By Sue Ellen Woodcock
Voters will face a choice of several candidates vying for Town Council President, School Committee and other council seats. They will also be asked to consider several ballot questions having to do with the Town Charter. Voter turnout is expected to be about 4,000 or about 36% of eligible voters.
In the race for Town Council President, current Town Council Vice President Craig Mael and former selectman Robert Driscoll are challenging each other. Mael, born and raise in town as was Driscoll, has a background in technology and works at Core Solutions, a customer relationship management software consultancy.
Driscoll is currently is the director of finance at the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center.
“Ever since 2012, I’ve been thinking about ways to get back involved in the town,” Driscoll said. “I had been appointed to two non-profit boards that have a huge impact on Winthrop: treasurer and chairman of the finance committee of the East Boston Neighborhood Community Health Center and a member of the asset liability committee of the Winthrop Federal Credit Union.”
Either Mael or Driscoll will take over the Town Council President seat from Peter Gill, who has opted not to seek re-election.
“My fundamental goal is to move the town forward,” Mael said during a panel discussion last week.
The race to watch is for School Committee, with six candidates vying for three seats. School Committee chairman Gary Skomro has already said he will not seek re-election, nor will fellow committee members Melissa Polino or Mary Ellen Sharkey. Campaigning hard for a chance to serve on the committee are Laura Callis, Tino Capobianco, Christopher Hurley, Marcie Moline, Ron Vecchia and Jared Wickham.
The race for Housing Authority is on with two seats to fill and four candidates seeking those spots. Incumbents Richard Honan and Frank Ferrara will face a challenge from Matthew Callis and Jeanne Maggio.
In Precinct 2, incumbent James Letterie will face a challenge from Michael Bertino and in Precinct 4 with an open seat Paul Caruccio will face off against Heather Engman, who currently serves on the Board of Health.
The race for two seats on the Board of Library Trustees will feature incumbent Ron Bergman and newcomers Tom Connolly, Stephen Hines and Donald Sullivan. Longtime trustee Jim Matarazzo will not seek re-election nor will trustee Maria Ferri.
In this election, running unopposed are Phil Boncore for one councilor at-large seat and Linda Calla for Precinct 6 councilor. In next year’s election, the other term for councilor at-large that is held by Richard Boyajian will be contested as well as council seats for Precincts 1, 3 and 5.
Last week Cindy Silva, co-vice president of the PTO, served as moderator for a question and answer style panel for School Committee candidates and Town Council President. Mael was by himself as Driscoll could not make the event. Mael took some school related questions, but that is understandable since the Town Council President is automatically a member of the School Committee.
The entire debate can be viewed WCAT local cable access.