Local election season off to a fast start

Jan 10, 2019 by

Published January 9, 2019

DAN TOMASELLO

LYNNFIELD — Let the 2019 Town Election season begin!

Six candidates including two incumbents pulled nomination papers for the April 9 Town Election on Monday. While election season is still in its infancy, there will be at least one contested race on the ballot.

Ryan Road resident Thomas Wallace and former Planning Board co-chairman Alan Dresios have pulled nomination papers for Planning Board and are running for a five-year term. Wallace and Dresios are running for the seat currently held by Planning Board member Charlie Wills, who informed the Villager he has yet to decide about running for re-election.

Wallace served in the U.S. Air Force for 20 years. He is the current executive director of Charles River Aquatics.

“After a 20-year career as an officer in the United States Air Force, I moved to a more than 90-year-old cottage on Pillings Pond several years ago, attracted by the charm and character of the town and wanting to put down roots,” said Wallace in a statement. “And since I made that decision, I’ve grown to love this town even more, and want to contribute to protecting the characteristics that make Lynnfield special. The Planning Board is one of the most important boards in Lynnfield. It plays a key roll in determining the character and aesthetics of our town. I’m motivated to ensure I make thoughtful decisions for Lynnfield, improving things where they can be improved, while maintaining all of the characteristics that make Lynnfield special.”

Dresios stepped down from the Planning Board in April 2017 after deciding against running for re-election. In Nov. 2017, Dresios sought to be reappointed to the board to fill the seat held by former Planning Board co-Chairwoman Heather Sievers. However, the selectmen and Planning Board voted 5-2 to appoint former Planning Board member Scott Gromko to Sievers’ seat because Dresios and former Planning Board co-Chairman John Faria were sued by retired Planning and Land Use Assistant Kathy Randele for allegedly creating a hostile work environment and age discrimination. Dresios and Faria both denied the allegations. The town settled the case.

Political newcomer Stacy Dahlstedt, 42 Lincoln Ave., has pulled papers and is running for a three-year term on the School Committee. She is the wife of former Finance Committee Chairman Jack Dahlstedt and has a son in the school system. Additionally, Dahlstedt has served as Summer Street School’s PTO president, served on Summer Street’s School Council and was the PTO’s enrichment coordinator. She previously worked in the financial services industry.

“I have been thinking about it for awhile,” said Dahlstedt in an interview with the Villager. “It’s a good opportunity. We have been living in Lynnfield for 15 years and have a son in the school system. I am very active in the community and I feel I can bring a lot of value to the School Committee.”

School Committee Vice Chairman Rich Sjoberg has also pulled papers and is running for a second three-year term.

“I am excited to be the current vice chairman of the School Committee and would be honored to continue serving as a member of the School Committee,” said Sjoberg. “Having a child at each level in the schools not only gives me the parent perspective but as a board member, I am able to provide positive input about the schools. The schools are in a really good place right now with the rankings, MCAS scores and the high quality teachers and administrators that we have.”

School Committee member Dorothy Presser is also up for re-election this year, but has yet to announce whether she is running for re-election. Presser has served on the school board since 1998.

Selectmen Chairman Dick Dalton has pulled papers and is running for a second three-year term.

“I have enjoyed my time on the board during the past two-and-a-half years,” said Dalton in an interview with the Villager. “I think I bring something to the board with my experience in business and my involvement in town over the years. I think I can contribute to the town continually moving forward.”

Housing Authority Chairman Joseph Markey has pulled papers for town moderator and will be running for a one-year term. Markey, who has served on the Housing Authority since 2014, is looking to succeed former Town Moderator Arthur Bourque. Bourque resigned as town moderator last month.

“I intend to continue my commitment to public service made to the people of Lynnfield five years ago when I was elected Housing Commissioner,” said Markey in an email. “I understand how the pieces of town government fit together and function. Town Meeting is the purest form of our local government and decisions made there affect your family, home and daily life. As Lynnfield’s next moderator, I will bring an efficient, pragmatic and unbiased approach to running Town Meeting.”

In addition to the candidates who have pulled papers, there are three additional seats on the ballot.

There are two seats available on the Board of Library Trustees, which are currently held by Library Trustee Vice Chairwoman Faith Honer-Coakley and Library Trustee Richard Mazzola. The two seats are three-year terms.

Board of Assessors member Richard O’Neil is also up for re-election. The Board of Assessors seat is for a three-year term.

The last date to obtain and submit nomination papers for the Town Election is Tuesday, Feb. 19. Papers must be returned no later than 5 p.m. on Feb. 19. Candidates must receive at least 50 signatures of Lynnfield registered voters in order for someone’s name to appear on the ballot.

If residents are interested in running for office and have questions about the nomination and/or election process, call Town Clerk Trudy Reid at 781-334-9401.

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