15 candidates compete in Scituate Town Council race

15 candidates compete in Scituate Town Council race

SCITUATE – It would not be an election year in Scituate without a full ticket of candidates from each party and a few independents to round out a 15-person race for Town Council.

Voters will get the chance to pick the top seven candidates for Scituate during the Nov. 3 election.

Six of the seven Republican council members are seeking re-election this year, with long-time Councilor Brenda Frederickson leaving after serving seven terms.

Council President James Brady, 61, of 159 Westcott Road, is seeking a second term this year. He says he is running again because he loves Scituate. His main concerns are residents’ safety, and trying to keep taxes low.

Incumbent Republican Charles Collins, 67, of 224 Central Pike, said after 33 years in the Police Department and 14 years serving on the council, he has a “historic perspective” of what is going on in town. Besides David D’Agostino, everyone on the council is new and finishing out their first terms.

“I know the history and continuity of the town,” Collins said.

After talking with residents, he said his main concern is keeping taxes low while still funding education and “getting things done.”

“My motto has always been, don’t have your own agenda and do what you think is right for the town of Scituate,” he said.

After the council was criticized for lack of transparency, Collins said the board began live-streaming meetings to allow residents to watch from home. He said everything the council does is out in the open.

Republican incumbent David D’Agostino, 76, of 18 Neil Lane, is running for his eighth term on the council. He said he decided to run for another term because he believes ever-evolving challenges are facing residents and he can continue to add valuable leadership on the council.

D’Agostino said when he first ran, he identified three areas of importance: education, town services and seniors.

In the past 10 years, D’Agostino said the council has accomplished much despite difficulties and hardships. In 2020, the challenges facing Scituate are more pressing and D’Agostino said he will bring his experience, evenhandedness and desire to represent all citizens to the council, moving forward during unprecedented times.

D’Agostino said he brings discipline as a U.S. Army drill instructor, as well as the leadership of running his small electrical contracting business for more than 40 years.

“I always listen to my constituents’ concerns and will make the best decision for our town,” he said.

Republican incumbent Gary Grande, 64, of 1 Hickory Drive, said he is running for re-election because he’s enjoyed being on the council and believes a lot has gotten done in the last two years.

“We are currently in an unprecedented challenge with COVID-19, the town will face additional challenges, and I’d like to be part of the council for the next two years to meet those challenges,” he said.

Republican incumbent Abbie Groves, 41, of 7 Howard Ave., said serving the town as vice president of the council, as a teacher, a coach and volunteer has been rewarding. She said she is running for re-election because she takes great pride in Scituate and giving back to the community.

Groves said she is proud of the work she did to resolve issues at Rockland Oaks and the Scituate Housing Authority, as well as working to improve the Senior Center and Recreation Department.

“I have enjoyed working through challenges and difficult choices as well as all the positive changes,” she said.

Groves said helping to restore civility is always her goal, and if re-elected, she will continue with that work.

“We have a beautiful community. When people work together, it will continue to grow and prosper,” she said.

Republican incumbent Tim McCormick, 61, of 428 Trimtown Road, said after living in town for more than 30 years and raising four children in Scituate, he is at a stage in his life that allows him to give back.

McCormick said he wants to continue using his years of experience in the business world to identify areas for improvement in town operations that will better serve residents while controlling costs.

“It’s my hope that these actions, together with the hard work of our town employees, will help us maintain reasonable tax rates, while providing necessary town services and funding our schools,” he said.

Looking forward, McCormick said the town will need to focus on the long-term comprehensive plan, the possibility of implementing the Home Rule Charter, and a challenging budget environment.

“I hope to be in a position to contribute to the discussion and work on behalf of the citizens in our town,” he said.

Republican Teresa Yeaw, 58, of 163 Danielson Pike, said she decided to run to continue to spend residents’ hard-earned tax dollars fiscally and reasonably.

Yeaw said she would like to encourage growth in the town while retaining Scituate’s small-town charm.

Independent candidate Thomas Galligan, 77, of 171 Pine Hill Road, said he believes the council needs an independent voice. He said the current council acts as one, and he is ready for change.

“I’m disgusted with them, I’m ready,” Galligan said.

Galligan said Scituate is a good town that is run well, but he takes issue with many of the proposed changes in the Home Rule Charter. He said he prefers a mayor to the proposed town manager, and wants to continue voting to elect the town treasurer and clerk.

“Vote from the bottom up,” Galligan said, referring to the ballot, where his name is last.

The Scituate Democrats have endorsed seven candidates, including one independent, former Scituate Police Chief Donald Delaere of 800 Central Pike.

Delaere, 47, previously explained that a minor clerical error stemming from his vote in the 2020 presidential primary prevented him from running as a Democrat. Instead, he is running as an “independent good government” candidate.

Delaere retired from the SPD on June 27 after 23 years of service. He said he wants to continue to serve the town he loves and lives in. Delaere said he’s lived in Scituate for close to 20 years.

“I want to continue to serve the residents of the town of Scituate,” he said.

Delaere took a leave of absence after reporting a breach of contract allegedly caused by Councilor Brady. Delaere claimed Brady interrupted day-to-day operations, created a hostile work environment, and defamed the chief’s character when inquiring about paid police details for retired officers. The chief returned to work after two weeks.

Democrat Debra Archetto, 57, of 219 West Greenville Road, is returning this year after a failed run for council in 2018. Archetto said she decided to run for council because she wants to bring ethics, accountability and transparency to town government.

As a community pharmacist, Archetto said she spent the last 27 years working ethically and adhering to state and federal laws, billing rules and company policies.

“I will bring the same kind of follow-through and problem-solving approach to the council that I expect of my pharmacy team,” she said.

Archetto said working with all members of the council to build a consensus and support on issues that affect the community is a high priority. She said she is committed to exploring ways to expand the tax base as property taxes are always a concern for homeowners.

Democrat William Austin, 66, of 62 White Pine Drive, said after living in Scituate for 31 years surrounded by friends and family, being on the council is a way to contribute work and personal experiences to help Scituate’s viability as a great place to live.

Austin said his background in strategic planning, on-time execution of objectives, managing big budgets, human resources and bipartisan problem solving prepares him with skills to handle any issues faced by the council.

“I am prepared to work with other 2020 elected council members on a bipartisan basis and together guide Scituate into 2021 and beyond,” he said.

Austin said he wants accountability to voters, council decisions open for review, and to allow voters to weigh in on critical decisions.

His personal objectives for a term on the council include reviewing capital committee reports, reviewing current council projects and suggesting controls for timely completion and within budget, and initiating a three-year plan to bring continuity to council planning.

Democrat Anna Cimini, 51, of 1460 Chopmist Hill Road, is running for council to help bring a voice to Democrats in Scituate, including those not affiliated as Democrats who support the party’s decision-making.

Cimini said Democrats support open, transparent processes, which she believes is missing in Scituate. As a recent resident, Cimini said she is immediately tired of the drama, bullying and off-putting stances of majority-ruled councils.

“I think a non-partisan, or non-majority-ruled Town Council is a better Town Council,” she said.

Cimini said she would like to see forward motion on the comprehensive plan, the solar ordinance, and planning and zoning to protect rural areas, and also wants to bring much-needed small business into designated commercial areas.

A diversified tax base will help ease the tax burden of residents, she said.

Local business owner and Democrat Sacha Hummel, 62, of 104 Rockland Road, said he decided to run for council after the current council removed him from two boards, including the Board of Canvassers and as resident commissioner for the Scituate Housing Authority at Rockland Oaks.

“I felt a burden of why not me, who would be better, and it’s definitely time for a change in Scituate,” he said.

As a lifelong resident, Hummel said he’s witnessed Republicans work for all residents, which he said is not the current situation where the Republican council is “taking care of their own party.”

“I will be transparent and be open to discussion with all members of the community and continue my support of nonprofits and taking care of our town, your town, and my town,” Hummel said.

Democrat Michael Marcello, 52, of 874 Chopmist Hill Road, said he believes his experience as a former town councilman and state representative will be invaluable in the coming months as Scituate grapples with issues of state aid and local budgets.

Marcello said the past two years were difficult as the council “repeatedly refused” to answer questions related to the dismissal of the police chief last summer, negotiations with the PWSB and other topics.

“The council needs an advocate for open and transparent decision making, and my entire tenure as a public official has been dedicated to keeping the public informed,” Marcello said.

The more immediate challenge to Scituate will be navigating expected state cuts to education and municipal revenue sharing, Marcello said. The council needs to guard against making hasty decisions that jeopardize progress in the schools.

Long-term, Marcello said, his goal is to ensure the town’s comprehensive plan will reflect the values and concerns of Scituate residents.

Democrat Terrell Parker, 22, of 7 Goddard St., said he is running for council to bring a needed diverse perspective to Scituate government. Parker said he has the energy and enthusiasm to ensure Scituate will move in a positive direction for years to come.

“One-party rule has led to a stagnant government that lacks innovation,” he said.

Ideally, government should work for everyone, Parker said, and not just the people who voted in the ruling party.

When elected, Parker said he will take the steps to restore a representative democracy by making sure all of the Scituate community has a voice on a council representing their wants and needs.