Election Update

A dozen residents are running in multiple races for Town offices this spring.

Yesterday was the deadline for filing papers for the upcoming Town election. All of the candidates I previously posted about followed through to file. (And no new ones popped up since my last post.)

This should be a lively campaign season with 12 candidates running for four contested offices. For the contested races this year, only one involves an incumbent.

Unless they officially withdraw by 5:00 pm on April 6th, all of the candidates below will appear on the ballot for the May 9th election.

There are some interesting dynamics at in the contested races worth highlighting:

Board of Commissioners of Trust Funds – 3 years
    William Boland (incumbent)
    Sam Stivers

Stivers and Boland both serve on the 5-person Public Works Planning Board where they have voiced strongly opposing views over that board’s role. Boland is also a former member of the Select Board (2006-2015) on which Stivers currently serves.

Planning Board – 5 years
    Lisa Braccio
    Michael Weishan

Last year, accusations flew back and forth between Weishan (who was the Historical Commission Chair) and the Select Board on which Braccio was serving as the Chair. (She is still a member until her term expires on May 9th.) 

Braccio had opened a Conflict of Interest investigation into Weishan over expenses he received reimbursement for through the Historical Commission on which he served. (He was Chair in 2022, but not at the time the reimbursements were submitted years earlier.) He resigned and publicly accused Braccio and the board of pursuing the charges in retaliation for his public political positions (mainly opposition to their handling of the St. Mark’s Park project). The board refuted those claims and referred the matter to the State Ethics Commission for investigation.

Select Board – 3 years — vote for two
    Alfred C. Hamilton
    Marguerite H. Landry
    David W. Parry
    Brett E. Peters
    Albena Phillipo

Last year, Hamilton (a former Advisory Committee member) was one of the outspoken opponents at Annual Town Meeting over the Select Board’s handling of the controversial St. Mark’s park project.

Landry is the Chair of the Library Trustees and has been serving as the Chair of the St. Mark’s Street Working Group, to solicit public feedback and recommend a design concept for the park.

Parry is a former Select Board member (1995-2005), who has butted heads publicly with the board and town officials several times over the past decade (with accusations and counter-accusations). This year he has been accusing Town officials of wrong doing related to the park project, charges the board rejects. He has a Citizen’s Petition Article to push for an Investigation to Corruption on the Town Meeting Warrant.

(I’m not as familiar with the other two candidates, but look forward to hearing from them.)

Southborough School Committee – 3 years — vote for two
    Zhi Li
    Chelsea Malinowski
    Johanna A. Sheyner

Li and Sheyner both competed to fill the School Committee’s vacancy in December. (A third candidate, a former member who vowed not to run this spring, was appointed instead.) You can read more about them from my coverage of those inteviews here.

Malinowski is the Vice Chair Select Board member who chose to run for this position rather than re-election.

I will be sharing one candidate’s statement per candidate between now and the election. (Those can be emailed to mysouthborough@gmail.com.)

The following candidates (including ones from Northborough) will be running uncontested on our ballot:

Assabet Valley Regional Vocational District School Committee – 1 year
    Mark E. Pietrewicz (incumbent by interim appointment)

Board of Assessors – 3 years
    Tammi A. Rice (incumbent)

Board of Health – 3 years
    Elizabeth Sanford Zulick

Board of Trustees Library – 3 years — vote for two
    Jane Cecilia Davis (incumbent)
    Amy S. Yazdani (incumbent)

Moderator – 1 year
    Paul M. Cimino (incumbent)

Northborough-Southborough Regional School Committee – 3 years
    Northborough Candidates vote for two
        Christopher D. Covino (incumbent)
        Sean P. O’Shea (incumbent)
    Southborough Candidates vote for two
        Paul H. Desmond (incumbent)
        John F. Wysocki (incumbent by interim appointment)

Southborough School Committee – 1 year
    Kamali A. O’Meally (incumbent)

Town Clerk – 3 years
    James F. Hegarty (incumbent)

For more details on the election, click here.

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Michael Weishan
2 months ago

Beth, I think you are doing your readers a disservice here, as there is a lot more to my bio and this Planning Board race than rehashing false ethics claims made by Braccio and Co. It’s pretty clear to most everyone that Ms. Braccio wasted thousands of dollars of taxpayers’ money and town resources in an attempt to silence the principal St. Mark Triangle whistleblower and her most prominent political critic. I was exonerated by the Ethics Commission, btw, and now MS BRACCIO is the subject of an ethics complaint over retaliatory use of public funds, as well as her BOS votes on the DPW while her husband was a 70K paid contractor…
To be clear, I do NOT intend to run my campaign on these negative issues. In fact, I don’t intend to mention them again, unless you or others continue to raise them. Ms. Braccio owns her own sins, and she can justify them, or not, to her liking.
I stand by MY record.
What I am going to be talking about are my qualifications for office: 35 years of national design and architectural experience; two decades of service on the Historical Commission; author of the immensely successful Demolition Delay Bylaw. which has saved over a half-dozen historic properties in town; co-author of the Adaptive Reuse Bylaw; fierce critic of the make-believe Downtown District zoning which was nothing but smoke and mirrors and has produced nothing, nor will ever; town historian and president of the Southborough Historical Society; as well as envisioner and builder of Southborough’s new Arts and Cultural Center at Fayville Hall. Oh yes, and you might now add defender of the street trees and stone walls of Cordaville Road, and the much neglected south side of town in general, which never seems to receive the funding or investment so lavished on the north…
That’s what I am going to be discussing, and I hope you will join me in this positive, forward-thinking, issue-driven approach to the upcoming campaign.

David Parry
2 months ago

VOTERS PAY ATTENTION PLEASE. Regarding the election of a new Planning Board member … we will miss the excellent departing member Andrew Mills. As for his replacement, there can be little question as to who is most qualified and most honest. Yes … the issues of honesty and ethics are in play here.

Michael Weishan is FAR MORE TECHNICALLY QUALIFIED … Compated to zero qualified politician Ms Braccio .

We are voting for a PLANNING Board member, not a politician. We need to support qualified candidates, not ex-politicians who are only running for Planning Board because they cannot win an election to extend their current position on the Select Board (due to corruption).

The Planning Board needs people with real experitise, in specific areas :
… land use planning, development procedures, architectural design, landscape design, and historical preservation.

Does Ms Braccio have even ONE of these qualifications ? NO, she does NOT. Not even one. Her qualifactions for Planning Board are non-existant. Let’s face the truth here … she wants to retain some political relevance, after being accused JUSTIFIABLY …of BLATANT CONFLICT OF INTEREST.

Here is the notorious confllict which she is now being officially investigated on … Ms Braccio’s husband works for DPW, to the tune of about $70;000 per year … meaning Ms Braccio CANNOT legally vote on (or even discuss) ANYTHING related to DPW … But what did she do ? … she COMMITTED A FLAGRANT VIOLATION of the State Code of Ethics. Why did she do this? It is perfectly obvious. Read on.

Braccio sought to increase her political influence over Karen Galligan …. who at that time was the Sup of DPW, and therefore the employer and boss of Braccio’s husband. But HOW could Braccio increase her influence over Galligan ? Simple … by voting to continue Galligan’s appointment as Sup of DPW, at an increased salary over $120.000. Galligan employed her husband ! Therefore Bracciio’s vote was JUST PLAIN ILLEGAL !

We do not need corrupt officials in Soutborough. We need to clean house. Galligan is gone … good riddance. She was another corrupt offcial whose most obvious offense was her promotion of an expensive gift, from her own fiefdom of town DPW, to her Alma Mater, St Marks School. … the gift of a free site for a private parking lot … which requires a complicated “Land Swap”, and the abandonment of a perfectly good road .

(Note on the St Marks Rd Project . This is coming up for a vote at Town Meeting on Saturday, as Articles 12 and 13. It needs to be thoroughly REJECTED. This is NOT a legitimate public works project benefitting the Town. No. instead it is a Town project beneffiting a wealthy, private school. Furthermore, the so-called “park” is just “window dressing” intended to make it look morre attractive. This is a terrible site for a park, next to a major highway. And the land used for the “park” will be needed instead, in the long term. for an expansion of the library parking lot).

Further on corruption … IT IS TRUE that Galligan is an alumnus of St Marks. She should NEVER have partipated in the project. But she did, and she sought to give St Marks a series of gifts. Call it by its name … corruption. St Marks should NOT have asked for the parking lot. But they did … and this has been testified to by the Towm’s consultant road engineers Vanesse Hangen, who acted as staff to Galligan.

Voters …. let’s clean up Southborough. It is high time. If you want to help, then do NOT vote for Ms Braccio. There is NO question that she violated the State ethics codes, and was a strong supporter of Galligan, our former DPW Sup who resigned last year under pressure.

By the way .. here is an additional ASTONISHING fact that demonstrates so clearly Braccio’s vindictive character. … back in 2021, she took such strong offense against Michael Weishan, because Michael had pointed out (CORRECTLY) the many CORRUPT elements of Braccio’s favorite project … the St Marks Rd Project. As a result, Braccio became so angry at Michael, that she FALSELY accused him of improper payment of a puny $300 bill to the town. This $300 bill was proven to be for a LEGITIMATE Historical Commission project. But because of Braccio’s improper complaint, Michael had to spend over $10,000 on legal fees, just to rebut her FALSE ACCUSATIONS. Michael was officially exonnerated. Braccio lost and went into a funk ….

Voters, beware. Remember this true tale of corruption … a tale of low ethics, where Braccio’s family gets $70,000 from the town, as COMPARED to Michael’s puny $300. A ratio of 200 to 1. Isn’t that the perfect example of Braccio being a vindictive HYPOCRIT ?

Vote for an HONEST and ETHICAL candidate … Vote for Michael Weishan. He is superbly qualified for Planning Board, and he has a long record of helping our Towm.

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