The deadline to return nomination papers passed on Monday, March 23 and the official 2015 Annual Election ballot has taken shape, which will also feature one referendum question for voters.
Some key elected positions will be contested in this 2015 annual election, most notably the Board of Selectmen, Planning Board, and School Committee.
William Dale Jones has challenged incumbent Selectman Jonathan “Jody” Dickerson for the three-year term seat on the Board of Selectmen. Jones vied against Selectman Stephen Cushing for his seat during last year’s election, but lost to Cushing. Jones also ran for selectman back in 2013, but lost to incumbent Selectman Jonathan Henry. Dickerson, also the director of the Recreation Department, has served on the Board of Selectmen since 2012 and served as selectman in the 1990s.
There are four contenders for two seats on the Marion Planning Board, a board that has seen some discord amongst its members lately, as well as some controversial issues to tackle, most notably the much talked about proposed CVS project and the recently shelved proposed zoning bylaw amendment aimed at restricting large businesses from setting up shop in town.
Incumbents Stephen Gonsalves, a member of nine years, and current Chairman Stephen Kokkins will be challenged by newcomers Jennifer Francis and Todd Richens. Both Planning Board terms are for three years.
There are three candidates for two three-year seats on the Marion School Committee, with former Marion School Committee member Michelle Ouellette, now also a member of the ZBA, back to reclaim a seat on the committee after losing last year by a narrow margin. Candidates David MacDonald and Jessica Harris, vying for the seats left vacant by Jay Pateakos and committee Chairman Joseph Scott, who both announced they would not seek reelection, join Ouellette on the ballot.
There is a fourth contested race for town moderator, now that long-term Moderator David Titus chose not to seek reelection. Patricia MacArdle and Matthew Nowick are the two choices for town moderator, a one-year term.
Uncontested races are as follows: Reelection candidate Ray Pickles for assessor, Board of Health reelection candidate John Howard, and there are no candidates running for the one available seat on the Open Space Acquisition Commission.
The yes or no referendum question is “Shall the town vote to accept the provisions of section six C of chapter forty of the General Laws, which authorize cities and towns to appropriate money for the removal of snow and ice from private ways therein open to public use?”
The 2015 Marion Annual Election is May 15. The polling station is the VFW Hall at 465 Mill Road. Polls open at 8:00 am and close at 8:00 pm.
By Jean Perry