- Special Sections
BELLINGHAM - Voters go to the polls on Tuesday, May 3 to decide contested races for Board of Selectmen, School Committee and Housing Authority.
The last day to register to vote in the election is this Wednesday. The Town Clerkâ€™s office will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. that day for last-minute registrations.
There are four candidates running for two available three-year seats on the Board of Selectmen.
Incumbent Mary E. Chaves is seeking re-election and is running along with three other candidates. They are Edward F. Featherston, Toni A. Picariello and Michael J. Soter.
Longtime Selectman Jerry Mayhew has decided not to seek re-election.
In the School Committee race, incumbent Cheryl Gray is defending her seat against challenger Robert E. Geromini.
The final race on the ballot is a two-candidate contest for a one-year seat on the Housing Authority between candidates Linda Cartier and Joanne Guzowski.
Incumbent Suzanne Garten and Lisa Hanson are running uncontested for two seats on the Library Board of Trustees; incumbent Debra Saco is the only candidate on the ballot for a five-year seat on the Housing Authority; and Peter M. Morelli is running unopposed for re-election to the Planning Board.
Chaves, 56, who is seeking a second term on the Board of Selectmen, said that if re-elected, she would focus on attracting high-tech, light manufacturing and financial businesses to Bellingham by reevaluating zoning and offering tax incentives to companies that promise to create jobs.
Featherston, 56, of 54 Laurel Lane, is a former member of the School Committee and a 23-year resident of town. He has also served on two School Department subcommittees, including the Facility Study and Superintendent Search Committees.
If elected, Featherston, who works at a Burlington-based consulting firm, said he would find ways for the town to continue providing services, even as state funding dwindles.
Picariello, a 62-year-old paralegal and town Finance Committee clerk, said that if she is elected she would push for the board to take a harder stance with unions during negotiations and propose that some fees and regulations assessed by the Conservation Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals be reduced.
Soter, a sales manager for a Florida bakery company, says town leaders need to work together and complete a line-by-line review of the budget to determine if money could be better allocated for education, emergency services and roadwork.