MAC: Interesting Election Statistics

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Did you know …

Let’s get it straight, the majority of Cantonites do not vote in town elections. If five excellent candidates running for selectman, including a longtime (27-year) incumbent, could only muster up 15.9 percent of the registered voters in Canton, then we are all in trouble — and we are not alone. In Stoughton, with two incumbent selectmen running with two challengers, only 12.8 percent of residents cast their votes, ousting the two incumbents. This is a problem, and changing the voting date from April to November is not going to make a difference in Canton except in a presidential election year. In Canton’s town election, only 2,361 of the 14,828 registered voters cast a ballot, while in Stoughton, on the same election day (April 7), only 2,348 of 18,284 voters turned out at the polls.

In analyzing the selectmen’s race, word around town before the election was that Kevin Feeney, a well-liked Canton attorney, was going to top the ticket, and he did. Feeney was backed by many high-end politicians that included Selectmen Chairman Vic Del Vecchio, Planning Board member and former Selectman George Jenkins, and Planning Board Chairman Jeremy Comeau and company. Feeney also raised $4,620, which included $500 from Attorney Paul Schneiders, $500 from Bernie Plante of the Plymouth Rubber development team, $300 from developer John Marini, and $250 from developer John Keith.

Political observers felt it would be a toss-up between Gene Manning and Mark Porter for the second spot, and it was, with Porter edging out Manning by only 41 votes, 942-901. Porter attributed his success to knocking on over 700 doors, making phone calls, and building a campaign website. He also spent over $5,000 of his own money. Manning, one of the good guys in Canton, gave it a great shot but came up a little short.

Incumbent Avril Elkort was in trouble for a number of reasons: Her next-door neighbor on York Street, School Committee member John Bonnanzio, jumped in the race, siphoning off votes from her home precinct (3); the roundabout fiasco (Elkort lost to Feeney in Precinct 2, home of the roundabout, by 105 votes); and the skating rink collapse under the selectmen’s watch.

Bonnanzio, who was the last candidate to jump in the race, finished last with 595 votes. But he did have the best ad with a flyer insert in the Canton Citizen the last week before the election.

There were four registered Republicans out of the five candidates running for selectman. The Republican Town Committee gave $200 to Elkort and Bonnanzio.

The youngest candidate was Porter at 30 years old, while the oldest was Elkort at 80 years old.

There are now three selectmen living on Chapman Street: John Connolly, Del Vecchio, and Porter. Feeney’s election headquarters was on Chapman Street. Also, the street is home to Bruce Rohr and Jeremy Comeau, two members of Feeney’s election committee.

There were six newcomers elected to office in Canton. In addition to Feeney and Porter, four other newcomers, all running unopposed, won a seat: Kristin Mirliani on the School Committee, Adam Brothers and Janet Walrod on the Housing Authority, and Bernard Mendillo on the Library Board of Trustees. There were also seven incumbents who ran uncontested for reelection.

Precinct 2 (home of the roundabout) topped the six voting precincts with 502 votes, while Precinct 1, which years ago was always the top voting precinct, had one of the lowest turnouts with only 312 votes, just barely edging out Precinct 3 with 305 votes.

Kevin Feeney is a Class of 1975 Canton High School graduate.

Feeney won five of the six precincts, losing only Precinct 3 to Elkort (132-83), where Feeney came in last. Precinct 3 is a very heavy Republican precinct, and Feeney was the only Democrat running.

Only 126 votes separated the top three vote getters: Feeney with 1,027, Porter with 942, and Manning with 901.

It is interesting to note that Elkort (795 votes) received $1,725 in donations and spent $1,071, but she started with a balance of $3,476.

The state legislators recently passed a bill that raises from $600 to $1,200 the threshold at which gamblers playing any machines at the state’s future casinos and slot parlors must temporarily stop gambling and fill out a form letting the state know that he or she has won the money. The casino would subtract 5 percent of the winnings as a withholding tax.

In 2010, the state legislature approved a law banning the typing, sending, or reading of text messages and/or email while driving. That law also prohibits drivers under 18 from using any type of cell phone or mobile electronic device. This year, the legislators will be voting to completely ban the use of handheld cellphones while driving. If passed, the measure would have Massachusetts join 10 other states that allow only hands-free phones while driving.

Jack McGowan, a Canton resident and a sophomore at Catholic Memorial High School, was a member of the team that captured the Division 1 state basketball championship.

The Boston Globe listed Thayer Academy senior midfielder Ryan Pfeffer of Canton as a player to watch during the lacrosse season. Pfeffer had 31 goals and 23 assists last year while leading Thayer (18-1) to its first Independent School League title.

And finally, MAC was sad to read about the death of Eugene Patton, a regular on one of MAC’s favorite TV shows in the 1970s, The Gong Show, an absurdist talent show hosted by Chuck Barris. Patton was the stagehand who became “Gene Gene the Dancing Machine” who would get onstage and do a shuffling dance to kill time on the show, twisting his feet and dodging objects thrown onstage as the studio audience cheered.

Too many people quit looking for work when they find a job.

This is all for now folks. See you next week.

Joe DeFelice can be reached at manaboutcanton@aol.com.

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avatar Posted by on Apr 17 2015. Filed under Featured Content, Man About Canton, Opinion.
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