Candidates prepare to run in annual Town Election

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Candidates and their families wave to passing vehicles outside the high school for the 2019 Town Election. Staff Photo/Max Bowen

abass@northstarreporter.com

It was a gloomy Thursday in North Attleborough as rain pelts the roof of Town Hall, making the streets hard to traverse.

Town Council Vice President John Simmons isn’t bothered by the weather, as he is preparing to run for a third term in office.

“I’m running again,” Simmons confirmed. “There is still more work to be done.”

Simmons is one of 11 potential candidates to pull papers for the April 4 Town Election. Of those 11, five are running for Town Council, three for the School Committee, two for the Park Commission, and one for the Board of Public Works.

Simmons, who was first seated on the Town Council in 2019, said his decision to run for a third term was based on the growth he has seen in North Attleborough—namely economic. If re-elected, he wants to see an expansion or addition to North Attleborough High School.

“I would like to see the high school move forward,” he said. “It’s going to be very difficult to pay for it, but we have made great progress on how we spend money wisely on things and improve quality of life.”

As a town councilor, Simmons and his colleagues have a two-year term in office. As of Jan. 23, Town Council President Justin Pare and councilors Mark Gould and Andrea Slobogan have pulled papers to run for re-election. Park Commissioners John Ruppert and Thomas Difiore and Board of Public Works Vice President Donald Cerrone are also seeking re-election as their three-year terms come to an end.

School Committee member Sarah Stone, Board of Electric Commissioners member Dale Langille, and Town Councilors Daniel Donovan, Darius Gregory, Kathleen Prescott, Patrick Reynolds, and Andrew Shanahan have yet to pull nomination papers.

School Committee member John Costello has declined to serve another term and opted to run for Town Council instead. Costello was seated on the committee in 2022 following the resignation of James McKenna, and prior to that served one term. He said his decision to run was based on a desire to help local businesses and residents. Costello said he wants to prioritize expanding growth in North Attleborough and senior housing.

“In the long run, there is a need for senior housing, which would benefit those who want to downsize and increase real estate inventory,” Costello said. “We need to be confident that the construction of new developments will not adversely affect any adjacent properties. 21 East Street comes to mind.”

North Attleborough residents Aaron Whirl, Marjorie Avarista, and Zach Achin will all seek to fill Costello’s seat or challenge Stone if she decides to run again. The final deadline to pull papers is Feb. 10 and all candidates must submit them four days later.