Two races in Town Election: 7 for Board of Selectmen and 2 for Town Clerk (Updated)

by beth on March 22, 2017

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Above: Southborough’s Town Elections don’t generally pull in a big turnout. But with twelve candidates vying for four important seats, maybe this year will be different. (photo by Beth Melo)

Papers are now in and the deadline to file has passed. It looks like* there will be three races for elected seats in Southborough’s Town government this May. One is a doozy!

The Town Clerk, Jim Hegarty is running for re-election. He faces opposition from former Selectman Bill Boland. (He is also running unopposed for re-election to the Board of Commissioners of Trust Funds.)

Town Moderator, Stephen Morreale won’t be running for re-election. Instead, current Selectman (and former Planning Board member) Paul Cimino is running unopposed. Cimino’s term ends this May and he opted to run for Moderator rather than re-election. That puts his current seat up for grabs. And there are several hands grabbing.

It may be the most contested race for selectmen in Southborough’s history. (If not, it still must be one of the two largest.)

Including the other incumbent (Dan Kolenda), seven candidates are vying for the two seats on the board. All of them have extensive experience in Southborough government:

  • Lisa Braccio – Chair of the Open Space Preservation Commission
  • Joseph Hubley – Chair of Historical Commission, former Town firefighter
  • Dan Kolenda – Current selectman (and former Chair), member of the Northborough-Southborough Regional School Committee
  • David Parry – Former Selectman
  • Jesse Stein – Member of Planning Board, Vice Chair of Southborough Housing Opportunity Partnership Committee
  • Sam Stivers – Advisory Committee member, former Chair of Zoning Board of Appeals
  • John Wood – Advisory Committee member (and former Chair), designated member of Public Safety Study Committee

(Those are just the positions I know about! Some of them may have served on additional boards/committees in the past.)

Back in 2013, voters expanded the board from three positions to five. At the time the decision was made, many publicly worried there wouldn’t be enough candidates interested to fill the seats. 

The first effected election of 2014 split the contest into two races, by term length of the seat. Five candidates ran for two seats with 3 year terms and another three ran for one 2 year term seat.

The following year, three candidates ran for one seat. This year, all seven candidates will run against each other.

Candidates in contested races are invited by the Trustees of the Southborough Library to participate in the annual Candidates Night. It’s an opportunity for them to give brief speeches and answer questions.

The evening is scheduled for May 4th. I’ll share more details on that later. (And don’t forget to mark time on your calendar to vote on May 9th.)

Each contested candidate is also welcome to submit one letter to the editor to make their case to My Southborough readers.

Finally, here is who is running uncontested this year:

Board of Assessors – vote for one – 3 year term
Thomas J. Beaumont, 49 Flagg Road (candidate for re-election)

Board of Commissioners of Trust Funds – vote for one – 3 year term
William J. Boland, 35 East Main Street (candidate for re-election)

Board of Health – vote for one – 3 year term
Nancy A. Sacco, 24 Jericho Hill Road (candidate for re-election)

Board of Trustees Southborough Library – vote for two – 3 year term
Jane C. Davis, 11 Buffalo Run
Amy B. Vachris, 14 School Street

School Committee – vote for two – 3 year term
Paul H. Desmond, 5 Pinecone Lane (candidate for re-election)
Keturah Martin, 75 Deerfoot Road

Northborough-Southborough Regional School Committee – vote for two Southborough candidates – 3 year term
Southborough Candidates
Paul C. Butka, 8 Hubley Lane (candidate for re-election)
Paul H. Desmond, 5 Pinecone Lane

Planning Board – vote for one – 1 year term
Donald C. Morris, 45 Deerfoot Road (candidate for re-election)

*Candidates do have two weeks to reconsider and pull out of the race before the ballot is official.

Updated (3/22/17 noon): Town Clerk Jim Hegarty alerted me that I made a big error when I read the list he sent. I neglected to notice that under the filed papers section,  Stephen Morreale and  Al Hamilton were listed as DNR (did not return papers). Sorry about that!

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 southsider March 22, 2017 at 12:40 PM

I was one who had concerns about finding enough candidates to fill the available slots. Boy, was I wrong!
Great slate of candidates… best wishes and good luck to all.

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2 TomM March 22, 2017 at 8:36 PM

I agree with southsider – glad to see a talented group of candidates for Selectman.
I’m really glad to see John Wood’s name on the list.

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3 resident March 23, 2017 at 10:23 AM

I sure hope Joe Hubley gets in this time around. I think he is a great candidate.

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4 Frank Crowell March 23, 2017 at 11:33 AM

First one of the BOS candidates who outlines a plan to reduce the number of town owned properties gets my vote.

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5 Trixie March 23, 2017 at 5:12 PM

I can’t believe someone is running against Jim Hegarty. He has done such an outstanding job since being elected two years ago.

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6 Nancy Kolk March 24, 2017 at 10:34 AM

I agree! Jim has truly listened to residents, and made changes that make things easier for everyone. He has my strong support!

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7 resident March 24, 2017 at 12:51 PM

Your vote counts. If Bill Boland is not what you want, make sure you talk up Jim to everyone. I personally think Jim is the lesser of 2 evils. I wont ever vote for Bill Boland for anything. We had enough of him on the BOS in my opinion. I certainly hope Jim wins.

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8 John Butler March 25, 2017 at 3:36 PM

Since my retirement from Advisory Committee, I’ve been trying to stay out of Town politics, but this issue makes me want to put in a word.

I have great respect for Bill Boland’s many years of service to the Town. Bill knows it is only a slight exaggeration to say that he and I almost never agreed on anything. But Bill has given a lot to the Town, and so few do. I have great respect for his dedicated service, and always want to thank him for it.

On the other hand, I can’t see any reason in the world why we’d want to change Town Clerk at this point. Jim Hegarty is doing an excellent and innovative job. This is a job, not a committee post, and changing, to anyone else, would be quite disruptive to the progress that has been made. I think Jim has earned re-election, and thanks for a job well done.

(Jim hasn’t asked me to support him. I just thought I should write something.)

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9 Thoughtful_Voter April 22, 2017 at 6:26 PM

I never vote based on popularity or personality (though an amicable demeanor is important). It’s all about competence, experience and PERFORMANCE. I think Jim Hegarty has satisfied benchmarks in each of these categories. He’s got a business management degree, experience in accounting and over two decades experience with the FBI. He’s got my vote.

Bill Boland provided little leadership on most key issues while serving on the Bd of Selectmen (Select people?) Let’s keep Jim!

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10 Dale Veeneman April 25, 2017 at 12:55 PM

Since Jim was elected, he has done an outstanding job streamlining Southborough’s operations. He is dedicated, professional, knowledgeable, and above all, courteous. I cannot imagine replacing him as Town Clerk with anyone else.

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11 MarthaB April 25, 2017 at 2:42 PM

I’m hitting my “like” button for Dale’s comment!

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