Election voters put Masse, Longo, May and others in new posts





Published in the April 27, 2016 edition

WAKEFIELD — Typical bone- chilling April weather was not enough to stop some people yesterday from picking a new Town Clerk, new selectmen and new members of the School Committee, Board of Gas and Light Commissioners and Board of Assessors.
Just under 15 percent of the town’s 18,167 registered voters headed into a sometimes nasty, chilly rain to cast ballots in the 2016 town election.
The victors in this year’s races were Betsy Sheeran in her run for Town Clerk; incumbent Selectman Ann Santos and new selectmen Tony Longo and Peter May; incumbent School Committeemen Thomas Markham III and Greg Liakos, joined by new board member Ronald J. Masse Jr.; incumbent Gas and Light Commissioner Kevin T. Haggerty and new board member William J. Boodry Jr.; write-in candidate for Board of Assessors Walter Schofield; Library Trustees Timothy F. Healy, John Havelick Jr. and Jeffrey Quinn; three year Constables Gerard S. Alterio Jr. and Richard O. Bayrd; one year Constable John J. Ruehrwein Sr.; Town Treasurer John J. McCarthy Jr.; Town Moderator W. Harbison Carroll; Planning Board member Paul J. Semenza; Board of Health member Elaine M. Silva and Housing Authority member Eugene N. Ruggiero.
Sheeran beat longtime resident and community volunteer Kristen K. Henshaw by 348 votes in the race to succeed Mary K. Galvin as permanent Town Clerk. Sheeran, now a selectman, pledged during the campaign to modernize the Town Clerk’s Office, among other things.
With her election, the Board of Selectmen very shortly will be down to six members. By statute, Sheeran can’t be sworn into her new office until next Tuesday, the day after the spring Town Meeting begins. The selectmen could decide to keep the seat vacant until next April’s election, or they could decide to have a special election to fill the position, possibly at the state primary in September or even in the general presidential election in November.
Ann Santos was reelected a selectman yesterday but received fewer votes than the two new men on the board — Tony Longo and Peter May. The other incumbent running — Phyllis J. Hull — came in last of the five seeking one of the three openings, her reelection hopes certainly diminished by the presence of Daniel J. Benjamin Jr. in the race.
There was actually a race for School Committee, with three running on the ballot and Greg Powers waging a write-in campaign. He didn’t come close, getting 279 votes to newcomer R.J. Masse’s 1,581, Markham’s 1,563 and Liakos’ 1,514.
The two incumbent three year Constables — Gerard Alterio and Richard Bayrd — were easily reelected over Robert S. Stewart and Mark A. Ross.
Walter Schofield also waged a write-in campaign, this one for a seat on the Board of Assessors when Christopher J. Wilcock decided not to seek reelection. He received 185 votes to secure the position.
According to unofficial election results, unopposed Town Treasurer John J. McCarthy Jr. received the most votes yesterday, 1,805.