Fox Town Hall 3-15-18

Foxboro Town Hall.

FOXBORO — Barring an unexpected 11th-hour write-in candidacy, a three-way contest for two open seats on the school committee will be the lone race on Monday’s annual town election ballot.

The school board race pits incumbent Chairman Richard Pearson against two challengers, Salina Chowdhury and Sarah Lidonni.

Chowdhury had run for a three-year term on the school board last spring, losing to Michelle Raymond, also a newcomer, by a mere 60 votes.

Beyond the schools contest, the following candidates will appear unopposed on next Monday’s ballot:

  • Board of selectmen (two open seats): incumbent Leah Gibson and Seth Ferguson.
  • Planning board (two open seats): incumbents Kevin Weinfeld and Tracy Vasile.
  • Board of health: incumbent Betsy Allo.
  • Board of assessors: incumbent Lori Rudd.
  • Boyden Library board of trustees 3-year and 2-year seats): incumbent Collin Earnst and Joyce Parlapiano.
  • Foxboro Housing Authority (5-year and 2-year seats): incumbent Kevin Powers and Bethany Robertson.
  • Water and sewer commission: incumbent Michael Stanton.

Polls for the election will be open at the Ahern Middle School from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Despite a series of voter-engagement initiatives that gained traction in anticipation of last November’s hotly contested presidential contest, next week’s town election marks the second time in three years that Foxboro voters have had little reason to vote, early or otherwise.

In 2019, less than 5.5 percent of registered voters turned out for an election with no contested races. At the time, election warden Kathy Brady said that Foxboro had staged uncontested local elections twice in the past 20 years, with voter turnout failing to reach the 400 threshold on both occasions.

Last year’s local balloting, delayed to early June in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, was more competitive with voters deciding races for selectman, assessor, school committee and two separate housing authority seats. Even so, just 12 percent of the town’s 12,437 registered voters cast ballots.

Among the more notable developments in this year’s election cycle is the departure of Selectman Chris Mitchell, who is stepping down after two terms on the board. Mitchell had been the top vote-getter back in 2015 when he prevailed in a three-way race for two open seats that ousted two-term member Lorraine Brue.

Participating in his final meeting on Tuesday night, Mitchell thanked both present and former board members, as well as department heads and other municipal staff, for their contributions and assistance over the past six years.

“I appreciate it and [now] I’ll be golfing every Tuesday,” Mitchell said.

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