EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

February 25, 2014

Five fight for three-year Newton selectman seats

Board expanded to five members

By Doug Ireland
direland@eagletribune.com

---- — NEWTON — Five candidates are battling for two three-year seats on the Board of Selectmen.

They are James Doggett, Elliott Estey, Lawrence Foote, John Neveux and Russ Riccio. The election is March 11.

Three seats are available on the board after it was expanded from three members to five. The increase, proposed by Foote through a citizen petition article, was approved by voters last year, 459-311.

In a separate race, three candidates are running for a one-year board seat. The candidates are Matthew Burrill, Robert Miller and Christopher Stephan.

Incumbent Raymond Thayer, the board’s chairman, filed for the seat, but is withdrawing from the race because of poor health.

Although none of the other candidates are incumbents, three have elective office experience.

Doggett has served 24 years on the Sanborn Regional School Board and 10 years on the Planning Board. He has also been a cemetery trustee and trustee of trust funds.

Estey, known around town as “Peachy,” served more than 15 years on the Planning Board. Foote, the town’s emergency management director, served a one-year term as selectman.

Neveux and Riccio have never been elected to public office.

Name: James Doggett

Age: 55

Occupation: Self-employed jeweler

Incumbent: No

Elective office experience: School Board, Planning Board, cemetery trustee, trustee of trust funds

What is the most important issue facing selectmen? Planning for Newton’s future is extremely important. As personnel and infrastructure change in the future, the selectmen need to have plans for these eventualities.

Name: Elliott Estey

Age: 60

Occupation: Owner of Advanced Stump Service

Elective office experience: Planning Board

What is the most important issue facing selectmen? The most important issue is to make sure townspeople are heard and represented. Also, the fiscal house must be in order.

Name: Lawrence Foote

Age: 53

Occupation: Lawrence Fire Department dispatcher

Incumbent: No

Elective office experience: Selectman

What is the most important issue facing selectmen? Working together with other departments, administrators and residents. Selectmen’s choices should benefit all residents, not just a few. Teamwork is key for success.

Name: John Neveux

Age: 48

Occupation: Plasterer

Incumbent: No

Elective office experience: None

What is the most important issue facing selectmen? The most important issue is public safety and the infrastructure, while promoting economic development and moving in a fiscally responsible manner guided by common sense.

Name: Russ Riccio

Age: 61

Occupation: Teacher

Incumbent: No

Elective office experience: None

What is the most important issue facing selectmen? Controlling spending and making sure tax dollars are spent wisely and in the taxpayers’ best interest.