SALEM — It took the City Council 302 votes — and the span of a weekend — to come to a consensus on its board vacancy.
William Legault, a candidate outside the council’s 5-5 deadlock vote last week, was appointed last night to fill the remaining year of Joan Lovely’s councilor-at-large term.
Last night was a continuation of a Jan. 3 meeting that ended in a stalemate. Despite taking 300 votes, the board could not come to an agreement during a seven-hour session that stretched to 2:25 a.m.
Legault was selected in the board’s 302nd vote, which came 45 minutes into last night’s meeting.
Legault pledged to represent the city with a “common sense” approach.
“I have no agenda other than to serve this council and this city,” he said.
Last week, the board was split 5-5 between former Councilors Steve Pinto and Lucy Corchado. Both Pinto and Corchado withdrew their candidacies last night, after the board’s 301st vote made it clear that neither of them would have the support of a majority of councilors.
For the 301st vote, Councilors Michael Sosnowski, Todd Siegel, Arthur Sargent, Paul Prevey and Jerry Ryan continued to back Pinto, while Councilors Josh Turiel and Kevin Carr voted for Legault and Councilors Joseph O’Keefe, Robert McCarthy and Tom Furey continued to back Corchado.
O’Keefe and Siegel voted for another candidate, Chris Sicuranza, on the 302nd vote, and the remaining eight councilors voted for Legault. The board then moved to make the vote unanimous.
As they withdrew, Pinto and Corchado were applauded with standing ovations; Legault was also, after the 302nd vote.
Legault will fill a one-year vacancy created by the resignation of Lovely, who stepped down from the council to be sworn into the state Senate. She had served one year of a councilor-at-large term that goes through December 2013.