EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

March 24, 2013

Two Selectmen have one challenger

ANDOVER — While most of the races on Tuesday’s election ballot aren’t contested, there is one reason to go vote: three Andoverites are running for the Board of Selectmen, but the finish line is only big enough for two to get through.

Chandler Road resident Larry Bruce, 53, is hoping to knock one of two competing incumbents off the Board of Selectmen for a three-year term.

He’s challenging South Main Street resident Paul Salafia, 65 and elected in 2011 to a two-year term after serving on the Planning Board for 18 years, and Alison Way resident Alex Vispoli, 55, who is seeking his fourth term.

Salafia and Vispoli said their primary reason for running is to finish what they started when they first ran.

“I think we’re in a place where some of those initiatives [I helped start] are moving forward,” Vispoli said, naming the business-focused Economic Development Council as an example.

“I’ve only had two years in my first term and started a bunch of things, and I want to finish them,” Salafia said. “Started the Town Yard, started the Youth Center, started a campaign to help us figure out (other post-employment benefits.)”

Bruce’ says his biggest motivation is “to represent the residents of Andover.”

“Our town manager has repeatedly told me that he considers the businesses in Andover to be ‘residents.’ It should be obvious that there is a difference between residents seeking a terrific quality of life in Andover and businesses wishing to prospect,” he said. “It’s not that the two interests can’t exist simultaneously, but where conflict exists, residents must be the priority.”

Elsewhere on the ballot Sheila Doherty, 9 Juniper Road, is uncontested for re-election to a one-year term as Moderator.

Paula Colby-Clements, 119 Chestnut St., and Barbara L’Italien, 5 Harper Circle, are uncontested for two, three-year terms on the School Committee.

Janice Burkholder, 22 Arundel St., is uncontested for a fie-year term on the Andover Housing Authority.

Randall Hanson, 15 Pasho St. is the lone candidate for a three-year term on the Trustees of the Punchard Free School.

Voter Information Andover polls open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Andover High School field house, 80 Shawsheen Road. All precincts are at the same location.

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