New candidate to challenge Select Board chair
A new contender will be challenging current Select Board chair Stanley Mickelson in the upcoming town election on April 7.
First-time candidate Joe Lemieux has submitted nomination papers and will be making a bid for the board position this year.
Lemieux said that his decision to run was due in part to his conviction that the town treats its residents poorly.
Dartmouth officials are seeking an enforcement action to transfer ownership of Lemieux’s property, Brady Estates in North Dartmouth, to the town, following conditions in a zoning variance from 2012.
Lemieux said that he would like the town to treat its residents better.
“Mostly I want to make the town a better place to get things done,” he said. “Everybody in the town hinders progress instead of helping.”
He added that he’d like to look at the permitting process to make it more user friendly. “The town has too much control,” he said. “It just has too many rules and regulations. It’s just getting crazy, and nobody can get anything done. It’s ridiculous.”
Lemieux was born and raised in Dartmouth. “My sister lives in the house my father built,” he said. He started a contracting business in 1989, and does a variety of jobs around town.
Dartmouth Town Clerk Lynn Medeiros said that the nomination papers would have to be confirmed as valid before Lemieux is considered as an official candidate for election. She expects this will be complete by the end of the week.
Incumbent Stanley Mickelson has been on the Select Board since 2014, and will be seeking his third term.
Mickelson moved from New Bedford to Dartmouth 35 years ago. He started off in municipal government as a Town Meeting member, then joined the Zoning Board of Appeals and later the Planning Board.
A local businessman at Robinson Supply Company, during his time on the Select Board Mickelson has seen construction of many new projects in town, including completion of the Padanaram Causeway, the Maritime Center, police headquarters, the North Dartmouth library, and Phase I of the Memorial Stadium renovations.
Former Select Board and School Committee member David Faria had also taken out nomination papers to run in the race, but had failed to return them by the February 18 deadline.
The former Dartmouth police officer said that among his concerns were fiscal issues such as a proposed tax override and growing unfunded liabilities.
Unfunded liabilities are future debt obligations for which funds have not yet been put aside. In Dartmouth, they are mostly from employee pensions and retiree healthcare.
Dartmouth residents can register to vote for the election through 8 p.m. on Wednesday, March 18.
Voter registration forms are available on the town’s website at town.dartmouth.ma.us under “Election Information.”