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Guzik Motors

Standoff on vice chairman vote


After emotional tributes, deadlock puts McDonald replacement on hold



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Laurent E. McDonald. (click for larger version)
November 30, 2010
SOUTHBRIDGE — Faced with the task of filling the Town Council vice chairman seat left vacant by the recently death of Councilor Laurent E. McDonald, councilors were left at a standstill Monday, Nov. 29, with a four to four vote on a new vice chairman.

Councilor Conrad Vandal nominated Councilor Laurent R. "Butch" McDonald, son of Laurent E. McDonald, for the seat, while Councilor Pamela Regis nominated Councilor Catherine Nikolla. With only eight of the nine seats currently being filled, the vice chairman won't be voted on until the ninth seat is filled, which is currently at an undetermined date.

A moment of silence was held at the meeting for McDonald, as well as former Town Councilor and Planning Board member Peter Ramirez and former Town Councilor Bernard Haggerty, who all died earlier this month. Town Council Chairman Steven Lazo noted, "This has been a horrible time for fathers."

"This town will never know how much what they have given to me and my family has meant," said Laurent R. McDonald with a cracked voice, emotionally struggling to get through his speech. "From all the meals they cooked for us and how much love they have shown us, it's been unbelievable."

After the moment of silence, the councilors got down to the night's regular business.

The town's winter parking ban goes into effect today and will continue until April 1, Town Manager Christopher Clark announced. Under the ban, which side of the street you will be allowed to park on will be determined by the odd or even date. On Dec. 1, parking on the odd side of the street will be allowed. On Dec. 2, parking on the even side of the street will be allowed — and so on. When there is 2 inches of snow or greater, more than 20 town and private contractors can be deployed and assigned to specific routes.

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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