Few surprises in Mattapoisett as voter turnout hits 5 percent

May 23, 2018

With no contested races on the ballot, there were few surprises in store for Mattapoisett's May 22 town elections. The winners were clear in advance, so long as you knew who the candidates were.

Only a small subsection of voters—252, to be exact—turned out to cast their votes. In a town with 4,710 registered voters, voter turnout hovered around five percent.

Those who did show up to vote at Old Hammondtown Elementary School left the majority of their ballots blank, to boot—there were at least 45 blanks submitted per candidate.

There were no candidates for an open, five-year Planning Board position, formerly held by Gail Carlson. There were 72 write-ins on the town ballot; Arlene Fidalgo received 34 votes and Michael King received 28 votes. Town Clerk Catherine Heuberger said that Fidalgo intends to take the Planning Board seat.

Uncontested incumbents winning their seat back were: Selectman Paul Silva, assessor Leonard Coppola, Town Moderator John Eklund, Highway Surveyor Barry Denham, Mattapoisett School Committee members James Muse and Carole Sherman Clifford, Board of Health member Russell Bailey, Water and Sewer Commissioner Albert Meninno Jr., Public Library trustee William Osier and Community Preservation Committee members Jodi Bauer and John DeCosta Jr.

Newcomers who stepped onto boards this year are: John Vaughn on the Mattapoisett Housing Authority and Public Library trustees Elizabeth Sylvia and Marcia Waldron.

The selectman, highway surveyor, water and sewer commissioner, assessor and local school committee positions are all three-year terms. The Community Preservation Committee seats are two years each, while the town moderator will serve a one year term. Meanwhile, those on the Housing Authority will serve a five-year term.