Here’s who’s running in next month’s town election

Mar 3, 2021

The annual town election is a little over a month away — and a few of the contests are looking to be contentious this year.

Former town employee Jane (Kirby) Pansire will take on Kevin Estes for a seat on the Planning Board that will be vacated by longtime member Lorri-Ann Miller. 

Miller spent three decades on the Planning Board and helped establish the town’s solar bylaw along with zoning rules for Bliss Corner. 

A longtime resident and Town Meeting Member, Estes said joining the Planning Board would be a “great opportunity to give back to the town that’s done so much” for him. If elected, he said he wants to balance “residential and business needs” when making decisions.

Pansire — who worked for 12 years in the town’s zoning and planning offices — said that if elected, she would like to see more balance with how space is preserved and developed.

She said she would help preserve green spaces and encourage redevelopment of previously built and potentially underutilized parcels like gray and brown fields.

The Board of Health also has an open seat, as member Leslie McKinley opted not to run for reelection. Running for the position is Hawthorn Medical Associates’ Dr. Christian Pope, the board’s physician, and physician’s assistant Darci Moran.

Moran said a big factor in her bid for the position wanting to help out her town during and hopefully after the pandemic.

“I love this town,” she said. “It’s time for me to give back a little bit.” 

Town Clerk Sarah Arruda will run for another term at Town Hall and will face off against Kelsi Power-Spirlet — one of the finalists for the position this past August. 

Interim Planning Board member Christopher O’Neil — filling in for former member John Sousa, who resigned last August — will be running to finish the rest of Sousa’s term, currently set to expire in 2023.

Select Board chair Frank Gracie III and member David Tatelbaum are also running unopposed for their respective seats.

Dr. Shannon Jenkins is seeking reelection to the School Committee. Parks and Recreation Board members James Bosworth and Joan Britto have also submitted papers for reelection. Stanley Bielusiak is seeking reelection to the Board of Library Trustees.

The election will be held on April 6. On the ballot, residents will also be asked to vote on whether the Town Clerk position should be appointed starting July 1.