Town Election: Last call to throw your hat in the ring (and acknowledging outgoing selectmen)

by beth on March 22, 2019

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I’m happy to share that it looks like there won’t be an empty seat on the May ballot. (Although, some candidates have yet to return papers and those who did can still change their minds.)*

Since I last posted, Marnie Hoolahan pulled papers to run for the Planning Board. In addition, papers were returned by two more of the candidates for selectmen.

Still, I hate to see so many uncontested seats. That’s no slight on any of the candidates. And I’m sure some of the incumbents have earned our trust. I just like to know that elected officials have been chosen by voters. 

To quote Selectwoman Bonnie Phaneuf back in 2011 when she called for more than two candidates to run to take over her seat:

A public debate must take place in this town for the benefit of the community.

If you’ve been on the fence about running – you still have until 5:00 pm today to run down to the Town Clerk’s office and pull papers.

Further down, I’ve listed the candidates who have already pulled/filed papers for the 2019 Town Election. But first, I want to share more on decisions by current selectmen Phaneuf and Brian Shifrin not to run for re-election.

It’s worth noting that this May, Selectwoman Phaneuf will be completing almost 14 years of service as a member of the board. Prior to her election in 2014 and re-election in 2016, she had served from 2002 – 2011. (That was back when the board was only three people and prior to legislation increasing the Town Administrator’s authority.) In 2011, she stepped down for personal reasons. Phaneuf has also served in elected positions on Southborough Housing Authority and the Regional School Committee in the past, plus other appointed positions.

But, she’s not done. Phaneuf announced at this week’s Board of Selectmen meeting that she will now focus on senior issues. That includes continuing her work on the Town’s Americans with Disabilities Act Committee. She said that the board had been aware of her decision not to run again for about 5-6 months.

Phaneuf thanked her colleagues, and everyone she’s served with “for many, many years.” She said she hopes “others step forward to enjoy what I’ve enjoyed.” Chair Lisa Braccio acknowledged the “leadership and the experience that you have brought to this board”. She told her it was one of the reasons that she ran for the office. She told Phaneuf that she admired her dedication and all that she had done.

As for Selectman Shifrin, his term has been much shorter. Shifrin previously served on the Recreation Commision, then was elected in a Special Election in fall 2017. But, as many readers are aware, Shifrin has been battling ALS

Earlier this month, Shifrin told supporters on Facebook:

I wanted to thank you all for your ongoing support. After much thoughtful consideration and discussions with my family I have decided not to run for re-election. I loved being your selectman for the past year and a half. It was a dream for me and I am so grateful to each and everyone of you. Southborough is a special town. I hope to see you around town as I finish up my term and focus on health and family.

Now here is the updated list of who pulled papers for the ballot in May. 

Unless otherwise noted, these candidates have already returned papers to run:

Board of Assessors – 3 year term
Jeffrey W. Klein (incumbent)

Board of Commissioners of Trust Funds – 3 year term
Nicholas McCoy (incumbent)

Board of Commissioners of Trust Funds – 2 year term
Susan Delarda-Wood

Board of Health – 3 year term
(papers not yet returned) Timothy James Fish
Mary Lou Wofford (incumbent)

Board of Selectmen – vote for two – 3 year term
Steven J. David
Martin F. Healey
(papers not yet returned) Joseph E. Hubley
Sam Stivers

Board of Trustees Southborough Library – vote for two – 3 year term
Marguerite H. Landry (incumbent)
Richard J. Wallace (incumbent)

Housing Authority – 5 year term
Nancy G. Morris (incumbent)

Moderator – 1 year term
Paul M. Cimino (incumbent)

Northborough-Southborough Regional School Committee – Southborough candidate – 3 year term
Daniel L. Kolenda (incumbent)

Planning Board – 5 year term
(papers not yet returned) Marnie L. Hoolahan

Southborough School Committee – 3 year term
Roger W. Challen (incumbent)

For those of you considering a run, click here to open the Town’s full list of vital dates. If you have questions about the responsibilities of the positions, you can find information here.

*Candidates have until 5:00 pm on March 26th to return the papers and until the same time on April 11th to withdraw their names from the ballot.

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