Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

News

January 31, 2013

Town critics eye Selectmen race

Larry Bruce, Mary Carbone consider challenging incumbents

(Continued)

Next, Vispoli hopes the town tackles merging the town’s Plant and Facilities Department with the Department of Public Works.

Salafia, a long-time Planning Board member elected to fill a two-year selectmen seat in 2011, said his plan for his first three-year term would be to focus on what he couldn’t do with a shorter term.

“I originally ran with 17 years experience on Planning Board to help the Board of Selectmen with zoning, and all my expertise in planning certainly does help with the Town Yard, the (Ballardvale) Fire Station, the Bancroft school,” he said.

While those projects need solutions, some of which are already in the works, “I would love to be part of the final solution on the Route 93 interchange,” he said.

The towns of Tewksbury, Wilmington and Andover have been involved in planning for a new Interstate 93 exit in an as-yet undeveloped space where the three towns meet.

Now, “we’re nearly shovel ready,” Salafia said. “The three towns have agreed, in principal. It really stands in both the state and federal governments’ courts at this point.”

During Vispoli’s last election in 2010, he took first place to Jerry Stabile Jr., whose departure later that year led to Salafia being elected to serve the two years remaining of his term. Bruce took third in the race with just over half as many votes as Vispoli.

While that campaign ran without issue, Bruce ran again in 2011 against Salafia and current Selectmen Dan Kowalski for the remainder of Stabile’s time on the board. That election ended with a state investigation into a violation of campaign law from Andover Youth Services.

Bruce brought the state’s attention to the race after Andover youth were transported in town vehicles to the polling place on election day to campaign for Salafia. After their investigation, the Office of Campaign and Political Finance said town resources were being used inappropriately to influence an election.

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