Town Election update: Races for Moderator and Planning

by beth on March 22, 2016

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Above: News is in on who you should see on the ballot when you show up to vote this May. (Photo by Susan Fitzgerald)

Yesterday was the filing deadline for candidates in this year’s Town Election. And since my last post, another race popped up, featuring some familiar rivals.

Earlier this month, I covered the coming contest for a Planning Board seat between a conservationist and developer. You can read about that here.

Last week, two new candidates threw their hats in the ring for Town Moderator, making it a three-person race.

David Coombs, who will still be moderating this year’s Town Meeting, is retiring from the post. According to a tweet from the Town House, Coombs explained his reason for not running by citing change in government and an influx of different perspectives and fresh ideas, is both healthy and necessary.

The Town Moderator is best known for running Town Meetings. But the moderator is a more powerful position than that.

He/She is responsible for appointing members to the Personnel Board (which decides Town Salaries), the Advisory Committee (which advises Town Meeting voters on finances and more) and the Public Works Planning Board (which advises the Town on Public Works projects/initiatives). And unlike Board of Selectmen appointments, the choices have been made in the past without any public communication.*

Stephen Morreale, former Personnel Board Chair, pulled papers for the post earlier this winter. Now, former Selectman Bill Boland and current Public Works Planning Board Chair Desiree Aselbekian are also running for the seat.

Last year, Boland and Aselbekian faced off for Boland’s seat on the Board of Selectmen. Both ultimately lost that race to Selectman Brian Shea.

None of the other seats are contested this year.

Candidates for Town office have until April 6th to withdraw their names. Barring that, here’s who you can expect to see on the ballot on May 9th.

Moderator – vote for one – 1 year term
Desiree Aselbekian, 137 Woodland Rd.
William J. Boland, 35 East Main St.
Stephen A. Morreale, 58 Oregon Road

Board of Selectmen – vote for two – 3 year term
Bonnie Phaneuf, 179 Middle Road (candidate for re-election)
John F. Rooney, III, 35 Edgewood Road (candidate for re-election)

Assabet Valley Regional Vocational School District Committee – vote for one – 4 year term
Christopher J. Evers, 16 Maplecrest Drive

Board of Assessors – vote for one – 3 year term
Jeffrey W. Klein, 237 Parkerville Road (candidate for re-election)

Board of Commissioners of Trust Funds – vote for one – 3 year term
Nicholas McCoy, 10 Jericho Hill Road (candidate for re-election)

Board of Health – vote for one – 3 year term
Mary Lou Woodford, 18 Bigelow Road (candidate for re-election)

Board of Trustees – Southborough Library – vote for two – 3 year term
Richard Wallace, 18 Clifford Street (candidate for re-election)
Marguerite Landry, 134 Deerfoot Road (candidate for re-election)

Board of Trustees – Southborough Library – vote for one – 1 year term
Dolores Fallon, 36 Gilmore Road (currently appointed to office)**

School Committee (K-8) – vote for one – 3 year term
Roger W. Challen, 29 Oak Hill Road (candidate for re-election)

Northborough-Southborough Regional School Committee – vote for one – 3 year term
Daniel L. Kolenda, 7 Blendon Woods Road (candidate for re-election)

Planning Board – vote for one – 5 year term
Meme Lutrell, 19 Oregon Rd.
Craig Nicholson, 30 Pinecone Lane

*This winter, Coombs did make an effort to publicly seek candidates for the Advisory Committee this winter. But while the recruitment was public, the names of candidates who applied, who was selected and how/why was never publicized. In contrast, when the BOS appoints people, if there are more candidates than posts, the board generally opts to interview and discuss candidates in a public meeting.

**Dolores Fallon is currently serving on the Board of Library Trustees as an interim appointment, therefore not officially listed as a “candidate for re-election”.

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