Photo: The ballot has been all been set for the April 4 Town Election
The ballot for the 2023 Belmont Town Election is set. While there is just one competitive race for town-wide offices on the April 4 election, the competition for Town Meeting seats will be a battle in six of the town’s eight precincts and a pair of ballot questions will determine the future of a pair of town institutions.
The race for the open Treasurer’s office is no race at all as no one took out nomination papers for the post currently held by the long-time treasurer Floyd Carman. The future of the office will be on the ballot in the form of Question 2 which asks voters if the Treasurer should continue to be elected or transforms into an appointed post.
The lack of a candidate brings up the interesting predictiment that a person with the most write-in votes on April 4 could become either acting treasurer if voters approve an appointed treasurers post or could become the full-time treasurer serving the next three years if the voters continue to support an elected post.
Voters will have three candidates to fill the seats of Kate Bowen and Mike Crowley. Rachel Watson, Amy Zuccarello and Jung Yueh are all first-time aspirants for the town-wide office. And while none are Town Meeting Members, Yueh and Watson will be running for seats on the 290-plus member legislative body.
The retirement of Adam Dash from the Select Board could only muster one candidate. Community Preservation Committee Chair and Warrant Committee member Elizabeth Dionne, who announced early and effectively cleared the field, will be the first woman since Anne Marie Mahoney left in 2004 to be elected to the board responsible for the oversight of town government.
There will be a new/old member on the Health Board as Stephen Fiore is the only candidate to take the seat of long-serving board member and former chair Donna David. Fiore returns to the board after being defeated for re-election in 2021.
Voters will decide the fate of a new municipal skating and recreation center as the project comes back before voters after a $34 million debt exclusion was defeated in November. The proposal before the electorate has changed, with a reduction in design and cost, now just under $30 million. The second question is about the aforementioned elected vs appointed treasurer’s position.
Unlike years past when three or four precincts would have more candidates than available seats, voters in six of Belmont’s eight precincts will be treated to a long ballot of neighbors seeking three (or shorter) year terms on Town Meeting. Precinct 4 will seat the 12 three-year term members on the ballot (there is a race for the single one-year term) while those in Precinct 5 will need to select the 12th seat through write-in votes. The most competitive race is – somewhat surprisingly as it goes against its historical form of being bereft of candidates – in Precinct 7 where 9 incumbents join 11 hopefuls for the 12 seats.
Some interesting hopefuls include Adam Dash running for a Town Meeting seat in Precinct 1 after six years on the Select Board, School Committee’s Jeff Liberty in the crowded 7, Emerson (’26) Student Government Association President – and best name on the ballot – Angus James Benedict Abercrombie in Precinct 8 while expecting a perfectly written and grammatically correct campaign sign from newcomer Jane Rosenzweig in Precinct 5.