Town Election 2017: Dash Enters Selectmen’s Race, Shuster Pulls Papers for School Committee

Photo: Adam Dash delivering nomination papers to the Town Clerk’s Office.

Early Monday morning, Jan. 23, saw the usual hustle and bustle at the Town Clerk’s Office in Belmont: the Town Clerk was upstairs at Town Hall officiating at a wedding, the staff were staying busy in coats and sweaters as the building’s new boiler was on the fritz for the third time in a month, and numerous town officials were stopping by to ask questions.

In among the beehive of activity, Belmont voters were rewarded with a competitive race for the Board of Selectmen. Adam Dash presented Town Clerk Ellen Cushman – back in the office with newlyweds in tow – with 154 signatures from resident registered voters, all but assuring the Goden Street resident will be on the April 4 ballot with Woodfall Road’s Guy Carbone to battle it out for the single Selectmen’s seat up for grabs this year.

“It was fun knocking on doors and speaking to the residents,” said Dash, a longtime resident and an attorney with a practice in Somerville. Dash will officially launch his campaign on Saturday, Jan. 28, 3 p.m. at Patou Thai restaurant in Belmont Center.

Who hasn’t taken out nominations papers? It is the incumbent for Selectman, Sami Baghdady. Baghdady has been steadfast in not being pressured to say one way or another if he will seek a second  three-year term.

Who has taken out papers is Elyse Shuster, one of two incumbents – the other is Thomas Caputo – currently on the board. It’s not known if Shuster – who has been reluctant to make a public announcement on a return to the committee – will be seeking to challenge Caputo for a full three-year term or run for the two years remaining on her seat.

As for Dash, he finally got to meet his very experienced challenger as Carbone “crashed” the dropping off event – actually, he just came to do some research. A handshake, and then another for the cameras. 

“We get to meet. Wonderful,” said Carbone to Dash.

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Town Election ’17: Carbone In, Dash On The Way, Waiting on Baghdady

Photo: Guy Carbone.

If anyone was wondering about Guy Carbone‘s commitment to the race for a seat on the Board of Selectmen, you could rest assure the octogenarian is serious about winning a three-year term on the board as the Woodfall Road resident is the first resident to turn in his nomination papers to the Town Clerk’s Office on Tuesday, Jan. 17. 

If 50 signatures are verified by Town Clerk Ellen Cushman, Carbone will be the first official candidate on the ballot for the Selectman’s seat now occupied by Sami Baghdady. 

In an earlier conversation with the Belmontonian, Carbone said his run for office will focus on repairing and improving Belmont’s notorious roads and sidewalks.

“We pay a lot of taxes to maintain our streets, but at this stage of the game, there is no leadership among the Selectmen,” said Carbone, who touted his experience as a four-term member of the Watertown School Committee and two terms as a selectman in Watertown. 

Carbone said he would help Glenn Clancy, director of the Office of Community Development, deliver on the promises made to neighborhoods such the Hillcrest community where he lives.

While Carbone is first, in the next few days, another challenger is expected to walk into Town Hall with a stack of papers with signatures to be certified.

Adam Dash, a Goden Street resident and a member of the Warrant Committee, told the Belmontonian Monday, Jan. 16 he has 50 residents’ John Hancocks and wanted to collect a few more than needed before handing them over to Cushman.

It was expected that Dash was committed to a run for selectman as he has created a slick website for his campaign and building a team of community members to back his race.

With two potential candidates moving forward with their campaigns, the person still up in the air on a possible run is incumbent Sami Baghdady. The Arlington-based attorney has yet to take out nomination papers to retain his seat on the board he won three years ago in a race against another non-officeholder, Roger Colton. 

But before anyone makes any conclusions, hopefuls have until Feb. 14 to submit nomination papers. 

In other races, incumbent Tom Caputo will be seeking a full three-year term on the School Committee while Elyse Shuster, who is holding a partial term seat, told the Belmontonian she was still considering whether to run. 

Town Election ’17: Dash Pulls Papers To Enter Selectmen’s Race

Photo: Adam Dash

Adam Dash has launched a website, made public statements and has been putting together a campaign team. Heck, he even has a prototype bumper sticker designed and ready to hand out.

And today Goden Street resident Adam Dash has taken the penultimate step in the process of officially running for a seat on the Board of Selectmen as the Cambridge-based attorney took out nomination papers from the Belmont Town Clerk on Monday, Jan. 10.

Dash has until St. Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, to return the document with 50 signatures of registered voters to qualify to have his name placed on the April 4 Town Election ballot.

Dash joins Woodfall Road resident Guy Carbone having “pulled papers for a run for the board. Incumbent Sami Baghdady has yet to declare for a re-election run.

While the future is unwritten and he may change his mind running for town-wide elected office, Dash and his campaign team have all but committed to a run for Selectmen: he has already set a date to launch his campaign with a reception at Patou Thai restaurant in Belmont Center on Saturday, Jan. 28, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Town Election ’17: Dash Readies Run for Selectmen

Photo: Adam Dash.

If all indications are correct – and so far there’s no evidence to the contrary – it appears Adam Dash will soon have to choose from one of his collection of dapper fedoras to “toss into the ring” as the Goden Street resident readies to declare his candidacy for the Board of Selectmen in the April 2017 town election.

“I am excited about the race and look forward to discussing the issues facing our wonderful Town of Homes,” Dash wrote in an email response to quires from the Belmontonian.

Dash said while he and his supporter have gone so far as to form a campaign committee (that document can be found on the Belmont Town Clerk’s website) called Elect Adam Dash, “we are still in the early, preparatory stages” of a possible challenge to the seat currently held by Sami Baghdady.

While it was “premature” to say that he is definitely running, Dash noted that residents “can check out our preliminary website www.electadamdash.com for updates and information, and to make donations.”

While never elected to town-wide office, Dash is no stranger to Belmont government or political campaigns. A member of the financial watchdog Warrant Committee since 2009, Dash’s profile rose to prominence in 2015 as the public face of the “Yes for Belmont” campaign, successfully arguing the need for a $4.5 million multi-year override.