Editor's note: The District 3 Governor's Council seat covers Newton. For complete coverage of the District 3 race, check out our Governor's Council election topic page.
I am Marilyn M. Petitto Devaney, and very honored to serve as your Governor’sCouncillor, (District 3). I respectfully ask for your continued support by your vote on Election Day Thursday, Sept. 6.
Re: Personal Information: I have four children and three grandchildren. I was married to the late John “Jack” Devaney, a Watertown Firefighter, U.S. Marine, who supported me in everything I pursued. Working together, without personal financial resources. I began as a freshman in college with four children and a great, supportive husband (ABA - Middlesex Community College, BS - Suffolk University, Masters - Boston State College.)
I served as youngest Watertown Town Meeting member and when changed to a City; elected as Watertown’s Councillor-at-large; served on various local and State Committees; most rewarding as Member of the Commission on Disabilities for twenty-two years. I am now completing my seventh, two year term on the Governor’s Council.
I have kept my pledge to you - to bring transparency to the office of Governor’s Councillor, working to take the politics out of appointments for Judges, Clerk Magistrates and other positions and to stop the rubber-stamping reputation. “I get along” but I do not “go along." When I do vote “no:” I respectfully verbally state why and the written statement is included in the nominee’s folder, accessible to the public.
A few examples of how I am working for you:
(1) Have the highest attendance record of all Governor’s Councillors who I have served with throughout my entire tenure (nearly 14 years). Absent once for a meeting and once for a hearing when my husband died.
(2) Only Councillor who meets with every nominee for every position - judge, clerk magistrate, Industrial Accident Board, Appellate Tax Board, Parole Board, etc.
(3) Investigative: as examples, following up on nominee’s Judicial Nomination Commission and Gov. Council questionnaires, contacting people who have knowledge of the nominee, making calls, meeting people, looking at past record, includes public input, receiving calls from public.
(4) Earn the trust of the public who call me to inform me of nominees (whose names I keep confidential) and follow up to insure information is factual.
(5) Through my investigation, at times I have acquired documented information requiring nominees to be withdrawn, i.e. false information on nominee’s questionnaire or even at nominee’s hearing.
(*Governor Council holds nominee hearings 12 months a year – as many in July as there are in December – weekly meetings. I have no staff or office aides. Governor’s Council takes no vacation.)
Some of the changes I have made:
(1) Stopped the long-time practice of Governor’s Councillors accepting political donations from the nominees who they were voting on, as well as sitting Governors and Lieutenant Governors.
Successfully won support of former governors to the present-Governor Patrick to include in their executive orders: all judicial nominees are prohibited from giving political donations to Governor’s Councillors, Governor and Lieutenant Governor upon application. When a nominee violates this mandate I vote “no”.
(I had requested “a year before applying” but I am pleased of this change to successfully stop this egregious practice on-going for decades).
(2) Changed the makeup of the Parole Board (had consisted of all prosecutors)
I investigated and found the Parole Board had not been in compliance with the State Statute for over 30 years – since Governor Dukakis. It mandates varied occupations to deal with diverse prison population – i.e. mental disorders, learning disabilities, etc.
(3) Nominees and witnesses at Governor’s Council hearings are now sworn in (just as the Federal Government requires).
(4) Demanded Governor’s Councillors be provided copies of the (JNC) Judicial Nomination Commission questionnaire of the” recommended nominee” for the Governor’s Council’s information.
(Governor’s Councillors previously were not allowed to see the JNC questionnaire.)
(5) Established an informative Governor’s Council website for Citizens, providing names of all Councillors, their districts, their emails and phone numbers; the responsibilities of the Council; the boards and commissions voted by the Council with a description of each board/commission and its terms; lists the nominee/nominees presented to the Council by the Governor and biography; date of meetings; date of nominee’s hearing and welcoming the public to attend.
I have one perk – travel money to the State House – I have never taken it in my entire tenure because you, the working people I represent, do not get paid to drive to work.
I am travelling throughout the district asking support for reelection. My district consists of five senate districts from Ayer to Back Bay (800,000 people) so I run a grass-roots campaign. I love the opportunity to meet with old friends and meet new friends. I welcome the opportunity to explain the importance of the Governor’s Council, what it is charged to do and the responsibility of a Governor’s Councillor to give the time and attention which the people of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts expect and deserve.
I love what I do, it is important and I have the same dedication and enthusiasm to do the job as I did when first elected. The Council decisions affect you and your family.
I offer performance, not promises. There is going to be a big change on the Governor’s Council. There is presently three open seats up for election and two incumbent Republican Councillors are running unopposed.
I am presently the second in tenure on the Council. I do not own this seat. I must earn your vote. I am asking for your help to allow me to bring my commitment and experience to continue to be “Your Voice” on the Council.
I ask again for your vote on Thursday Sept. 6. There is still more I want todo-working for you. I welcome your call on my cell 617-840-7689 and at the State House, 617-725-4015 x3; and by email email@example.com.
* I prefer talking to you personally to get your questions, opinions, if you need assistance.
Thank you for your consideration.
Your Governor’s Councillor