Donna McDonald, a longtime employee of the Board of Canvassers, has been appointed Registrar/Director of Elections. McDonald will take over the position held by Joseph Gallucci, whose retirement is effective Feb. 1.
McDonald was the unanimous choice of the three-member Board of Canvassers, who presented their recommendations for reorganizing the division to Mayor Scott Avedisian. Avedisian has approved all recommendations. The city has also received permission from the state to open only one polling place per ward for the Presidential Preference Primary. These steps will save the department roughly $80,000, Avedisian said.
“Joe Gallucci has served the residents of our city in a variety of roles – in the Board of Canvassers, as the former director of the Department of Human Services, and in two separate terms on the City Council, where he presided as president, and as a volunteer for community groups, including Continental Little League,” Avedisian said in a statement. “I thank him for his years of dedicated service to our community. His experience, insight and institutional knowledge have served the city very well. I know he will be missed by his colleagues in City Hall.
“Donna has been very instrumental in helping the electoral process run smoothly and efficiently here in Warwick, and I know she will do a great job as the director of elections,” Avedisian continued. “She is enthusiastic about this new position and will have the full support of the Board as well as the employees in that division.”
McDonald called her appointment “bittersweet,” as she looks forward to the challenge but regrets Gallucci’s departure.
“I am grateful that the Board of the Canvassing Authority accepted my recommendations and Mayor Avedisian approved the suggested reorganization. Donna McDonald has worked in the Board of Canvassers for the past 14 years, is presently the deputy director, and knows all aspects concerning the election process. Her extraordinary knowledge to lead and work with all who come in contact with the BOC will be an asset to our city,” Gallucci said in a statement.
“It has been an honor to work in various capacities with the Board and for the Board along with Mayor Avedisian in serving the best interests of the citizens of our city,” he added.
McDonald, who was busy yesterday verifying signatures gathered by Republican presidential candidates running in April’s primary, said, “I’m very appreciative and excited about assuming this position. It’s going to be an extremely busy year with redistricting and three elections in 2012, but it’s a challenge that the staff of the Board of Canvassers look forward to and will handle in their usual proficient manner.”
Gallucci served 12 years on the City Council, the first time from 1977 to 1985 and the second time from 1991-1995, serving as president during both stints on the council. In 1996 he was appointed as the Director of Elections (formerly known as the Clerk of the Board of Canvassers) and, in 1997, was given the added responsibilities of running the Human Services Department until January 2001, when he returned to devoting his time solely to the position of Director of Elections. Gallucci is the father of two and grandfather of four.
McDonald began her city service in 1998 as a temporary clerical aide to the Board of Canvassers. In 1999 she became a permanent employee of the division, serving as senior clerk, and was promoted in 2001 to the post of canvassing technician. In 2003 she was named to her current position as voter registration technician. She is married and has a daughter and a grandson.