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Grodsky wins seat on School Committee

Date: 6/5/2014

By Chris Maza

LONGMEADOW – In the town’s only contested race, Michelle Carrazza Grodsky won a one-year seat on the School Committee in a landslide vote at the Longmeadow Annual Town Election on June 3.

Grodsky has been serving as an appointed member of the committee since March 18 in the wake of former Vice Chair James Desrochers’ sudden resignation. The one-year position will finish out the remainder of his term.

“It was a very intense and time-consuming process,” Grodsky said. “I had to learn a lot of things for the first time – the new responsibilities on the School Committee along with the fact that I’ve never been in an election before. There were a lot of things I had to go through to get to this day, but I’m really glad it’s here and I can focus on doing the new work of the School Committee.”

Even before all of the votes were tabulated because of a malfunction in the voting machine for Precinct A, Grodsky was the clear winner over challenger Heather LaPorte, holding a 313-111 edge in precincts B through E. Grodsky finished with 405 votes while LaPorte had 151.

LaPorte was not present at the Community House when results were revealed.

While it was a unique process, Grodsky said she found serving with the board for a few months prior to the election to be a benefit.

“That has been very rewarding, to get involved right away and not have to wait until the election,” she said. “It was more immediate and I’ve really enjoyed that process of gaining understanding of what needs to be done.”

She said the experience also gave her the opportunity to create a “bucket list” of things she would like to see the School Committee address in the future.

“I’ve already been working on ideas in an outline and I want to come in with some long-term plans for some concerns I know we all have,” she said. “Now we need o better define it and communicate well with the community to get as much involvement as we can to help us work pro-actively and make some positive impacts.”

The turnout for the election was incredibly low with only 585 voters coming to the polls. That represented 5 percent of the town’s 11,521 registered voters and just 51 more than the preliminary election between Grodsky, LaPorte and Matthew Brackman on May 6.

Select Board Chair Marie Angelides was re-elected in an uncontested race, as were School Committee members Michael Clark, Elizabeth Gaffney Bone and John Fitzgerald and the Housing Authority’s Edward Kline.