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Zarrella Sworn into Braintree School Committee Seat Left Vacant by Foley

Kelly Ann Foley won the most votes in last November's election for School Committee but since then has refused her seat and been out of contact with clients, press and fellow members.

Joe Zarrella, a former School Committee member, was sworn in on Sunday to in Braintree's election last fall, filling a surprise vacancy but leaving questions unanswered about why Foley refused her position.

After missing both Braintree's inauguration and its first School Committee meeting of the year earlier this month, that she wanted to refuse her seat. But that communication was not enough to confirm the move and more than a week went by before Joe Powers received a signed letter on Friday, Jan. 20 indicating that she would not serve.

"In accordance with Article 4, Section 4-6 of the Braintree Charter, Joseph Zarrella indicated that he is willing and able to serve," Powers said in an email Sunday. "Given that he received at least 60% of the vote total of the highest vote-getter in the November 2011, he was deemed eligible to fill the vacancy."

Powers swore Zarrella in at his home on Sunday. He will serve as an appointee until the next town election in 2013. Zarrella was originally appointed to the School Committee after the 2009 election when he placed fourth but member Sean Powers left the committee to take his newly-elected position as councilor-at-large.

Foley has not responded to several emails and phone calls, nor visits to her Washington Street law office.

Both the superintendent and the chair of the committee of the committee. Shannon Hume, the chair, said prior to Foley's letter confirming the switch that Zarrella would be a welcome addition to the committee because of his passion and because he could hit the ground running.

Zarrella said on Sunday that he gathered at home with Superintendent Dr. Peter Kurzberg, family and friends for the oath of office ceremony.

"The mood of everyone was to get it done," he said. "I'm excited to get back into it."

The next School Committee meeting is Jan. 30 at 7 p.m. at .

kerry January 23, 2012 at 03:00 PM
I didn't vote for her but it bothers me that Kelly Ann Foley left her school committee seat open. Braintree deserves an answer.
Kelly January 23, 2012 at 07:19 PM
I agree, she was elected to a public office and owes the voters an explanation.
Sandie Baler-Segal January 23, 2012 at 09:16 PM
Kelly Ann Foley campaigned, worked to have the citizens of Braintree place their trust in her and promised to put her skills to work for the students of this town. She owes her constituents some explanation of her actions in refusing the office to which she had been elected. That said, we will be well served by Joe Zarella, who truly has the town's well being at heart. Sandie

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