After a summer of citizen turmoil surrounding the SLOTS/NO SLOTS issue, it’s surprising that only one seat on the April 5th Tewksbury town election ballot (at least for now) will have challengers – and that’s for the open seat on the Planning Board. At the August Town Meeting – passage of the article would have allowed Penn National Gaming to establish a Category 2 gaming establishment on Ames Pond Drive – off Route 133 in North Tewksbury. This article was unanimously recommended by the Board of Selectmen and the Finance Committee. But the Planning Board recommendation came on a 3-2 vote. Incumbent Vinny Spada who voted no – isn’t running for reelection. NO SLOTS activist Vinny Fratalia is a Planning Board candidate.
Now the latest election bulletin comes from incumbent Selectman Doug Sears… “I’ve been there, done that, and I haven’t been a moderator,” said Sears as he announced a run for Town Moderator – abandoning his re-election run for the BOS. Incumbent Moderator Keith Rauseo is calling it quits after one term and that could be the real election fallout from the “Slots” town meeting. Town election/rotation cycles are different from Lowell. Sears is the only BOS member up for election this year and a challenge was coming from Tufts University professor Bruce Paniliatis – who also worked against the SLOTS coming to Tewksbury. Whether the Moderator opening with no other candidates stepping up gave Sears an opportunity for a softer political landing is the question.
Funny, in my mind’s eye I can still see Doug Sears being escorted from a similar Town Meeting at the behest of the Town Moderator! It’s all about the rules…
Reporter Katie Lannon – who covers Tewksbury – interviewed Sears for today’s Lowell Sun. http://www.lowellsun.com/news/ci_25046245/sears-shifts-gears