The Cambridge School Committee will continue through to the previously agreed-to January 15th deadline its nation-wide search for a permanent Superintendent of Schools.
Frank J. Frisoli '35, around whom the recent Committee fighting has raged, will remain Acting Superintendent for the entire school year, as originally expected.
The decision represents a major setback for Committeeman James F. Fitzgerald, who has vigorously fought for Frisoli's immediate appointment as permanent Superintendent.
Committee members David A. Wylie; Francis Duehay '55, Assistant Dean of the Graduate School of Education; and Lorraine A. Butler, along with some vocal parents, have consistently opposed Fitzgerald's efforts on the grounds that it would renege on the Committee's June decision to conduct an extensive search for a new Superintendent.
Mayor Alfred E. Vellucci, chairman of the School Committee, announced yesterday morning that its members had met informally to discuss the pros and cons of how the Superintendent should be selected and "to establish interview procedures."
Six of the Committee's seven members, he said, had agreed to continue the search, which was initiated last June by the same motion that appointed Frisoli Acting Superintendent.
None of the applications already received has been reviewed by the Committee, although Vellucci yesterday said that they will start being processed "immediately."
Fitzgerald-according to Vellucci the only Committee member dissenting from the decision to continue the search-provoked the recent controversy when he moved on November 4 to appoint Frisoli permanent Superintendent.
"Frisoli has already proven himself," he said. "He can say no when no is the right answer and he can say yes when yes is right. He can maintain the status quo, and he is respected by teachers and students." Frisoli has taught and worked as an administrator in the Cambridge schools since 1938.
"There is no doubt about Mr. Frisoli's popularity with a great many Cam-bridge citizens," Duehay said yesterday. "But when you're talking about a top-flight managerial post, you've got to think about other qualities, too. Mr. Frisoli may have them, but that hasn't been determined yet by an orderly process." Conducting a search, he added, "is simply managerially sound."
The positions of Vellucci and Donald A. Fantini have been the hardest to follow through the ruckus. Vellucci initially voted for Frisoli's appointment. At the November 24 meeting, however, he tried to slip through a motion, authored by Fantini and presented by Duehay, to begin processing the pending applications as soon as possible.
That motion failed when Butler asked for a roll-call vote-"to commit everyone to his position publicly," she later said. Vellucci and Fantini both voted against it.
Fantini admitted yesterday that he has been "trying to ride the fence." "A lot of people are trying to keep the city divided. They get their support that way. But I've been trying to reconcile the city," he added.
Angry and indignant at insinuations in last Tuesday's Phoenix that he was being bribed with a job as head of the City Infirmary. Fantini said that he was withdrawing his application for both that job and for a job he had applied for with Harvard.