Major election battle shaping up in Tiverton

TIVERTON — A field of 26 candidates will be running for contested public offices this coming November. The office-seekers filed declarations of candidacy with the Tiverton Town Clerk’s office by the close of business on Wednesday, June 25.

The Town Council race

For the seven-member Tiverton Town Council, the 14 non-partisan candidates for the positions are, in alphabetical order: James J. Arruda, Jeffrey M. Belli, Michael S. Burk, Joan B. Chabot, Denise M. DeMedeiros., Susan K. Gill, Jay J. Lambert, Craig A. Lebeau, Randy J. Lebeau, Peter A. Mello, James S. O’Dell, Brett N. Pelletier, David Perry, and Joseph R. Sousa.

All seven council positions are up for grabs, and the seven highest vote-getters in the election will win seats. Council terms run for two years.
Two current council members — Bill Gerlach and Council President Ed Roderick—are not running again, while five of the current members are seeking re-election: Councilors Arruda, Chabot, DeMedeiros, Lambert, and Pelletier.
Two of the candidates — Randy J. Lebeau and Craig Lebeau — are father and son.
Mr. Lebeau, the father, has been a candidate for council in the past, and currently has a proposal, that has been pending action for several months before the council, to allow his gun store business (Sakonnet River Outfitters) to operate a shooting range on Main Road.

Budget Committee contest

For the Tiverton Budget Committee, the nine candidates for the five open positions are, in alphabetical order: Donna J. Cook, Robert D. Coulter, Nancy L. Driggs, Deborah Janick, Linda Larsen, Cecil Leonard, John J. Martin, John E., Souza, and Robert William Sylvia.
The budget committee consists of 11 members, so the five members elected will not constitute a majority. None of the nine are current committee members.
The five highest vote-getters will win seats. Terms run for four years.
Five current members of the committee did not file candidacy papers, signaling their decision not to run for re-election to the committee. They are: James Amarantes, Joanne Arruda, Christopher Cotta, Donna Edwards, and Joe Souza.
A sixth member, Dave Perry, who now serves as chairman of the Budget Committee, and whose four-year term is not set to expire until 2016, has filed candidacy papers for the Town Council.
If he is elected to the council, the town charter requires that he vacate his position as member of the budget committee. Budget committee members are prohibited from holding any other town position.
If this should happen, and the seat Mr. Perry holds on the budget committee becomes vacant by virtue of his election to the council, the vacant seat will likely be filled by the town council.
This is because the town charter provides that, “should an elected position, other than on the Town Council, be vacated for any reason, the Town Council shall appoint a person to fill the vacated position until the next General Election.”
This eventuality — that Mr. Perry wins election to the council — should it occur, could mean a majority turn-over on the budget committee (five elected, one appointed).

Tiverton School Committee

Two positions are open on the Tiverton School Committee, and three candidates are running: Jan W. Bergandy, Charles Page III, and Deborah Anna Pallasch. The top two vote-getters will win. Terms are for four years. Both Mr. Bergandy and Ms. Pallasch are incumbents.
Richard P. Daddario is running unopposed for the position of probate judge, and Nancy L. Mello is running unopposed for Tiverton Town Clerk.
No candidates filed for the position of town sergeant, currently held by Leslie A. Poldervaart, whose two-year term expires this year.
Declared candidates must pick up nomination papers no earlier than July 1, and turn in the papers to the Town Clerk’s office, signed by 50 registered town voters, by the close of business on July 11.

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