The majority of the committee moved quickly past the other two candidates, and settled on Argenziano as the best choice of the three. Mayor Scanlon reportedly was so enthuthiastic in his for support for Argenziano that he initially made a motion to vote on his selection on the spot, pending a positive reference check. The motion was later tabled until the next meeting, which will be held on Friday evening.
But while it seemed to be the consensus that Argenziano was the strongest of the three, not all members were sold on whether he possessed all the skills they were looking for. According to the Citizen:
After the interviews were concluded, some members of the committee were not ready to make a choice on the three, the consensus among the committee being that Dr. Argenziano was the strongest candidate in leading the search for a permanent superintendent but not for taking care of the day-to-day operations of the district.
Community members who attended Tuesday's meetings report some frustration with what they see as a hasty, and less than inclusive process into an important decision for the district. The three contenders were chosen in just over a week's time, and the first public report of their identity was in Tuesday's Salem News. They were interviewed in short half-hour sessions that were attended by principals and administrators, but only a handful of members of the public. There appear to be no plans to conduct a follow-up interview, or consider other candidates.
Some were also troubled that the later evening discussion meeting was not announced to the public or most staff at all, except at the joint School Committee/City Council meeting that preceded it, which itself was so poorly publicized that only four members of the community attended.
As it stands now, the committee is checking the references of Dr. Argenziano, looking into the possibility of retaining Assistant Superintendent Duffy on a per diem basis, and planning to meet again Friday at 5pm in the library of the high school. It appears likely that they will take up Mayor Scanlon's motion to vote on the hiring of Argenziano, but it is unclear how the full committee will vote.
Given the importance of this decision to the continuing progress of the district, and the swiftness at which this process is moving, its important that interested members of the school community attend Friday's meeting, and pay close attention to the process by which this and other decisions within the district are being made.