Mattapoisett Elections

2024 Town Elections

            Editor’s Note: The Wanderer has invited candidates in contested races (more candidates on the ballot than seats open) in the 2024 Marion, Mattapoisett and Rochester Town Elections to submit up to 350 words on their candidacy. Below are the Mattapoisett candidates for Select Board, Mattapoisett School Committee and Board of Assessors, and Rochester candidates for Rochester School Committee, ORR School Committee, Plumb Library Trustees and Park Commission. Also listed is the completion of Marion School Committee candidates that ran in last week’s issue.

Mattapoisett Select Board

            There is one open seat on the Mattapoisett Select Board being contested by two candidates, incumbent Jodi Lynn Bauer and challenger Kathleen Costello. The Mattapoisett Town Election will be held on Tuesday, May 21, at Old Hammondtown Elementary School.

Jodi Lynn Bauer

            I am currently the incumbent on the Mattapoisett Select Board and am seeking a second term. As a lifelong resident and dedicated public servant, I will continue working for you, the citizens of Mattapoisett. I have proven my trust by being honest, respectful, and fair to all. I have learned during these three years that you cannot please everyone. There are countless tough decisions to be made, and sometimes what is best for the individual is not what is best for all. Our Town will be undergoing public decision making this summer regarding the Transportation Improvement Project on our Main, Water, Beacon and Old Marion roads’ full-depth reconstruction. This project is designated to start by 2027 and is estimated at $16,000,000, which will be funded by federal and state funding at no cost to the taxpayers. Community engagement is needed to come to a consensus regarding our course of action. An important aspect of this project will address our stormwater management for the environment. The infrastructure is old and is not addressing proper retention-basin cleansing before discharging into our harbor. This is just one of many important infrastructure upgrades desperately needed by the town. I would continue to work with the Planning Board and Board of Appeals to look into our current bylaws of ADU (Accessory Dwelling Units) and possibly increase the square footage from 700 to 900 or larger. This will provide housing for families who want to remain in Mattapoisett. I would pursue a habitat house on a small, town-owned parcel since, unfortunately, we don’t own big parcels for housing. I will continue to network at the Massachusetts Municipal Association to provide information for what is the best course of action for Mattapoisett. We currently have $100,000,000 of capital projects on the 10-year plan. We know it will not be possible to fund all these large projects. But certain projects such as Town Hall building needs and a failing wharf cannot be ignored much longer. Thank you for your support, and please vote on May 21.

Kathleen Costello

            As a candidate for the Select Board, I am committed to serving the Town of Mattapoisett to ensure that we remain a vibrant community to live, work and raise a family. As a longtime resident of the town and having worked in the private and public sectors in both the schools and town hall, I have a unique perspective and skill set to address the challenges we face in the future while preserving what makes Mattapoisett special. I am currently the executive director for the Massachusetts Assessors, an association of over 1,500 members and several boards and committees. The MAAO is the governing authority for all Massachusetts assessors and is responsible for their education and administration. It is also an integral part of the legislative process regarding proposed changes in state law in all areas of taxation. I understand Open Meeting Law and ethics as it relates to the municipal environment. I retired in December of 2022 after over a decade as the administrator of assessing for the Town of Mattapoisett. As a senior member of the financial team, I gained insight into the challenges that face our town today and in the future. I have in-depth knowledge of fiscal finance and the impact that those decisions have on the taxpayers of Mattapoisett. I am proud that during my tenure I was responsible for the valuation and administration of the solar facilities. We were able to negotiate some of the most lucrative PILOTS (payments in lieu of taxes) in the commonwealth. This translated to a savings of approximately $400/year on the average tax bill of $7,732 while promoting “green” energy. My experience includes 5 years as a paraprofessional at the elementary schools, while I worked toward my commercial-appraisal license. I truly love our form of municipal government. One hand at town meetings can change an outcome, and everyone has a seat at the table. I believe that my involvement in our community, my professional experience both privately and publicly and my leadership skills make me an ideal candidate for Select Board. I respectfully ask for your vote on May 21.

Mattapoisett School Committee

            There are two open seats for three-year terms on the Mattapoisett School Committee being contested by three candidates: challengers Jack LeBrun and Kathleen McArdle-LeClair and incumbent James Muse. (Tiffany Reedy, whose term also expires this year, is not running for re-election.)

Jack LeBrun

            My name is Jack LeBrun, and I am thrilled to be running for the Mattapoisett School Committee. As a proud product of our community schools, including Center School and Old Hammondtown, I understand the pivotal role education plays in shaping successful student outcomes. I aim to ensure every student in Mattapoisett has access to a high-quality education that prepares them for success both inside and outside the classroom. I would be honored to have your support on May 21 as I advocate for excellence in our schools. Some have questioned why someone my age would pursue a role on the School Committee. My response is simple: My background and experiences have uniquely prepared me for this responsibility. Transitioning from my upbringing to my time in university, I continued to channel a passion for helping others by becoming deeply involved with my fellow student’s academic success as a peer advisor. Throughout my college career, I derived immense fulfillment from guiding fellow students on their academic journeys and aiding them in planning their future endeavors. This experience reinforced my belief in the transformative power of education and solidified my resolve to make a difference in our community. Known for my outgoing nature and dedication to service, I am eager to bring these qualities to the School Committee, effectively advocating for the needs of students, teachers, and families. This week, I am graduating from the Commonwealth Honors College at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, with degrees in Legal Studies and Psychology, and a specialization in Conflict Resolution. My academic focus has centered on collaboration and problem-solving, essential skills for fostering productive discussions and driving progress within our educational system. Let’s work towards making Mattapoisett’s schools a beacon of excellence and opportunity, preparing our next generation for success, and making our community proud. If you would like to learn more about me, please check out my website at: Thank you for your consideration! Sincerely, Jack L. LeBrun

Kathleen McArdle-LeClair

            My name is Kathleen McArdle-LeClair and I am running for a seat on the Mattapoisett School Committee. I am a 22-year resident of Mattapoisett, and my husband Patrick and I are the proud parents of two teenage boys who were both educated in the Mattapoisett and ORR schools. I am a paralegal by profession with 30 years of experience in the legal field and have been in my current role as a Corporate Governance paralegal for the past 10 years. This position involves oversight of all matters pertaining to the operations of our Board of Directors, including supporting board governance, policy compliance, and record keeping. Over the last couple of years, I have been educating myself on the functioning of our school board, attending committee meetings, reviewing our districts’ policies and the various laws that govern those policies. I have also spent some time familiarizing myself with the budget to gain a better understanding of how that process works and its many line items. In addition, I have also been researching how the district spent covid emergency grant funding, allocated to address the serious issue of lost learning, and how the district is measuring the success of these initiatives. I believe that independent and diverse perspectives, that consider the views of all stakeholders, is vital for any board to govern effectively and fairly. Strict compliance to policy and procedure mitigates risk, assures the community that there is consistency across the district and reduces the likelihood of confusion or unfair treatment. With my professional skills and my ability to work effectively as part of a team, I believe that I will help strengthen the performance of our school committee through improved policy processes that will bring more transparency, trust, and accountability to the community. It would be my honor to serve you all in this role and I humbly ask you for your vote on May 21. Sincerely, Kathleen

James Muse

            I have had the privilege of serving the citizens of Mattapoisett as a member of the School Committee for 12 years. I have been elected to serve as chair in past years. I addition to serving on the Mattapoisett School Committee, I have been the committee’s designee to the Old Rochester School Committee for nine years. I have served on the finance, contract negotiation, superintendent search and other subcommittees for both the district and elementary school boards. I served on the Elementary School Building Committee overseeing the schools’ reconstruction. I was on the Board of Directors for the Southcoast YMCA for over 20 years. I was a trustee for Southern New England School of Law for nine years until it became the UMass School of Law at Dartmouth. I am a candidate for re-election because I believe I have an obligation to support our community whenever and however I can. Community service is a family affair; I could not serve if not for the support of my wife and children. My wife and I are extremely grateful to the administration, teachers, staff and taxpayers of our town for giving our children a truly compassionate, top-quality education. I hope to ensure that our current and future students have the same opportunities. I am proud to have supported our schools during unprecedented times. If elected, I will draw on my personal experience and institutional knowledge to help our school system deliver quality educational opportunities to every student.

Mattapoisett Board of Assessors

            There is one open seat for a three-year term on the Mattapoisett Board of Assessors being contested by two candidates: challenger Alan Apperson and incumbent Leonard Coppola.

Alan Apperson

            In presenting my qualifications for a position on the Mattapoisett Board of Assessors, I will first list my experience as a volunteer member of Mattapoisett town boards and committees. I am currently serving in my 15th year on the Capital Planning Committee (CPC) with responsibilities that include meeting with town department managers each year to review and prioritize their requests for funding for capital projects to be presented at the Annual Town Meeting and to develop projections for spending during the next 10 years. The CPC plays an important role in helping the town maintain an AAA bond rating by assisting in the process of maintaining a balanced budget and identifying long-range expenditures. I previously served for a total of over 10 years on the Conservation Commission and the Zoning Board of Appeals. The experience I have gained from working with the various town boards and departments has been invaluable. This background, along with my professional career as an Environmental, Health and Safety Compliance manager, taught me the skill of being able to work effectively with other parties. My formal education includes a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Miami, and I also worked as a licensed Real Estate broker. If elected, I will work with the board members to assess the value of all real and personal property within the town and to process and act on abatement and exemption applications. I understand that it is incumbent upon the assessors to assure that all taxpayers are heard, and if the situation arises that the taxpayer is due an adjustment in their taxes, I will work to quickly ensure this is made. With the experience, skills and knowledge that I have presented herein, along with my familiarity with the town as a lifelong resident, I feel that I am well suited for the assessor position. Should I be elected, my belief in the fair and equitable assessment of every property, for every individual property owner, will be my guiding principle. I ask for the voter’s support at the poles on May 21.

Leonard Coppola

            To the taxpayers of Mattapoisett: I am Lenny Coppola and it has been a privilege to serve you over the past 12 years as an elected member of the Board of Assessors. The BOA is a three-member panel responsible for “approving valuations, determining abatement applications, approving property tax exemptions, managing the overlay account, and providing new growth estimates during the budget process.” In prior years, the Assessors office in our town was clearly understaffed in comparison to other towns of our size and type. Thankfully, the Assessors office is now properly staffed and well managed, improving efficiencies in all aspects, all due to the hard work and diligent efforts of our Assessors team. One of the important roles of the board members is to act on abatement applications filed by taxpayers disputing property valuations. As a Massachusetts certified residential appraiser with an expertise and long history in the field of real-property valuation, I am a valuable resource to the community with the ability to address valuation opinions based on sound appraising principles and practices in compliance with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP). My number-one goal as a member of the board is to continue to be fair and equitable to all taxpayers. I respectfully ask for your vote on May 21, and many thanks to all of my supporters.

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