SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

May 7, 2013

Danvers to choose 2 selectmen today

BY ETHAN FORMAN
STAFF WRITER

---- — DANVERS — The town clerk is predicting a low to moderate turnout for today’s town election, in which three candidates are vying for two seats on the Board of Selectmen.

Selectman Keith Lucy, the senior member of the board; Selectman Dan Bennett, a selectman since 2007; and David Mills, a retired Appeals Court judge and former town moderator are all seeking a three-year seat on the board.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Town Clerk Joseph Collins predicts turnout in the 20 percent to 25 percent range. His office has received 50 absentee ballots, about what the office received for last week’s state primary, in which turnout was a low 14.5 percent of the town’s nearly 19,000 registered voters. Because the race is local, Collins predicts the turnout will be greater than that of the state primary.

The sense of urgency about the race may have lessened due to the resignation last month of former Selectman Mike Powers, a move that created an additional vacancy on the board. This added vacancy is not listed on today’s ballot. The Board of Selectmen will choose someone to fill the vacancy until next year’s town election, and the board plans to discuss the process at its meeting on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at Town Hall.

How do the candidates feel about the race?

“It’s hard to predict,” Bennett said yesterday. “It’s like a horse race.” Bennett said he and a group of friends had a Kentucky Derby party on Saturday, and while he predicted the eventual winner would do well, he picked the winning horse, Orb, to show or come in third.

“I don’t know,” said Mills when he asked who he thought might win. He said his gathering tonight at Timothy’s Grill, the former Village Green on Route 1, is meant as a way to count votes, and he does not see it as a victory party. Last night, Mills, a lifelong Danvers resident, and his supporters were gathering to call those people who voted in prior elections.

Lucy, who is running for his third term, could not be reached yesterday for comment.

The only other contested race for townwide office is for Housing Authority. Incumbent Ann Marie Penick is facing a challenge from Michael Swindell for a five-year term.

Moderator Patricia Fraizer and School Committee member Arthur Skarmeas are running unopposed. Incumbent Julie Curtis and residents Frank Herschede and Natalie Luca Fiore are unopposed for three three-year terms as library trustees.

Only two precincts out of eight have races for Town Meeting members. Each precinct will elect six Town Meeting members.

In Precinct 3, incumbents James Morose, John Almeida, Susan Tropeano, Grace Puleo, John Fratus and Douglas Daley are facing a challenge from James Mitchell and Alexander Swift.

In Precinct 6, incumbents Roberta Mercier, M. Ingrid Barry, Bruce Getchell, Deborah Sauer, Marilyn Hazel and Paul Racki are vying for a seat, as is Vincent Mackey.

Staff writer Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-338-2673, by email at eforman@salemnews.com or on Twitter at @DanverSalemNews.

Where to vote in Danvers Precincts 1 and 2: Holten Richmond Middle School, Conant Street Precincts 3 and 5: Thorpe School, Avon Road Precincts 4 and 6: Smith School, Lobao Drive Precincts 7 and 8: Danvers Senior Center, Stone Street Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.