When Mashpee voters head to the polls for the the Annual Town Election on Tuesday, May 21, they will have options.
From planners to selectmen, nearly every race is contested.
Voting again will take place at Parish of Christ the King, at 5 Jobs Fishing Road, from 7 AM to 8 PM.
For the town’s executive board, the Mashpee Board of Selectmen, a “kid from Santuit” is taking on three-term current chairman of the board Carol A. Sherman.
The kid from Santuit, as he referred to himself during his campaign, is Shane L. Clark, a firefighter with the Cotuit Fire Department and a resident of the northern part of town.
Mr. Clark, who grew up in Mashpee and has lived in town the vast majority of his life, has pledged to give voters a choice this election in order to initiate discussion. He has also pointed to what others have seen as a seemingly unanimous consent on the current board and lack of discussion.
Ms. Sherman, on the other hand, has pointed to her experience on board—nine years—and her business acumen. She has been a small-business owner in Chatham coming for nearly 25 years.
The two candidates have sparred over transparency, wastewater, and representation. Mr. Clark said that he would represent a new perspective on the board that would include young, working families. Ms. Sherman has campaigned on her ability to pull town leaders together to talk about the big issues facing the town: wastewater, housing, and economic development.
Aside from the selectmen’s race, three names will be on the ballot for two seats on the Mashpee Planning Board, but a fourth candidate has announced a write-in candidacy.
John Phelan, deputy chief for Mashpee Fire Rescue, and Joe Callahan, a local realtor, are both challenging incumbent David Weeden, a member of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and interim director in the tribal historic preservation office. The fourth candidate, Teresa A. Ronhock, announced that she will run a write-in candidacy.
Mr. Callahan has run on continued conservation of Mashpee’s green-space, as well as smart growth. “I want to keep the town moving positively,” Mr. Callahan concluded his opening during the candidates forum hosted by the Mashpee Enterprise and Mashpee TV.
Mr. Phelan has been in the local fire department since 1991 and touted his experience in reviewing site plans in the department. He pledges to update the town’s comprehensive plan, which has not changed for decades. During the debate, he also said that he would work to update the town’s zoning bylaws.
Mr. Weeden said that he is very passionate about the history of Mashpee. He said that he has seen the rapid growth of the town, often pushed by developers, and he said that he would like to slow down growth while being mindful of the environment and especially the town’s waterways and estuaries.
Ms. Ronhock, who has been a vocal opponent of the town’s plans to build a cell tower on Red Brook Road, said that she respects the current board and its ability to listen to the concerns of the residents of the town. She would like to continue guiding the board in this way.
Three candidates will vie for one, three-year seat on the Mashpee School Committee. Incumbent Don Myers is seeking his third term on the schools’ lead board. Catherine A. Lewis and Elana C. Doyle are challenging the incumbent.
Mr. Myers has touted his experience serving the town. Aside from six years on the school committee, he was also a selectman for six years and sat on a number of local boards. Ms. Lewis serves on the Parent Teacher Organization at Quashnet Elementary and has served on principal advisory councils for both the Kenneth C. Coombs School and now Quashnet. Ms. Doyle is the creator of the local Facebook page, the Mashpee Message.
Mr. Myers will also challenge F. Thomas Fudala for a seat on the Mashpee Water District Board of Commissioners. The committee oversees the Mashpee Water District.
The only uncontested race is for the Mashpee Library Board of Trustees. Amanda Hall and Mary J. LeClair will be uncontested in their efforts to regain two seats on the library board.