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Monahan running for Selectman

April 8, 2014

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

Main Street resident Joseph Monahan has announced that he will run for Selectman in this year’s town election against incumbent Mark Gallivan.

The 61-year-old told 180 he is upset about the overspending in town government, particularly the new foot bridge constructed over Spring Brook near Town Hall. That bridge, derisively referred to as “the bridge to nowhere” by some local fiscal conservatives, cost local taxpayers about $80,000. The bridge was part of a larger effort by the Master Plan Implementation Committee and Planning Board to beautify the downtown area. It has become a polarizing object in political circles, with some seeing it as a symbol of Town Hall’s extravagance. Though taxpayers footed $80,000 for the bridge, much of the new park area surrounding it was provided by donated labor and supplies.

Monahan, a 15-year resident of Walpole with two young kids, said he recognizes his long odds at getting elected, against a relatively strong incumbent Gallivan, but he plans to run a grassroots door-to-door campaign.

Monahan said his campaign will be well-funded. Gallivan is expected to spend heavily, just as he did in his first race for the Board in 2011.

Monahan also plans to run simultaneously for Town Meeting Representative in Precinct 1.

With a little more than 48 hours left for candidates a little more than a week to pull papers for town offices, former Selectman Bill Hamilton is the only other announced candidate in the race against Gallivan. Hamilton has indicated he may step aside to allow one strong candidate to have a clear shot at Gallivan.

Certain other RTMs are still looking at running against Gallivan, but they are up against the clock to make a decision.

Meanwhile, in the race to succeed Selectman Michael Berry, Finance Committee member Sue Lawson and Hamilton are the only candidates who have taken out papers. ZBA member Jim Stanton is still considering running in that race.

In other election news, Precinct 8 RTM Beth Muccini took out nomination papers to run for the open School Committee seat left by Allan Cameron, who is stepping down after one term because of professional commitments. Muccini supported the 2012 override. So far, Muccini and incumbent School Committee member Sue Flynn Curtis are the only candidates who have taken out papers to run for the two available seats on School Committee.

The race for Moderator, with attorney Tom Brady running against incumbent Moderator Jon Rockwood, is expected to be the marquee race of this year’s town election. Both are very strong candidates.

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