Monday, April 1st was Acushnet’s Annual Town Election held in the elementary gymnasium. As most know, this was the first election of all precincts in a single polling location, held on a school day, with students in attendance, since the horrific events of April 14, 1993. I understand the safety concerns and frustration felt by others as I remain, today, deeply impacted by the traumatic events of that day and the senseless death of our beloved school nurse, Carole Day.
Since the consolidation of all precincts at the elementary school, the intention was to avoid, when possible, scheduling an election on a school day. The Superintendent, School Business Officer and School Committee have worked closely with me to avoid such situations. Unfortunately, the April 1st scheduling conflict was a deeply regretted error, an error, made by me and no one else. Sadly, the Superintendent, School Committee and Town Administrator received many negative phone calls and disturbing social media posts and I feel it important that it be known this date miscalculation was none of their doing. As this was my error, I want to publicly apologize and share my gratitude for the support I received, once the error was discovered.
As the Town Clerk for the last eleven years, I have stood witness to many changes throughout our town, although, none quite as positive as the collaboration of so many town departments as with the most recent election. Our Superintendent, School Business Manager, School Resource Officer, Town Administrator, School Committee, Board of Selectmen, Department of Public Works, Police Department, Emergency Management, Fire Department, School Maintenance Department, Council on Aging, Library Director and Town Clerk’s Department worked together as a dedicated and professional team to ensure the utmost safety of each and every student was of paramount priority.
I am not only grateful but am humbled by the display of support I received by so many and the strong union of our municipal government, at a time when there is a distinct national divide. Thank you to all that believed our town officials, employees and volunteers would not fail you or our children and for those that supported our town officials and departments.
Acushnet may be small in size but is large in compassion and I am incredibly proud to work with such a group of professional and dedicated individuals who tirelessly work for the greater good of Acushnet and its residents, no matter where the mistake occurred.
Pamela A. Labonte, CMMC
Acushnet Town Clerk
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