ATTLEBORO — When city councilor-elect Laura Dolan takes the oath of office Tuesday at the beginning of the council meeting, history will be made.
At that point, she will be become the sixth female councilor, putting women in the majority of the 11-member panel for the first time in the 103-year history of Attleboro as a city.
Dolan is taking her seat before other councilors-elect because she’s filling a vacancy left by the resignation of Jeremy Denlea in September.
She beat out Raymond Moreau Jr. for the Ward 5 slot in the Nov. 7 city election.
Dolan will assume the role of license committee chairwoman, the post Denlea held.
Council president Frank Cook said Dolan was eligible to take the oath of office any time after 5 p.m. Friday which marked the end of a 10-day period during which election protests or appeals could be filed.
Dolan’s election was certified by the city’s election office earlier in the week.
While she will be able to take her seat and begin her duties, there are some votes in which she may not be able to participate, Cook said.
He said he believes she will not able to vote on matters for which a public hearing was held, and closed, prior to her taking office.
However, Cook has requested a legal opinion from City Solicitor Lauren Galvin on the issue to make a final determination.
“We want to make sure we’re following all the procedures and doing it the right way,” he said.
“I don’t want us to vote on something and then find out we did something illegally.”
If Galvin agrees with Cook, Dolan would not be able to vote on a special permit for a medical marijuana dispensary or on tax classification, both of which are pending before the city council.
City Clerk Stephen Withers will administer the oath just after the meeting is opened, Cook said.
The five other female councilors are Shannon Heagney, Heather Porreca, Kate Jackson, Sara Lynn Reynolds and Julie Hall.
Dolan will be sworn in again on Jan. 2, the first day of the new term, along with all other newly-elected officials, including the mayor-elect Paul Heroux.