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Driscoll earns third term as selectman

Date: 4/19/2010

April 19, 2010

By Courtney Llewellyn

Reminder Assistant Editor

EAST LONGMEADOW - By a margin of 263 votes, incumbent selectman Jim Driscoll defeated challenger and former selectman Joe Townshend for a third term on the board.

Town Clerk Tom Florence reported after the polls had closed on April 13 that 2,585 of the town's 11,157 active registered voters -- 23.2 percent -- turned out for the election, a number he said was a bit higher than usual for local elections.

The selectmen's race was the only official contested race; others, such as the those for the Board of Public Works and the School Committee, saw competition between write-in candidates and those on the ballot.

After a rather heated race for selectman, Driscoll came out on top with 1,371 votes; Townshend garnered 1,108 votes. A margin of only 16 votes separated the two in Precinct 2.

"I was very pleased to win by over 10 percent and to take all four precincts," Driscoll said following his win.

He attributed his win to his positive campaigning.

"My campaign was about the issues and was experience based," he said. "It was not a negative campaign like that of my opponent."

Driscoll told Reminder Publications that his goals for his third consecutive term on the Board of Selectmen include lowering the tax rate, converting all municipal buildings to run on green energy, to create a "Virtual Town Hall" on the East Longmeadow Web site and to increase the size of the police force.

"Since last year [with the election of Paul Federici] I've seen the board work relatively smoothly together," Board of Selectmen Chair Jack Villamaino stated at Driscoll's victory celebration at Spoleto the night of the election. "I hope to continue that."

Other Positions

Joseph Cabrera, a father of four children currently enrolled in East Longmeadow schools, tallied 1,251 votes to earn a place on the School Committee. Cabrera, who ran for a seat on the committee unsuccessfully last year, won the seat against write-in candidates Susan DeGrave and William Gorman; write-in votes totaled 481.

"I'm happy that the school system is moving forward," Cabrera said the night of the election. "We have a new superintendent, a new principal and a new complexion on the School Committee. I'm confident we'll move forward in the best direction for our children."

The School Committee will also welcome newly-elected member Elizabeth Marsian-Boucher and welcome back incumbent Bill Fonseca.

John Maybury will be returning to a seat on the Board of Public Works; he won that contest against fellow write-in candidate William Gorman.

Bill Johnston retained his seat with the Board of Assessors, as did Michael Przybylowicz with the Planning Board and Virginia Robbins with the Board of Library Trustees.

Additionally, Jean Peirce and John Florence took the two open seats with the Housing Authority and Jim Sheils will remain the Town Moderator.