Belmont Votes: 2022 State Election, Four Ballot Questions, And Two Debt Exclusion Votes

Photo: It’s election day in Belmont

Voting in the Massachusetts State Primary will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 8. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Questions about the election process can be directed to the Town Clerk’s Office in Town Hall. The phone number is (617) 993-2603

All voters wishing to cast their ballot on Election Day must go to their assigned voting precinct.

This election will determine who will serve as Representative in Congress, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, State Treasurer, State Auditor, Governor’s Council, State Senator, State Representative, District Attorney, and Sheriff.

There are also four state wide ballot questions voters will decide will or will not be acted on. They are:

Finally, Belmont voters will vote to approve or reject two debt exclusion to finance capital projects: A new skating rink/athletic facility and the construction of a new public library.

Belmont’s voting precincts:

  • Precinct One: Belmont Memorial Library, Assembly Room, 336 Concord Ave.
  • Precinct Two: Belmont Town Hall, Select Board Room 455 Concord Ave.
  • Precinct Three: Beech Street Center, 266 Beech St.
  • Precinct Four: Daniel Butler School Gym, 90 White St.
  • Precinct Five: Beech Street Center, 266 Beech St.
  • Precinct Six: Belmont Fire Headquarters, 299 Trapelo Rd.
  • Precinct Seven: Burbank School Gym, 266 School St.
  • Precinct Eight: Winn Brook School Gym, 97 Waterhouse Road, Enter From Cross St.

Inactivated Voters

Voters who have been informed that their voting status has been changed to Inactive should be prepared to present identification before being permitted to vote.

Belmont High Field Hockey 4th Qtr Tally Downs SpyPonders, 1-0, In First-Round Playoff Victory

Photo: Belmont High players celebrates Lola Rocci’s (No. 4) game winner as the Marauders defeated Arlington, 1-0, in the first round of the MIAA Division 1 state field hockey championship.

Belmont High junior forward Lola Rocci slotted a pass from senior co-capt. Devin Kelleher for the games only goal 17 seconds into the fourth quarter to give the 13th-ranked Marauders a hard-earned 1-0 shutout victory over 20th-ranked Arlington High at Harris Field on Friday, Nov. 4 in the MIAA Division 1 state championships.

“That was a whole team win,” Belmont Head Coach Jess Smith told the team after the well deserved first-round victory over the co-ed SpyPonders. “It wasn’t our best play but you put all the effort out there.”

Belmont (11-4-3) will travel more than 50 miles past Worcester to Wachusett Regional High to battle the 4th-ranked Mountaineers (15-3-2) at 6 p.m. on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 8. Wachusett defeated Durfee High, 3-0, on Friday in its first round match.

Lola Rocci (left) reacts to her winning goal against Arlington

Having met league opponent Arlington twice in the season – a 4-1 home win and a 3-3 draw away – there was no expectation that familiarity would breed contempt by the Marauders as the SpyPonders came into the playoffs on a high, recording a 4-1-2 record in its final seven games including a defeat of top-ten Reading and ties against playoff bound Winchester. Much of Arlington’s improvement came as the result from the inclusion of two young men, seniors Austin Cronin and Sean McCadffrey, whose speed and strength allowed the SpyPonders to be more aggressive on both sides of the ball, including freeing up impressive sophomore forward/midfield Libby Corsetti to play a major role on defense while driving forward on offense.

Arlington started the game on the front foot, pressing Belmont in the first half as the Marauders relied on its defenders – junior Alex Townsend, senior co-capt. Willa Sama and senior Alina Maier – and junior goalie Julia Herlihy to hold the fort as the Marauders got off on its now typical slow start.

“We have to start off with our best and not go better, better, better than best,” said Smith.

Belmont’s Alex Townsend prepares to strike the ball after stoning Arlington’s Austin Cronin (30) in the final minutes of Belmont’s 1-0 playoff win.

With the SpyPonders exploiting the left side of the field, Belmont midfielders junior Tess Desantis (on the critical right side), senior co-capt. Layne Doherty and freshman MacKenzie Clarke fell back to assist the defenders who kept the ball off of Arlington’s sticks. Twice in the first half Herlihy stoned Arlington forwards at her doorstep, once clearing the ball from the goal line. Only in the final minutes of the second quarter did Belmont have a pair of strong attempts at Arlington’s goal.

If Belmont starts a match with the “lack of urgency” expected from a tournament team, according to Smith, the second half of matches has been Belmont’s time to take charge. The Marauders began winning the 50/50 balls and turned up its offense that was equally impressive down the wings and through the middle.

With the game in the balance, Belmont grabbed the lead at the start of the fourth. Receiving a pass from junior Carly Gaziano, Kelleher raced 35 meters up the heart of the SpyPonders midfield before pushing the ball to the on-rushing Rocci who buried the ball just inside the left post.

For the remaining 14 minutes, Belmont continued to press its advantage while limiting Arlington’s possessions with its collective defense. Its stalwart performance was highlighted by a critical sequence in the final minutes when Arlington’s Cronin broke through a gap in the Marauder midfield with only Townsend between him and a clear breakaway. But Cronin’s attempt to play a long ball and sprint to the goal was thawed as Townsend – a starter on the 2021 state rugby championship team – stood her ground cleanly stopping the ball as Cronin stumbled by.

The final minutes saw the Marauders capitalize on its doggedness to keep the ‘Ponders’ at bay. The team rushed Herlihy at the final horn as Belmont celebrated its first playoff victory since 2018.

Belmont High Girls’ Soccer Under Friday Night Lights Vs Brockton In Play-In Match

Photo: Belmont High Girls Soccer will be looking for freshman Danica Zicha’s scoring touch to continue in the Div. 1 tournament.

It’ll take one more victory for Belmont High Girls’ Soccer to secure a spot in the first round of the MIAA Division 1 state tournament as the Marauders host Brockton High School under the Friday Night Lights, in a play-in game at 7 p.m. Nov. 4 at Harris Field.

While Belmont (9-8-1) made the tournament being one of the top 32 power ranking teams – finishing at the 25th spot – schools outside the threshold but with a season record over .500 are provided the opportunity to play themselves into the playoffs. This season, nine schools were eligible including the Boxers which finished their campaign at 10-6-0.

Friday’s game will be the second of a playoff doubleheader set for Harris Field as Belmont’s field hockey team will take on Arlington High which is fielding a co-ed team. That game starts at 4:15 p.m.

Friday’s winner will travel to Franklin to battle the 8th-ranked Panthers (14-3-1) on Monday, Nov. 7 at 4 p.m. If Belmont wins, Monday’s game will be an extremely rare doubleheader as Belmont High’s Boys Soccer team is scheduled to meet Franklin at 6 p.m., an occasion where both boys and girls teams in the same sport are in tournament action at the same location. What are the odds?

It’s been a truly up and down season for the team and first-year head coach Jemmy Cange who started the year with several players injured including some who have been out for the entire season. And the injury curse continued in the final four games as a pair of varsity standouts went down and will miss the tournament.

Despite the downside of injuries, the team’s highlights include the steady play of midfielders such as Bridget Gray and the discovery of the team’s leading scorer, freshman Danica Zicha. The team is coming off a season finale beating Westford Academy, 3-1, and can recall a 4-0 road shutout of 12-win Arlington and winning silverware – the Phoenix Cup – as champions of Soccer Night In Belmont for inspiration entering the tournament.

Belmont Help’s Pumpkin Rescue And Fundraiser; Town Hall Sunday, Nov. 6, 10AM To Noon

Photo: The poster for Sunday’s rescue and fundraiser

Here’s what to do with your post-Halloween jack-o-lanterns and all those pumpkins wasting away on your porch and steps: rescue them from the landfill by donating them.

Belmont’s third annual Pumpkin Rescue and Donations Drive benefitting Belmont Helps will take place on Sunday, Nov. 6, 10 a.m. to noon at the Belmont Town Hall, 455 Concord Ave. at the corner of Pleasant Street. Drive thru the Belmont Town Hall complex and a volunteer will happily collect your pumpkins and donations from your vehicle.

Partnering with Belmont Composts, Belmont Helps is collect pumpkins for compost and keeping them out of landfills. In addition, the event is a fundraiser for Belmont Helps which assists families in need with food resources and groceries to the tune of more than $20,000 per year. Contributions big and small are vital. Take this opportunity to empty your piggy banks in addition to dollars or checks made out to Belmont Food Collaborative with BH in the memo line.

Letter To The Editor: It’s Well Past Time To Build A New Town Library

Photo: What the new Belmont Public Library will look like if the debt exclusion passes

To the editor:

We’re long-time residents of Belmont and heartily support the Library and the Rink projects.

When we were finally able to afford a modest Belmont house, we moved here for the fine schools (by reputation) and the “well-managed” Town. We soon found out that “well-managed” meant the Town wasn’t spending money on infrastructure or materials. We were shocked to find that the Burbank School
had cracked and lifting asbestos tiles, water-damaged and crumbling plaster walls, rickety and failing windows, faulty plumbing, very dated mechanical systems, lack of educational materials and equipment, etc. etc. The Burbank was in worse shape than the old 1920 elementary school I first attended in the 1950’s, right before it was replaced. Fortunately, the Burbank staff was superb and creative. Small classes after kindergarten were great for the students!

And fortunately for the Town, gradually over the last 46 years most of the neglected Town buildings have been renovated or replaced. But not the Library. The deterioration we found in Burbank in 1979 can be seen in the Library today. The director can do only so much to upgrade the interior, but the structure isn’t sound. It’s time to rebuild.

Our family spent good times in the Children’s Room with Joyce. She, as well as the welcoming staff, gave all of the kids special attention. There were always good activities and programs. Free passes to various museums helped our budget. When they were older, the kids depended on the library for Young Adult fiction and reference materials. We have borrowed videos, audiobooks, periodicals, new books, and old. We’ve attended Library classes and special events. The Library was and is a central part of our Belmont lives. And when my parents retired to Belmont, the Library became my mother’s (a retired librarian) favorite, too. She loved the selection in the collection!

The Library is so much more today – I hope everyone knows how many more offerings are available these days – for free!

The time is right. We have substantial donations toward a new building.

Please support the new Library.

Nancy Davis
Emerson Street

Belmont High Field Hockey Host Arlington Coed Team In Playoff Clash, Friday 4:30PM

Photo: Belmont High scores vs Lexington in 2-1 away victory

The 13th-ranked Belmont High Field Hockey squad will host a first round match of the MIAA Division 1 state tournament against the mixed gender team from neighboring Arlington High at Harris Field on Friday, Nov. 4 at 4:30 p.m.

At 10-4-3, the Marauders are coming off a demanding final fortnight of the season including a come from behind win over tournament bound Lexington (2-1) and draws against Westford Academy (1-1), top-ten Reading (1-1) and Arlington.

Friday’s game will be the third time the Marauders take the pitch against the Spy Ponders having beat them at Harris, 4-1, before losing a 3-2 lead in the final minute to go away with a 3-3 tie.

What changed in the second game was Arlington’s inclusion of two senior young men into the line up. “They were the difference maker,” said Marauders’ Head Coach Jess Smith, as one boy – standing nearly 6 feet tall and weighing 180 lbs – scored Arlington’s first goal as he roamed the entire field outpacing and overpowering the young women of both teams.

Boys are allowed to compete on girls’ teams as a result of a decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in Attorney General v. Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association. The 1979 ruling stated that the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association’s policy of the time stating “No boy may play on a girls’ team” was unlawful, violating the Equal Rights Amendment of the Massachusetts Constitution.

While approximately 40 boys play field hockey yearly out of 8,000 participants, recent history showed how dominate a co-ed team can be against a girls team. Somerset/Berkley Regional won the 2018 and 2019 state Division 1 championship with two boys – including the coach’s son – who consistently rode roughshod over girls teams, scoring approximately 200 goals while giving up less than 10 in league play.

The day of boys’ participating in the girls game appear ready to end as the MIAA recognized in 2021 boy’s field hockey – a 7×7 version of the game – which could be up and running by next year.

Breaking: Belmont Superintendent Phelan To Retire in Fall ’23

Photo: Belmont School District Superintendent John Phelan who announced his retirement as of Fall 2023.

After nearly a decade leading the Belmont School District, Superintendent John Phelan announced his retirement as of fall 2023 during the Belmont School Committee meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 1.

Phelan said he was making the annoucement now to allow the committee time to hire a new leader that will allow that person time to become familiar with personnel and policies. Phelan leaves at the same time as the town opens in September 2023 the new Middle School wing of the $295 million Belmont Middle and High School building.

”I want to say ‘thank you,’” said Meg Moriarity, school committee chair, before the full committee gave Phelan a round of applause.

Hired in December, 2013, Phelan became superintendent on July 1, 2014. Previously the assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Personnel for the Milton Public Schools, Phelan took the helm of the district as Belmont faced possible large budget cuts in schools which was avoided when the town passed a Prop 2 1/2 override in April 2015. Phelan has been working with the town on funding the district to limit layoffs and support education after the town rejected the latest override in April 2021.

Phelan also had a major role in proposing and the planning for the new Belmont Middle and High School which was approved by voters in November 2018.

But it was Phelan’s management of the district during the Covid-19 pandemic which will be his major legacy beginning in March 2020. With the need to shut buildings and start a remote learning model for 4,300 students from scratch, Phelan was the public face of the district decisions which put him under fire from a portion of residents who sought alternative methods to learning. Despite the opposition, Phelan’s ‘safety first’ approach would be the district’s standard.

Playoff Bound Belmont High Volleyball On The Road (Again) To Cape Cod In State Tourney 1st Round

Photo: Belmont High’s Sophia Qin (12) and Sonya Ivkovic (13) set up the block against Winchester

For half of the 2022 season, the Belmont High volleyball team resembled a rock band promoting its new album: they were on the road a lot.

With a month delay to the renovation of the Wenner Field House, the Marauders found themselves without a home until the first week in October, which was only to see

“Being on the road early on meant there was a lot of scrambling to figure things out not just games but also practices,” said Belmont head coach Jen Couture.

And when the team finally decamped into the revamped field house, “we had to make a lot of adjustments early on. It took a little while to get settled into our routines and figuring out what we were doing,” she said.

Through all the hours on the highway away from their home court, the Marauders came through with tough wins in their final two matches – both at home against Arlington (3-1) and Lexington (3-1)- to pull out the 28th ranking in the MIAA Division 1 state tournament with a 10-9 record.

Their reward? A two-hour bus trip to Cape Cod to meet powerhouse Barnstable High in a first-round encounter on Friday, Nov. 4 at 5 p.m. The 16-2 Red Hawks have been perennial visitors to the tournament’s final four, winning state championships in 2015 and 2016.

Despite a somewhat chaotic start of the season, the Marauders began building into the squad that made the playoffs.

“It was halfway into the season when we started having regular practice times and started getting into a groove, when we could push ourselves every day and just enjoy that we had a set schedule that’s not changing everyday,” said Couture.

That improvement came as the Marauders tackled a competitive stretch of its schedule.

“The first time we played Winchester [which won the Middlesex League Liberty Division at 16-2], we were still kind of shaky. We weren’t sure what we were doing together. But the second time, I felt like we put up a great fight. We really made them have to beat us. It was great volleyball to watch,” she said.

Couture pointed to sophmore Bella Radojevic’s all-around effort in the final games as key to stablizing the team.

“[Radojevic’s] defense really shown in these games while her hitting has been happening all season and she’s also one of our strongest servers,” said Couture, while also calling out Libero Gabby Hashioka whose digging “hass been really solid all over the court, laying out all the time.” Against Winchester, Hashioka was challenged from the Sachems’ hard hitting front line but “she did not back down.”

Against Barnstable, Couture will rely on her experience – there are six seniors and five juniors on this year’s team – and an improving defense to keep the Marauders in the game.