Last March, 808 voters participated in the town’s annual local election with the Library Trustee being the only contested race for town offices.
This year’s election also has just one contested race – but will likely draw a larger turnout because it is for a seat on the town’s Board of Selectmen.
Current Board of Selectmen chair Osler “Pete” Peterson, who has sat on the board for 12 years, is up for reelection an being challenged by Nikolaos Athanasiadis, a local business owner and Medfield resident since 1995.
In advance of the March 26th town election, the Medfield League of Women Voters sponsored a “Candidates' Evening” on Wednesday, March 21st in the Chenery Room (second floor of Town Hall). The evening was designed to introduce the candidates running for Medfield town offices to the town’s voters. See Medfield Patch's coverage of the event by clicking on the following articles:
- Medfield Selectman Candidates Weigh in on Town Issues at LWV Event
- Get to Know Who's Running for Medfield Town Offices
Medfield Patch has put together the following resident’s guide to Election Monday:
When/Where is Town Election?
The 2012 annual town election is Monday, March 26 from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Center at Medfield on One Ice House Rd.
On the Ballot
As stated above, there is only one contested race this year – Peterson vs. Athanasiadis for selectman. However, there will be a change on the school committee board with current chairman Susan Ruzzo stepping away after nine years of service. Maryanne Sullivan of Pond View Avenue is the lone candidate on the ballot running to replace Ruzzo on the committee. To see who else is running for town offices, view the ballot in the gallery above or at the town’s website (click here).
Town Administrator's Election Thoughts
Medfield Town Administrator Michael Sullivan shared some thoughts on town elections and the importance of voting.
On the importance of voting at town elections: "As the old saying goes, 'all politics is local,'" Sullivan said. "Too often, people think that local issues are not important enough for them to bother to vote or attend town meeting. Then something comes up that directly impacts them and local government is suddenly very important. Residents need to keep on top of the issues affecting local government, at the local, state and federal level. The special interests do and as a result, they get laws passed that impact local communities, without much input from average citizens. If you don't vote in local elections, someone else will and they will decide the issues for you."
Why voter turnout is typically low at town elections: "Either because voters do not think that local issues are as important as state-wide or national issues, or because they feel that they are not informed enough to know how to vote on local election contests or ballot questions," Sullivan said. "I would say to voters that if you don't vote and/or attend town meetings, then someone else is making the decisions about taxes, town services, and the future of the town for you."
Why few people run for town offices: "I think there are several reasons why there are so few contested elections at the local level," Sullivan said. "People are very busy with their lives and serving as a local official is often a big-time commitment. Particularly, in families where both spouses work and they have young children, it is very difficult to manage schedules and to find the time to attend evening meetings after a long day at work. Also, being a local official once was a prestigious symbol of one's standing in the community. With today's attitude towards government and government service and with the public's fixation with celebrity, be it athletes, entertainers, corporate leaders, etc., the status of serving in government, particularly at the local level, is not what is used to be.
"Finally, when there were schools to be built and parks and libraries were needed, serving in local government was a positive good. Today, with budgets tight and long-term financial obligations limiting local government's ability to do much else but pay the bills, local government service seems to be more of a negative reward than a positive experience."
The following are letters to the editor related to the 2012 annual town election submitted to Medfield Patch by readers (letters are published on a first-come, first-serve basis):
- Letter to the Editor: Consider Nick Athanasiadis for Selectman at Town Election
- Letter to the Editor: Fiscal Guardian Pete Peterson Deserves Reelection
- Letter to the Editor: Change in Medfield Begins with Nikolaos Athanasiadis as Selectman
- Letter to the Editor: Selectman Peterson Keeps the Community Informed
- Letter to the Editor: Selectman Peterson Seeks Reelection
- Letter to the Editor: Schilling Asks Residents to Vote Athanasiadis for Selectman
- Letter to the Editor: Consider Reelecting Osler 'Pete' Peterson for Selectman
- Letter to the Editor: Reelect Osler 'Pete' Peterson for Selectman
- Letter: Bill Massaro Endorses Pete Peterson for Selectman
- Letter: Kathleen Brennan Asks Residents to Reelect Peterson for Selectman
- Letter: Medfield Residents Endorse Selectman Peterson for Reelection
- Letter: Patricia Patt Endorses Pete Peterson for Selectman
- Letter: Bob Luttman and Rick Abecunas Endorse Peterson for Selectman
- Letter: Chris Kaldy Endorses Osler Peterson for Selectman
- Letter: Joellyn Ripp Supports Nick Athanasiadis for Selectman
- Letter: Susan Norton Endorses Nick Athanasiadis for Selectman
- Letter: Errin Chapin Says 'Town Needs' Peterson as Selectman
- Letter: Richard Scullary Calls Pete Peterson 'Ideal Candidate' for Selectman
- Letter: Russ Hallisey Says Medfield 'Needs Nick' Athanasiadis for Selectman
- Letter: Michelle Luhrmann Says Town Needs a Selectman Like Nick Athanasiadis
Who Do You Support?
Medfield Patch took a closer look at where the candidates running for selectman stand on important town issues. Find out what they said and vote for who you favor as a Medfield selectman by clicking here.