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Berry seat attracts immediate interest

April 7, 2014

Edited 4/9/14: The deadline to pull nomination papers is actually Apr. 17, not Apr. 10. 180 apologizes for the error.

Soon after Walpole Selectman Michael Berry announced his resignation on Thursday, two candidates have already thrown their hat in the ring to take over the two remaining years of his term in the June election.

Finance Committee Vice Chair member Alice Susan Lawson has spent the last several days building support for a Selectman campaign.

Lawson was a strong supporter of the 2012 override, supported the school department’s recent move to postpone the town’s annual OPEB contribution, supported the school department’s irresponsible use of free cash to plug their budget deficit in 2011, and also supported setting a precedent in 2012 that the town charter could be ignored for the sake of political expediency during that year’s Special Town Meeting.

Former Selectman Bill Hamilton, a perennial candidate for the town’s top board, also took out nomination papers for the Berry seat. Hamilton took out papers for Selectman Mark Gallivan’s seat, as well. Up until then, Gallivan had not attracted any opposition in this year’s election.

Hamilton told 180 he may step aside if another candidate, with similar views, steps up.

ZBA member Jim Stanton told 180 he is thinking about running for Berry’s seat, as well. A few other current RTMs are still making up their minds.

If no other candidate emerges to take on either Lawson or Gallivan, both would roll over Hamilton easily.

The deadline to take out nomination papers for Selectman is just four days away, Thursday Apr. 17. The deadline to turn papers in is April 22.

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