Town Elections to be Fairly Quiet  
Saturday, April 28, 2012
Webster and Dudley town elections will move to center stage May 7.

A four-way contest for one position on the Board of Selectmen and a face-off for assessor are the only contests on the Webster ballot.

Walter J. Ricci, completing his first term on the town board; Brian A. Chenevert, a political newcomer; Robert J. Miller, a former panelist and assistant town moderator; and Paul O'Donnell, former publisher of the weekly Patriot, are the candidates for selectman.

Longtime assessor Joseph J. Smith III is opposed by Joseph S. Beresik, once an assessor here and in Ashland.

A couple of finance committee positions and a pair of library trustee offices, one for three years and the other for two, went unclaimed through the preliminaries. Now, they'll probably attract write-ins. Incumbent library members James A. Chauvin and Catherine V. Martin worked the nominations process, gaining return without opposition.

Veteran library trustee Gerald P. Deary, acting director of the Chester C. Corbin Library a couple of times and a longtime town School Department executive, is leaving the trustees to accommodate lifestyle changes.

Webster will have a new delegate to the Bay Path Regional Vocational District. Veteran committeeman Edwin G. Stalec is stepping down for personal reasons, says fellow panelist Alfred Beland, recognizing Mr. Stalec's dedicated service to vocational education.

Thomas V. Mroczek will be his replacement. I've known him a long time, added Mr. Beland. He was my father's boss when they worked at the gas company.

It may not seem likely, but Dudley isn't any better off than Webster in generating town election interest. In fact, they're closer to an election shutout.

Chairman Steven Sullivan and newcomer John Marsi Jr. are unopposed for selectmen, quashing interest from the top of the ballot. Town Planner Nancy Runkle, completing a three-year term on the selectmen's panel, decided against another run. Her original candidacy was to suggest that town employees could qualify for elective offices.

This opened the way for Mr. Marci, who made a spirited quest for the board seat vacated last year through the sudden death of veteran selectman Anthony B. DiDonato Sr. Peter Fox, recognized for service on the Zoning Board of Appeals, stepped up to claim that opening. Mr. Marci's approach to the special contest is seen as a likely reason for his acceptance without opposition this year.

Eight other officers, listed on the ballot between treasurer Richard A. Carmignani and library trustee Benjamin A. Craver, are likewise scheduled for a free ride.

The election is also a silent invitation to write-ins for Sewer Committee and Planning Board members and constables. Lists of likely write-in names might be of carry-to-the-polls value for voters in both towns.

There are a couple of questions on Dudley's ballot. One would add $6,000 in real estate revenues to pay for energy costs next year.

The other would exempt the town's share of indebtedness to rehabilitate the Bay Path Regional Vocational High School in Charlton, if spending wells from a subsequent special town meeting. Payments would start in 2013.

Webster is in the same vocational education district and has basically the same question as Dudley's on its ballot. Finances would be subject to discussions if the elections call special town meetings to approve overrides and indebtedness.

Ralph Anderson, involved with St. Louis Elementary school sports, says this corner offers a take on local history at times. His observation came from on high, enunciated as we left a recent church service.

Eugene S. and Shirley L. Minarik of Webster had an enjoyable time in Bonito Springs, Fla., this winter, reports Eugene. They returned home in time for Easter. They crossed paths with a number of Webster friends, including Wanda C. Poblocki, her daughter and son-in-law, Carolyn and Kenneth Racicot.

We met them at the new Red Sox ballpark, said Gene. His experience on a Florida golf course was somewhat startling, Gene allowed. An alligator found its way onto the golf course just as Mr. Minarik was about to play a lay close by a water hole. The alligator circled around him and gobbled the golf ball. The gator must have thought the ball was an egg, a park ranger said.

The Minariks keep in touch with people here. As a result, they ordered Easter kielbasa from neighbor Paul Wajer, who makes an annual pre-Easter trek to Chicopee, buying for local folks. This year the kielbasa beat them to Webster by two days, Mr. Wajer declared.
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Telegram & Gazette

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