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Voter's Guide to Medfield's Town Election on March 26th

Here’s a resident’s guide to everything you need to know about the upcoming Medfield town election on Monday, March 26.

Last March, 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 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 ). 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 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 . 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 Opinions

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):

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 .

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