Most Barre incumbents unchallenged in March
BARRE — The campaign trail in Barre may be the road less traveled in the run-up to the city’s annual Town Meeting Day elections, because there is only one contested race for local office and City Clerk Carol Dawes said that was unintentional.
It wasn’t because of a lack of opportunities.
A quorum of Barre’s seven-member City Council will stand for election in March, as will four of the city’s nine school commissioners and three of its four representatives to the Spaulding High School Board.
Giuliano Cecchinelli’s term on the Spaulding board expires in March, and Dawes said the nominating petition he submitted shortly before Monday’s 5 p.m. deadline set the stage for the Granite City’s only race this year.
According to Dawes, Cecchinelli entered her office undecided about whether to run for re-election to his three-year seat or try for the two-year seat held by Joe Blakely, who will be stepping down in March. Cecchinelli’s petition answered the question for him, said Dawes, who explained the signatures he collected were clearly for the two-year seat and that he either needed to start from scratch with the clock ticking or file it and create a race.
Cecchinelli filed it, joining Romni Parker in the race for the two-year seat.
“We got a race unintentionally,” Dawes said.
According to Dawes, no one chose to run for Cecchinelli’s three-year seat on the board, and Spaulding board member Veronica Foiadelli-McCormick will be running unopposed for her one-year seat.
Mayor Thomas Lauzon is about to enter what he says will be his final year as the city’s highest elected official, and according to Dawes, his lame-duck worries won’t include turnover on the council.
Paul Poirier and Charlie Dindo are both running for re-election in Ward 1, Michael Smith is the lone candidate for his Ward 2 seat, and Lucas Herring is running for re-election unopposed in Ward 3. Poirier, Smith and Herring are all running for two-year terms, while Dindo, who was elected last year at a Ward 1 caucus, is running for the year remaining on former Councilor Dominic Etli’s term.
Lauzon isn’t running at all because — like Dawes — he is in the middle of his latest two-year term.
According to Dawes, three of four members of the city’s school board whose terms expire in March will be running for re-election. The fourth is Rachel Piper.
Piper announced she would be stepping down, but according to Dawes no one stepped up to run for her three-year seat.
Board members John Steinman, Anita Ristau and Leslie Walz all filed their nominating petitions. Steinman is running for a one-year term, Ristau for a two-year term and Walz for a three-year term.
Barring a successful write-in campaign, the board will have to appoint someone to fill Piper’s seat.
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