In early 2020, District 3 City Councilor Adam Steiner proposed a rule that would prohibit individuals elected from also serving on a Board or Commission, and would prohibit individuals from serving on multiple City of Framingham boards and commissions.
In June 2020, the Framingham City Council voted to adopt the “Steiner Rule.”
The vote was 6-4-1, with Councilor Janet Leombruno abstaining.
Tuesday night, December 7, the 11-member Council took a vote to repeal the rule and the motion failed 5-6.
Voting to repeal the “Steiner rule” was City Council Chair George P. King Jr., Leombruno, District 4 City Council Mike Cannon, District 6 City Councilor Phil Ottaviani Jr., and District 8 City Councilor John Stefanini.
The City Council referred to four individuals elected on November 2 who would need to resign, but there are five who were elected who need to resign.
That vote Tuesday night means Youth Council founder and chair Isabella Petroni, Cultural Council Vice Chair Leslie White Harvey, Veterans Council member Nick Paganella, and Historic District Commission member Julie Ferrari will all need to resign by December 31 to be sworn in on January 1.
Also Agricultural Advisory Committee member Leora Mallach will need to resign, as she was elected to serve as District 7 City Councilor. Her name was never mentioned by the City Council last night.
Mallach was nominated to the Committee in 2019. It met once since was appointed by Mayor Yvonne Spicer – in later 2021.
Editor’s Note: Petroni is the daughter of SOURCE editor/publisher in full transparency.
Petroni and White Harvey were elected to the 12-member Board of Library Trustees on November 2.
Paganella and Ferrari were elected to the 5-member Framingham Cemetery Trustees.
Last month, Steiner proposed amending his 2020 rule, for two individuals elected on November 2 – Veterans Council member Paganella and Youth Council Chair Petroni.
The City Council’s rules & ordinance subcommittee reviewed the measure and voted instead to present to the full 11-member Council a motion to repeal the rule altogether.
That motion failed. on December 7.
In 2020, those who voted against implementing the Steiner rule felt it was targeting City Council Chair King, who was also an elected Framingham Cemetery Trustee, and Leombruno, who was appointed to serve on the 5-member Framingham Housing Authority.
Steiner said the rule was “not targeting these individuals.”
SOURCE reached out to Steiner multiple times for explanation on the request. He never respond to any of the emails.
Petroni spoke at a City Council meeting and said when she pulled papers to run for Library Trustee she was well aware of the rule, and it has been her intention to resign before the inauguration.
Petroni questioned why Steiner proposed her as an exception to the rule without talking to or consulting her.
Last night, District 8 City Councilor John Stefanini said before the vote that the Steiner rule will impact about 10 individuals in the City of Framingham, not just the four whom were elected on November 2.
He argued to repeal the rule.
Stefanini said despite the rule created by the City Council, and signed by Mayor Yvonne Spicer. Several individuals were appointed to serve on multiple boards and committees.
For example, Susan Santone was appointed by the Mayor to serve on both the Framingham Disability Commission and the Framingham Police Advisory Committee.
Another example is Paul Silva serves on the Framingham Historical Commission and the Framingham Historic District Commission
Under the Steiner rule, she can only serve on one of those two Framingham volunteer boards.
After the failed vote 5-6 to repeal, Steiner tried to vote for reconsideration and to still have an exception for Paganella and Petroni, however none of the other 10 Councilor would second the motion, so it too failed.