Candidate for the Rochester Board of Selectmen Catherine Mendoza has withdrawn from the three-way race for selectman on Thursday, February 22, leaving a two-way race between current Finance Committee and Zoning Board of Appeals member David Arancio and Rochester’s Emergency Preparedness Director Paul Ciaburri.
Mendoza is known for her outspoken opposition to Wellspring Farm, the therapeutic horseback riding facility that abuts her Hiller Road residence.
Town Clerk (and current Selectman not running for re-election this year) Naida Parker told The Wanderer on Wednesday, February 21, that an allegedly “irate” Mendoza entered the Rochester Town Hall the day before demanding that Town Counsel Blair Bailey enforce the Town’s social media policy in regards to a Facebook post of hers. Parker stated that Mendoza commented that she was then considering dropping out of the race.
Parker, who has been a selectman for 15 years and town clerk for 34 years, said on February 21 that she would be retiring in 2020 and would not be seeking reelection as Rochester’s town clerk, either.
“It’s time for me to figure out what I’m gonna do when I grow up,” said Parker.
In other election news, the February 21 deadline has passed for returning completed nomination papers for the April 11 annual election and the list of candidates that will appear on the ballot is official.
Aside from Board of Selectmen, there will be only one other contested race this year for the Planning Board. Four, including two incumbents, are vying for two seats up for grabs. David Shaw, a current member of the Cemetery Commission, and resident Bill Milka are running against Planning Board incumbents Bendrix “Ben” Bailey and John DiMaggio.
Candidates running for other open elected positions this year will do so unopposed and will appear as follows:
Town Moderator, incumbent Kirby Gilmore; Tree Warden, incumbent Jeffrey Eldridge; Board of Health, incumbent Dale Barrows; Board of Assessors, incumbent Jana Cavanaugh; Plumb Library Trustees (two seats), newcomers Gloria Vincent and Jordan Pouliot; Park Commission, incumbent Kenneth Ross; Rochester School Committee (two seats), incumbents Tina Rood and Robin Rounseville; Old Rochester Regional School Committee, incumbent Cary Humphrey.
No one is running for the vacant seat on the Cemetery Commission previously held by Veronica Lafreniere who did not seek reelection.
The annual town election will be held on Wednesday, April 11, at the Rochester Council on Aging at 67 Dexter Lane. Polls open at 8:00 am and close at 8:00 pm.
By Jean Perry