Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

News

January 31, 2013

Town critics eye Selectmen race

Larry Bruce, Mary Carbone consider challenging incumbents

Four people familiar with Andover politics are eying two seats for the Board of Selectmen in this year’s annual elections.

There are still a few days left for residents who hope to run for the open seats to pull nomination papers and gather signatures.

So far, two residents had guaranteed themselves spots in this year’s contest after filing their paperwork and having all signatures certified. They’re also both incumbents: Paul Salafia, elected the board for two years in 2011, and Alex Vispoli, elected to a third term on the board in 2010.

A third resident has filed papers to run, but hadn’t yet gone through certification as of Townsman deadline on Tuesday. Larry Bruce, of Chandler Road, filed his papers to run with 63 signatures to be certified. 50 are necessary to run.

As of Tuesday, Cyr Circle resident Mary Carbone also pulled nomination papers. She said she hadn’t yet decided on officially running for office, but pulled papers so she could keep her options open.

Bruce said he is running because “there aren’t any candidates running that have the residents’ interests at heart.”

If Bruce were to be elected, he said his top priority would be updating the town’s charter so it reflects “a better form of government.”

“If you notice, the attendance of Town Meeting on the second night can often be as low as 200 when critical articles are voted upon,” Bruce said. “There’s such a small sampling of residents, that it’s very easy for a special interest group to stuff the meeting and cast upon the residents votes which aren’t in the general public’s interest.”

When asked to respond, both Salafia and Vispoli said the current system is the right one for Andover, and under alternatives, a similar number of people would participate.

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