Four in the running for Blackstone Board of Selectmen

Four in the running for Blackstone Board of Selectmen

BLACKSTONE – In an unusually active year in Blackstone town politics, four individuals are running for two seats on the Blackstone Board of Selectmen.

Selectman Daniel Keefe will face a challenge from former Selectman Ryan Chamberland in his bid for another three-year term. At the same time, Ryan Barry and Tanya Polak have both declared runs for a vacant seat that expires next year.

All four candidates returned their nomination papers by the deadline last Friday, Feb. 12.

Keefe, a local business owner, is fighting to hold onto his seat after a turbulent year that included an investigation into conversations he and two other town officials had over proposed CARES Act spending. In October, a private investigator concluded Keefe violated conflict-of-interest rules by advocating for changes that would have resulted in a higher payment to his wife, a town employee, a result Keefe has said was unintentional. The Board of Selectmen later voted not to reprimand him, citing a desire to move on from the controversy.

Chamberland is a former town selectman who launched an unsuccessful bid for a state representative seat as a Republican candidate in 2018. He works as deputy chief of staff for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security.

Barry and Polak are both competing for the seat vacated by former Selectwoman Taylor Greene. In January, Greene, a two-year member of the board, resigned her seat due to child care issues exacerbated by COVID-19.

Barry is a construction company employee who led an unsuccessful effort to recall board Chairman Robert Dubois from office last summer in the midst of the investigation. Polack is a business management professional running on a platform of change and accountability.

The election’s only other contested race is for a Blackstone representative on the Blackstone-Millville Regional District School Committee. Keri Gaudette and Timothy Howell are both running for a four-year term.

At the same time, a race to fill a vacant term on the committee that expires next year drew no candidates.

This year’s annual town election takes place on Monday, April 5. The last day to register to vote is Tuesday, March 16.

The full list of candidates is as follows:

• Board of Assessors (three-year term) – Franscena Schandelmayer-Davis (incumbent)

• BMR District School Committee (four-year term, Blackstone representative) – Keri Gaudette and Timothy Howell

• BMR District School Committee (unexpired four-year term expiring 2022, Blackstone representative) – no candidates

• BMR District School Committee (unexpired four-year term expiring 2024, Blackstone representative) – Sarah Williams (incumbent)

• BMR District School Committee (four-year term, Millville representative) – Amanda Guilmain

• Board of Health (three-year term) – Peter Ryan Sr. (incumbent)

• Moderator (unexpired three-year term expiring 2023) – John Wozniak

• Parks & Recreation Commission (two positions, three-year terms) – Donald Cox (incumbent) and Robert Gilbert (incumbent)

• Parks & Recreation Commission (unexpired three-year term expiring 2023) – no candidates

• Planning Board (five-year term) – Anthony Catalano Sr. (incumbent)

• Board of Selectmen (three-year term) – Daniel Keefe (incumbent) and Ryan Chamberland

• Board of Selectmen (unexpired three-year term expiring 2022) – Ryan Barry and Tanya Polak