No races up for grabs in annual town election

By

Officials opt against combining with primary ~

The town of Canton will hold its annual town election this coming Tuesday, April 2, and once again there should be minimal drama thanks to a contest-free ballot headed by several longtime incumbents.

Included in that group is William C. Galvin, a state representative in the Sixth Norfolk District who will be seeking his tenth consecutive term on the Board of Assessors, and Selectman John Connolly, a veteran of Canton politics who will be seeking his ninth consecutive term on the BOS.

Other incumbents running unopposed in Tuesday’s election include William McDaid for Housing Authority, Robert Schneiders for Board of Health, and Margaret Mead and Kathy Fox Alfano for library trustee.

Meanwhile, two additional incumbents, School Committee members John Bonnanzio and Reuki Schutt, have opted to run for the two one-year seats that were created by the resignations of Liz Salisbury and Jill Stevens, and the two individuals currently serving in those posts — David Emhardt and Robert Golledge Jr. — have decided to run for the expiring three-year terms held by Bonnanzio and Schutt.

Rounding out the ballot are a pair of political newcomers: Emily Prigot, who is running for library trustee in place of Betty Chelmow, and Tori McClain, a self-proclaimed political outsider who is seeking the Planning Board seat that’s being vacated by Gary Vinciguerra.

Tuesday will mark the second time in three years that the ballot will be completely uncontested, and last year’s election only fared marginally better, with a two-way battle for Housing Authority and a ballot question on the Community Preservation Act serving as the only two highlights.

Yet even with the absence of any challengers, the polls must still be open in order to accommodate potential write-in candidates, according to Town Clerk Tracy Kenney, who had inquired with the state Elections Division about forgoing the 2011 municipal election.

Kenney, who was hoping to save the town the estimated $8,000 to $10,000 in associated election costs, was given the answer that she had expected to hear. “Unfortunately, no,” she told the Citizen at the time. “You cannot deny voters the right to write in a candidate’s name on the ballot the day of the election.”

What the town could have done, however, was to combine this year’s municipal election with the April 30 special state primary for U.S. Senate, thus saving money on poll workers, police details, and other related costs.

The state legislature had offered this “dual election” option to any community whose municipal election falls within 30 days of the upcoming primary, and dozens of cities and towns took advantage, citing the cost savings and the added convenience for voters.

Kenney said she supported this option for Canton and even recommended it to Town Administrator Bill Friel; however, the Board of Selectmen, which has final authority over elections, chose not to consider it.

“They never took a vote on it,” noted Kenney, who also made her pitch to individual selectmen. “Without their approval, it’s just not an option.”

When reached for comment last week, Selectmen Chairman Bob Burr said the board ultimately chose to preserve the April 2 election out of respect for the voters as well as the candidates.

“We have a town election every year,” said Burr. “To put it as part of a primary election we run the risk of interfering with a tradition that this town has. So I think we did the responsible thing in not interfering with that.”

Burr also noted that the recommendation from Kenney was presented informally and was “somewhat speculative” considering that the state had not yet enacted the special legislation allowing the dual election format. He added that the savings would have been “negligible” and that there is “great belief” that the state is going to reimburse towns for the cost of the primary election.

Those who do intend to vote in the April 30 primary must register by Wednesday, April 10, either in person at the town clerk’s office or by mail (forms are available at sec.state.ma.us/ele). Candidates to succeed John Kerry in the U.S. Senate include Democrats Stephen Lynch and Ed Markey and Republicans Gabriel Gomez, Michael Sullivan, and Daniel Winslow.

Polls in both the April 2 and April 30 elections will be open to all registered voters between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. at four locations: Canton High School for precincts 1 and 6; Dean S. Luce School for precinct 2; Blue Hills Regional for precinct 3; and John F. Kennedy School for precincts 4 and 5. A precinct map is also available at www.town.canton.ma.us/Clerks/Canton-precinct.pdf.

Share This Post

Short URL: http://www.thecantoncitizen.com/?p=19747

avatar Posted by on Mar 28 2013. Filed under News, Town Election, Town Government. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
Canton Citizen Absolute Landscaping

Search Archive

Search by Date
Search by Category
Search with Google
Log in | Copyright Canton Citizen 2011