Intriguing possibilities in play for ’14 election

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A wide-open School Committee race and the potential for at least a three-way battle for two selectmen’s seats are a few of the intriguing possibilities that could emerge during the 2014 town election season in Canton, which officially got underway on Monday, January 27, with the release of nomination forms by the town clerk’s office.

A total of 12 local offices are up for grabs on the April 8 ballot, and already there have been several incumbents who have either picked up nomination papers or have indicated their intention to seek reelection, including both of the selectmen who are up this year, Bob Burr and Victor Del Vecchio, as well as Daniel Flood on the Board of Assessors, Dr. Julie Goodman on the Board of Health, Martin Dorian on the Housing Authority, and Dorothy Shea and Susan Cogliano on the Library Board of Trustees.

So far, the only incumbent who has decided not to run is Planning Board member Kristin Mirliani, who announced her decision earlier this week.

In an email to her fellow board members, Mirliani said it had been an “honor” to serve on the Planning Board, adding, “I am hopeful that my replacement will continue to try to manage development in our town in a manner that is thoughtful and beneficial.”

The Canton School Committee, meanwhile, has three seats up for consideration, and at least one of them — a two-year vacancy — will likely go to a newcomer following the unexpected resignation of Dave Emhardt earlier this month.

Emhardt, who cited personal reasons for his departure, was initially appointed to the committee to fill the remaining term of Jill Stevens, who resigned in July 2012. He went on to serve for eight months before running uncontested for a full term last April.

In addition, the committee’s two longest tenured members, Reuki Schutt and John Bonnanzio, are also up for reelection for the second straight year. Last spring, both had opted to run for the one-year vacancies created by the departures of Stevens and Liz Salisbury, while the two new replacements, Emhardt and Robert Golledge, went after the two available three-year terms.

Both Schutt and Bonnanzio are leaning toward running again this year, although Schutt said she would consider stepping aside if others expressed interest, while Bonnanzio is still weighing his options — including a possible run for the Board of Selectmen.

At this point, Bonnanzio said there is still a “good chance” that he ends up challenging Burr and Del Vecchio for a seat on the BOS, adding that he strongly believes the board “needs some fresh thinking.”

“What ultimately will drive my decision is whether or not I think the School Committee will be well-situated for the next several years,” said Bonnanzio in a recent telephone interview. “There’s still a lot that I want to see happen in the schools and so much work that still needs to be done.”

To that end, Bonnanzio said it may be best if he committed another three years to the School Committee, but he would gladly shift his focus to the BOS if a handful of “capable and qualified” school board candidates were to emerge.

“I just think that I’ve got a lot of good ideas for this town, and I want to put my best efforts where I am needed the most,” he said.

As for Schutt, she too is leaning toward a reelection bid, although she does not intend to “monopolize a seat.”

“I continue to have a great interest in our schools and find that being a member of the School Committee is very rewarding,” Schutt wrote in an email to the Citizen. “As a ‘veteran,’ I have some historical perspective that can also be helpful to the committee. Regardless, some new faces in town politics would be most welcome.”

Those who do intend to seek office must obtain the signatures of at least 50 registered voters in the town of Canton. The last day to obtain nomination papers is Friday, February 14, at 5 p.m., and the last day to file completed nomination papers with the town clerk’s office is Tuesday, February 18, at 7 p.m.

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avatar Posted by on Jan 30 2014. Filed under News, Town Election, Town Government.
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