Newbies Out In The Rain To Vote, Support or Hopefully Win Election

Photo: Oliver Leeb receiving congratulations after his first vote.

The all-day rain that has softened voter counts at Belmont’s eight precincts during the annual Town Election did not deter new voters and candidates who were voting for the first time,  

Precinct 2 (Belmont Town Hall)

The last time most people saw Oliver Leeb was when he was waltzing in high heels, in the role of Mary Sunshine in the Belmont High School Performing Arts Company’s production of “Chicago.” On Tuesday, the high school senior who will be attending Brandeis in the fall was with his mother preparing to vote for the first time.

“I have been excited about this for a while,” said Leeb. “It’s important to have some say in things that affect our lives.” 

And while he did have a slight bubble when casting the ballot – he left it in the folder before being told to slide it into the box – Leeb was congratulated by Precinct 2 Captain Henry Kazarian who shook his hand, having become an official voter.

Precinct 1 (Belmont Public Library)

Not only did Belmont High School Senior Samantha Casey get to cast a vote for the first time, but she also knew one of the Town Meeting candidates she was voting for: her mom, Emma Thurston.

“I did vote for her,” said Casey, with Thurston saying “Good answer!” as they stood outside in the rain holding signs.


Casey said she voted for her mom because “she’s passionate about everything. She does a great job because she knows about town politics and is involved in all the schools.”

As for voting: “It was very exciting, and everyone was super nice when they found out it was my first vote. They call clapped for me,” said Casey, who still has to choice between Boston University and Northeastern to attend in the fall.

Precinct 8 (Winn Brook Elementary School)

First-time candidate Natalie Leino was out greeting voters entering the Winn Brook School with her campaign staff: daughter Carlie and son Ian.

“It’s been fun meeting friends,” said Leino as Carlie – a kindergartener at the Winn Brook – wandered off to Joey’s Park while Ian appeared ready to head home.


“I just wanted to get more involved in the town having been here for the past five years,” said Leino whø is the chair of the Vision 21 Implementation Committee which recently held the successful “Talk of the Town” forum. 

“And running for Town Meeting is the natural next step to learn what’s going on in town and have a say.” 

Precinct 2 (Town Hall)

You know who your friends are when they are willing to stand out in the rain for you after school. So first-time candidate Devan O’Toole has a friend in David Korn, a fellow senior at Belmont High School, who stood by O’Toole with a sign in hand during the late afternoon rush hour outside Town Hall.

“I’m here to support one of my best friends in his endeavors to become a Town Meeting member. I’ve been canvassing the neighborhood which has been fun,” said Korn who is heading to Berklee this fall. 

“I want to see him make a change in Belmont. I think he can do that because he’s a great kid.”



BREAKING: Dash Wins Big In Selectmen’s Race, Incumbents Retain Trustee Seats

Photo: Adam Dash in front of Precinct 8

Warrant Committee Vice Chair Adam Dash defeated Woodfall Road’s Guy Carbone by nearly a two to one margin as the Goden Street resident wins the contested race for a seat on the Belmont Board of Selectmen in results from the Belmont annual Town Election held in rainy conditions, Tuesday, April 4.

Known for his expertise in zoning and financial matters along with his fashionable fedoras, Dash received 3,125 votes to Carbone’s 1,808 from Belmont’s eight precincts.

In the other contested town-wide race, incumbents Kathleen Keohane and Gail Mann will return to the Board of Library Trustees, defeating the challenge of first-time candidate David Stievater, as both women nearly doubled the number of votes received by Stievater.

Despite the wet conditions, approximately 28 percent of registered voters cast ballots.

More to come.

Belmont Votes Today: 2017 Town Election


The annual Belmont Town Election takes place today, Tuesday, April 4, 2017.

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. 

And below is information that will make the process of casting your ballot all the easier.

Polling Places

For voting purposes, Belmont is divided into eight voting precincts, located as follows:

  • Precinct 1 – Belmont Memorial Library, Assembly Room, 336 Concord Ave.
  • Precinct 2 – Belmont Town Hall, Selectmen’s Room, 455 Concord Ave.
  • Precinct 3 – Beech Street Center, 266 Beech St.
  • Precinct 4 – Daniel Butler School, Gymnasium, 90 White St.
  • Precinct 5 – Beech Street Center, 266 Beech St.
  • Precinct 6 – Belmont Fire Headquarters, 299 Trapelo Rd.
  • Precinct 7 – Burbank School, Gymnasium, 266 School St.
  • Precinct 8 – Winn Brook School, Gymnasium, 97 Waterhouse Rd. (Enter from Cross Street)

Please adhere to the posted parking restrictions and use caution to ensure the safety of pedestrians around the voting precincts.

Are You Registered to Vote in Belmont and Eligible to Vote April 4? 

If you are wondering if you are a registered voter and your voting precinct, go to the Town Clerk’s web page or phone the Town Clerk’s office at 617-993-2600.  

Arrive early, consider traffic and limited parking 

Belmont Police will designate some voter parking at each of the polling locations however with a  busy election, parking close to the polling places is often a challenge. 

Plan ahead: consider walking, carpooling with a friend or voting “off peak” during the middle of the day. Only voters who arrive at the precinct and are in line for the Voter Check-In before the close of polls at 8 p.m. can be permitted to vote; those who arrive too late will miss out.

Election Day campaigning

The Town Clerk and the Board of Registrars of Voters remind all residents that campaign signs, stickers, buttons or materials may NOT be displayed within 150 feet of each polling place. This prohibition, per Massachusetts General Laws, Ch. 54, §65, even extends to a candidate whose name is on the ballot, when the candidate is not actively voting.  The Town Clerk’s website posts a map displaying the 150-foot radius sunder Campaigning: Running for Elected Office and Town Meeting.

Election Results – How Do I Find Out the Results?

Election results for each precinct are announced by the Warden of each precinct after the close of the polls. The unofficial townwide results will be announced at Town Hall and posted on the home page of the Town website as soon as they are available Tuesday evening or phone the  Town Clerk’s office at 617-993-2600 on Wednesday morning. Campaign representatives are welcome to wait at Town Hall for the printed results.

League of Women Voters Will Drive You To The Polls Tuesday

Photo: League’s logo

The Belmont League of Women Voters will once again provide rides to the polls on Tuesday, April 4 so residents can vote in the annual Town Election.

Rides will be available from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. to any of the eight precinct polling stations in town. To arrange a trip, either call the league at 617-771–8500 or e-mail:

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Letter to the Editor: Elect Guy Carbone Selectman

Photo: Guy Carbone

To the editor:

Guy Carbone is an ethical, intelligent man who is representative of all. He earned three under- and post-graduate degrees from MIT and has been not only a professional engineer but has run a law practice for 30 years, the amount of time he has spent with his family in Belmont. He is practical, decent, and compassionate; he recognizes the vital importance of public education and vocational schools, which provide education and training in a diversified number of fields. Guy thinks, as do we, that it is especially unfortunate that some view vocational schools as unworthy or somehow demeaning. They – and Guy Carbone as our next selectman – are essential.

Jane Shapiro and Erin Lubien

Letter to the Editor: Adam Dash will be Belmont’s Champion

Photo: Adam Dash

To the editor:

In the next few years, Belmont will face a daunting array of tasks, from building a new high school to repurposing the former incinerator site to finally turning the Community Path from concept to reality. It’s critical that we have a Selectman who will involve you – the people of Belmont – in major decisions to ensure that they progress smoothly, effectively, and responsively. Adam Dash has the courage to listen as well as talk, the temperament to meaningfully address citizen concerns, and the thoughtfulness to work toward innovative solutions.

In going door to door, I’ve heard from many Belmontians who feel their local government is somewhat distant, slow-moving, and often lacking in accountability and 21st-century innovation. Many have been disappointed in the pace of action in town. Adam is a pragmatic, open-minded consensus builder who will not continue doing our town’s business in a certain way just because “that’s the way it’s always been done.” If local government can operate in a more transparent, efficient, and inclusive way, he’ll be unafraid to pursue it. Adam’s broad Belmont experience, unique skill set, and comprehensive understanding of how best to harness Belmont’s governing bodies will allow him to make greater progress in a shorter time. 

Adam has a detailed plan to improve every aspect of our town, from fundamental issues such as ensuring the best maintenance of override funds to supporting clean energy, smoothing the nuts and bolts of town operations, and improving communication with residents through Belmont’s tinternet and social media presence. 

Perhaps most importantly, Adam has a deep understanding of the forces and process required to make effective change in Belmont town government. Citizens will always have concerns about local actions, such as the recent controversy over the Belmont Center town green or the zoning regarding the potential for a boutique hotel. It’s important that the voice of every citizen be heard in an efficient and productive way. Adam understands the need to account for those concerns at the beginning of the process, and to ensure transparency and public feedback from day one. 

Last year I ran for Town Meeting because Belmont needed more fresh voices and new ideas in local government. We must be a leader not just in education but in everything from sustainability to infrastructure to reducing the red tape and bureaucratic regulations that hold back our small businesses. Adam will be that fresh voice on the Board of Selectmen. 

Adam is the real deal. He has contributed countless hours to our town and has served on more Belmont committees and commissions than can be recounted here. More importantly, he has a record of results, from helping to lead the Underwood Pool effort to manage the funds voters approved in the multi-year override in 2015. As a recent Belmont High School grad, I’m confident that Adam is the best candidate to support our schools and to stand up for the education of every Belmont student. 

Adam will work tirelessly for our schools, for the environment, for our businesses, for community input, for transparency, and for accountability. He will fight for all of Belmont.  

We need open-minded, innovative leadership that preserves Belmont’s many strengths while planning carefully for the future. The pace of progress in our town must increase. Let’s move forward. 

Adam Dash will be our champion. For real progress in Belmont, vote for Adam on Tuesday, April 4. 

Daniel Vernick

Town Meeting Member – Precinct 1

Letter to the Editor: Dash Provides Forward Thinking As Selectman

Photo: Adam Dash

To the Editor: 
Monday night’s debate at the League of Women Voters’ Candidates Night made it clear that this is a lively campaign for Selectman. Both candidates have a lot to offer the town.

On balance, I believe that Adam Dash is more forward-looking and therefore better prepared to deal with these challenges creatively. For one thing, his support for the Community Path seems stronger. That is the single biggest step Belmont can take to cut traffic and enhance the two business centers it would pass through, Belmont Center and Waverley Square.

Please consider giving Adam your vote.

Sue Bass
Precinct 2 

How A 18-Year-Old Wants To Change Belmont Town Meeting For The Better

Photo: Here’s Devan at Candidates Night.

Devan O’Toole will be seeking higher office at Tuesday’s Town Election from his present position as president.

What’s that?

The presidency O’Toole currently holds – for the second-year running – is the Class of 2018 at Belmont High School. And if his door-to-door campaign for Town Meeting Member in Precinct 2.

And if successful on Tuesday, O’Toole will become the youngest Town Meeting Member in Belmont history at 18, breaking the age record of his good friend, Daniel Vernick, who was elected to Town Meeting from Precinct 1 last year. 

A real “townie,” – he’s always lived in Belmont and attended Winn Brook, Chenery and is a senior at Belmont High – O’Toole lives with his parents and sister, Angela, on Beatrice Circle. 

Known for his quick laugh and sunny personality, O’Toole is at the ready to volunteer or take charge of an event or cause. He says serving as his class’ president for the past two years has been his favorite role while a close second has been Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer at the annual Belmont Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony.

But will his success and accomplishments in high school translate to confidence by Precinct 2 voters to elect him to one of the 15 open seats available on Tuesday? The Belmontonian asked O’Toole about his vision and goals if elected to Town Meeting.

[The interview was cut for clarity and because O’Toole can talk up a storm.]

Q: Why is an 18-year-old running for town meeting? Should you be hanging out in someone’s basement rec room rather than spending three days in May voting on bylaw changes?

A: Sadly there is a lack of rec rooms in Belmont, so I decided that running for office was a good substitute. As much as I love spending my nights playing foosball in the basement of the YMCA, creating a better Belmont for everyone in our town is a higher priority. I knew that as soon as I registered to vote, I wanted to participate in the town government.

During high school, I tried to get involved with helping our town as much as possible. As the Senior Class President, I have coordinated community building events and fundraisers. Working with Belmont High School’s Building Committee, I have been able to work on educational policies for our school, hiring new staff, and creating plans for a new building. 

Although I have enjoyed these opportunities to work with the town immensely, I knew that serving in Town Meeting was the next step toward helping our town to a greater degree. It’s a passion of mine to create solutions to assist people with their problems. I hope to serve in Town Meeting because I want to represent the needs of the people of my precinct, and the people of Belmont, so that solutions can be created to benefit our community.

Q: What has been the reaction to your candidacy? What has been your family’s reaction?

A: Throughout this entire campaign, I have loved talking to the people of my precinct. It’s so interesting to see our neighbors’ different perspective on the current condition of our town, and what specific community issues each person prioritizes. Hearing these diverse perspectives has helped me learn about our town, and I hope to use this knowledge to create informed solutions to resolve these town problems.

Q: What issues are you running on?

A: First of all, I am a product of the Belmont school system, so maintaining and improving Belmont’s incredible learning environment is a key priority of mine. I have a little sister who will be a freshman at Belmont High School next year, and I want nothing but the best for her and all the other future Belmont High School students.

I also plan to increase transparency in this position. I truly believe that receiving feedback from the people of my precinct is a vital part of the job. I will constantly make myself available online and in person before voting begins in town meeting. In fact, if anybody is reading this wants to get in touch with me about community issues and discuss issues I should work on, please shoot me an email at devantownmeeting@gmail.comSome residents may suggest that since you are a dependent – a kid – you really don’t have a stake in town?

Q: Some residents may suggest that since you are a High School student, you don’t have a stake in running the town.

A: Belmont must be a place that supports the needs of all people in this town, regardless of age or any other distinction. I truly live and breathe Belmont; I had always tried to make myself aware of the problems our town faces, even before I decided to run for Town Meeting. I believe that there are no age restrictions on wanting to make Belmont a better place for everyone

It’s true that I don’t yet pay taxes myself, but since this position is all about representing the people of precinct 2 and the people of Belmont, I aim to represent them fully. Making myself available so that the people of my precinct can voice their concerns is vital, because that is the best way I can make a decision about how to vote for fiscal issues that includes everyone’s perspective.

Q: How has your youth helped/hindered your candidacy?

The people I’ve talked to seem to be happy that an 18-year-old is running. The median age of town meeting members is about 60, so a lot of the people in my precinct have told me that it would be good to have a youth perspective in town government.

My experience growing up in Belmont has given me a unique view into Belmont’s issues. For example, I’m just finishing going through the Belmont school system, so I have a firsthand look at some of the needs of our education system. There are a lot of people in Belmont that move here for our town’s schools. A lot of parents with children in Belmont schools that I have talked to seem to like the idea of a high school Town Meeting Member.

I have also heard numerous times along the campaign trail that people are concerned that there are too little changes in Belmont. Belmont has a little bit of a legacy of being opposed to change, so I hope that by providing a new perspective I can change this legacy to being a town that supports change that makes people’s lives better.

Q: Any funny incidents on the campaign trail?

A lot of people thought I was trying to sell them something when I first started campaigning. I don’t think they knew I was a candidate because I’m a teenager.

I was walking through a nice, quiet neighborhood when I heard a car roll up behind me. Apparently, the driver was worried by my clipboard because she leaned out her window and screamed “Solicitor! Solicitor! Everyone lock your doors and don’t look at him!” She then proceeded to run as fast as Usain Bolt up her stairs into her house, completely in a panic. I wasn’t even upset, I couldn’t stop laughing. She pretty much pulled a Paul Revere on me, and I guess she thought I was a Red Coat.

[This article has been revised with the correct age of the subject]

Letter to the Editor: Carbone Has Unmatched Experience for Belmont

Photo: Guy Carbone

To the editor:

I write in support of Guy Carbone for Selectman for the Town of Belmont and hope you will join me in voting for him on Tuesday, April 4.  

Guy comes with an experience unmatched by his opponent. I firmly believe his skill-set and qualities will help ensure success in the massive projects facing Belmont in the immediate future. Guy has experience in building and managing large capital projects for the state. His projects were on time and under budget, once returning $5 million back to the state of Massachusetts. I hope and believe that Guy will deliver the same type of results for Belmont. He certainly has in the past. For example, when Belmont entered into a lawsuit over faulty construction in the two new fire stations against the architect and general contractor, it was Guy Carbone, using his background as an engineer and lawyer, who uncovered the key information that led to a successful resolution returning nearly $1 million to the town; the work done by Guy’s client was not at fault.

This skill set is particularly important in this election. Belmont faces four large capital projects or updates in the near future: the town’s library, high school, DPW station, and police station. Guy has innovative and thoughtful ideas to help finance these projects – alleviating our already high tax burden which has been a key driver to the rising rents affecting our seniors and young families. Equally important, I trust that Guy will labor endlessly to ensure these projects are properly vetted, prioritized, and implemented in a prudent manner.

Guy is hardworking and earnest in his efforts to diligently serve the people of Belmont. He’s open, honest, and willing to listen and hear everyone – qualities extremely important for someone seeking this position.

Richard Hansen

Town Meeting Member, Precinct 5

Candidate’s Statement: Guy Carbone – ‘Make a Real Decision About Belmont’s Future’

Photo: Guy Carbone, candidate for Belmont Board of Selectmen.

My name is Guy Carbone. I ask you to vote for me for Selectman on April 4 and by doing so, make a real decision about Belmont’s future.

Belmont must balance its spending needs against the ability of its residents to pay for them. However, the actions of a small group of residents, whose desires and promises far exceed our ability to pay for them, may make it impossible for Belmont to meet spending needs in a fiscally and socially responsible manner. The result will be that even more of our neighbors and friends of all ages and lifestyles will leave Belmont because they can no longer afford to live here. That is something that must be stopped.

Belmont must deal with four large building projects that require solutions in the near-term.  These projects should be prioritized and sequenced, so they do not unduly burden our residents whose property taxes and rents fund our schools as the public services the town provides. To do this, the Board of Selectmen needs a member with engineering and legal experience; I have three degrees in Civil Engineering from MIT, retired as a Colonel in the US Army Corps of Engineers and have a law degree from Suffolk Law School.  

I bring broad experience to Belmont’s issues.  As Commissioner of the Metropolitan District Commission (MDC), I led the cleanup of the Boston Harbor, Charles River, and downstream basins; as Belmont’s appointed representative to the MWRA, I represented our town for ten years.  I was Chief Engineer of the Government Center Commission responsible for design and construction of the state buildings there.     

I am not new to elected office: I was elected to four terms on Watertown’s School Committee and two terms as its Selectman before we moved to Belmont.

Why should you vote for me?

  • I am a town government outsider whose executive and professional experience will bring fresh, educated solutions to Belmont’s issues.
  • I will restore Belmont’s inclusivity and mutual respect.
  • My experience directly relates to the capital projects ahead of us, including, but not limited to, a new high school, library, police station, and public works campus.   
  • You will benefit from my ideas on how to decrease Belmont’s reliance on fossil fuels and improve the impact we make on our environment.
  • I will save our open spaces, increase the use of solar installations on appropriate municipal buildings, and encourage more use of electric vehicles, which will greatly reduce our carbon footprint.
  • I support providing high-quality municipal services, as is maintaining and supporting best-in-class education that includes arts, athletics, and STEM.
  • I have experience fostering commercial development, know how to preserve Belmont’s very special character and its diverse array of neighborhoods, and can thoughtfully diversify our tax base.

Belmont is a community where many are active in civic matters. It is this involvement that keeps all of you informed and represented at the town level. My wife and I both know this is having raised our son, Anthony, a very active athlete, in Belmont where we have lived for 30 years. 

Most important, I listen to all of you, I hear all of you, and I promise to represent each and every one of you. Progress is best achieved as part of a balancing act between our fiscal responsibilities for our current town services and buildings with the desires of many for responsible Green initiatives. Working with my colleagues on the Board of Selectmen, I will balance Belmont’s expensive needs with your ability to pay for them.

Please cast your vote for me, Guy A Carbone, on Tuesday, April 4. To learn more, visit or my Facebook page.