City Council Votes 6-5 to Deny Holmes Appointment to Planning Board

The City Council voted by a 6-5 margin against the appointment of Lor Holmes to the Revere Planning Board at its meeting Monday.

The Council did approve the appointments of Juan Pablo Jaramillo and James O’Brien to the Planning Board.

In the presentation of her candidacy during the Appointments Sub-Committee meeting, Holmes said, “I appreciate the opportunity to be considered to join the Planning Board for the City of Revere which I love. I fell in love with Revere many, many years ago when I used to bring my kids to the beach.”

A former Jamaica Plain resident, Holmes said she became more familiar with Revere when she became the founding executive director of HarborCov, a Chelsea-based organization that helps victims of domestic violence. Holmes was hailed as a pioneer in establishing specific human resource programs to try and end domestic violence in the community.

Holmes said she moved to Revere in 2007 “and I love the Shirley Avenue neighborhood.” She told the Council that she looked forward “to carrying out all the great visions that there are for this community.”

Despite her enthusiasm for the city and the position and her work in trying to enhance Revere, the Council voted by a slim margin to deny her appointment to the Planning Board. Councillors Arthur Guinasso, John Powers, George Rotondo, Richard Serino, Gerry Visconti and Anthony Zambuto voted against her appointment. Councillors Jessica Giannino, Joanne McKenna, Steven Morabito, Ira Novoselsky, and Patrick Keefe voted in favor of the appointment.

Asked to comment on the City Council’s vote, Lor Holmes said, “I am disappointed and surprised that Mayor Arrigo’s appointment of me to the Planning Board was rejected by the majority of City Council members. There was no explanation offered although clearly my qualifications for the position surpass that of most other appointees. It seems as though some members are operating out of fear of including new voices in our City and a fear of change. That is unfortunate because change will come, and I look forward to making positive contributions in whatever ways I can.”

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