Quincy city councilors unanimously elected Francis Orlando, the deputy director of government affairs for state Treasurer Steven Grossman and previous legislative aide to state Senator Michael Morrissey, to fill the seat of retired Councilor Daniel Raymondi.
Orlando, who will turn 26 next week and is a lifelong resident of Ward 2, worked with majority of the councilors during his constituent service with Morrissey, and will serve as the ward's councilor until a newly elected candidate is sworn into the role in January 2012.
Before the candidates spoke at last night's City Council meeting, councilors debated whether an applicant who was running for the seat in November should be considered for the interim position.
Only one of the three candidates last night, Stephen Kozlowski, had taken out election papers to run. Orlando and Richard Churchill, a retired Quincy police officer and Marine Corps vet, said they did not plan to run in November.
Although Council President Kevin Coughlin and Councilor Doug Gutro asserted that they would not vote for a candidate who would run in November, Councilor Joseph Finn moved the question and asked that the council let things play out as they may.
The speeches of each applicant were short and to the point. None spoke more than the allotted three minutes, and each professed that it would be an honor to run for the seat.
Councilor Brian Palmucci was the first to nominate Orlando, saying he had the experience, knowledge, and wherewithal to handle the position.
“The reason why I picked Orlando’s name is because I believe that he has the right combination of energy and government experience to fill this important role,” Palmucci said. “As he testified, his past constituent service work in Morrissey’s office and with Senator Grossman…he can hit the ground running and deliver the responsiveness come to be expected from Councilor Raymondi.”
One by one, the other councilors echoed that sentiment, having worked with Orlando on a variety of topics and issues during their tenures as ward councilors.
“It’s because of this contact in the context for Ward 2 councilor that I have to give him a bit of an edge,” Councilor Brian McNamee said. “He was always respectful and responsible, is results oriented, and I’m sure he can do the same with a temporary assignment such as this.”
Orlando said he was slightly surprised he won the position so easily, and said he planned on focusing on constituent services for the next six months in the position.
“I think it will be helping people access essential services. That’s basically what this temporary thing would be,” Orlando said. “There’s no major policy issues, it’s just to help people out.”
Raymondi, who served in the position for over 20 years, resigned last week to become commissioner of the Department of Public Works.