ELECTION NEWS: Two Contested Races: Selectmen, Water Commissioner
The two positions on the Board of Selectmen open for election this year will be contested as a third candidate has taken out nomination papers and will challenge the two incumbents who are seeking reelection to their respective seats. Justin Halleran, a newcomer to Groton politics, has returned nomination papers and will seek election to one of the two seats open for election on the Board of Selectmen.
The two incumbents on the board - Josh Degen and Stuart Schulman - have returned their nomination papers and will seek reelection to their respective seats. With three candidates seeking election to two positions, the two candidates receiving the highest vote totals will win election. Both positions carry a three-year term.
The other contested race at Town Elections will be for one position on the Water Commission. Two candidates have returned nomination papers and both are new to the Water Commission. The position is currently held by Martin Schaefer who is not seeking reelection to his seat. Mark Deuger and David Crocker have returned nomination papers and will seek election to the three-year position.
The remaining positions on the different boards and committees in town will not be contested including three positions on the School Committee, two positions on the Planning Board, two positions as Library Trustee, one position on the Board of Health and one position as Light Commissioner. The three positions open for election on the School Committee include two three-year seats currently held by Leslie Lathrop and John Giger and one two-year position to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Berta Erickson. Giger and Lathrop returned their nomination papers and will seek relection to their respective seats. A new candidate, Thomas Steinfeld, has returned nomination papers for the two-year seat and will run unopposed to fill the seat formerly held by Erickson.
The other major board that will not see any contest this year is the Planning Board. There are two, three-year positions open for election on the Planning Board and they are currently held by George Barringr and John Giger. Both Barringer and Giger have returned their nomination papers and will seek reelection to their respective seats.
Town Elections will be held this year on April 30 and coincide with a special state primary election to nominate candidates for U.S. Senate from Massachusetts. Normally, town elections are held in early May following Annual Town Meeting. Annual Town Meeting is scheduled for April 22, a week earlier than usual.
Part of the reason for an early town meeting is the special primary election and also because of calendar issues. Other changes voters will notice at Town Elections this year is a change in polling location for Precincts Two and Three. Voters in those precincts will now vote at Prescott School instead of the Middle School. This change was recommended by Selectmen and Groton Police to better monitor the flow of people in and out of the middle school.