League of Women Voters of Needham

2023 Voter Guide for Town Meeting Candidates

Candidates for Town Meeting

Candidates for Town Meeting are listed below, according to precinct. Each candidate has been asked to respond to the following question in 300 characters or less: What are the 3 highest priority issues facing the town? No editing to the candidates’ response is done by the LWVN except for style consistency.

Candidates are listed in the order they will appear on the ballot: Incumbents appear first, alphabetically, then new candidates are listed alphabetically.

There are contested Town Meeting Member races in precincts C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J. Two precincts have fewer than 8 candidates and will be decided by write-ins (A and B). Candidates according to precinct are listed below.

A-6, B-6, C-10, D-12, E-9, F-9, G-9, H-9, I-10, J-10

Don’t know your precinct?  Look it up at WhereDoIVoteMA.com.

TOWN MEETING MEMBERS for three years / VOTE FOR NOT MORE THAN EIGHT

JOHN D. GENOVA, 11 Jennifer Circle (Candidate for re-election)
No response received.

SAMUEL HART, JR., 154 Hillside Avenue #1 (Candidate for re-election)
No response received.

WALTER D. HERRICK, 131 Pine Grove Street (Candidate for re-election)
No response received.

NORMAN F. O’BRIEN JR., 59 Webster Street (Candidate for re-election)
No response received.

RHONDA K. SPECTOR, 79 Sunnyside Road (Candidate for re-election)
My priority issues include maintaining and developing housing that is affordable for moderate and lower income residents, providing resources to the schools so students continue to thrive and supporting small businesses so we have active and successful retail areas in Needham.

NICHOLAS P. STERLING, 60 Webster Street (Candidate for re-election)
No response received.

 

Candidate for One Year / VOTE FOR ONE
No nomination

TOWN MEETING MEMBERS for three years / VOTE FOR NOT MORE THAN EIGHT

STUART B. AGLER, 30 Parish Road (Candidate for re-election)
No response received.

ORR Y. BERNSTEIN, 4 Jarvis Circle (Candidate for re-election)
We need to intentionally invest in Needham’s sense of community, bringing people together by (1) enabling more town-wide programming to engage all residents; (2) reevaluating infrastructure needs to deal with rising traffic; and (3) supporting small businesses to maintain a vibrant, thriving town.

MARIANNA BORRELLI, 651 Central Avenue (Candidate for re-election)
No response received.

MARK N. DORFMAN, 66 Jarvis Circle (Candidate for re-election)
No response received.

THOMAS M. JACOB, 67 Clarke Road (Candidate for re-election)
Balance the town’s desirability which results in higher home values & the desire to keep Needham affordable;
Find a cost-effective way to pay for new Mitchell & Pollard schools and DPW facilities;
Continue to improve communication to residents, particularly enhancing the website search capabilities.

SARA R. LEVY, 61 Briarwood Circle (Candidate for re-election)
No response received.

TOWN MEETING MEMBERS for three years / VOTE FOR NOT MORE THAN EIGHT

CARLOS AGUALIMPIA, 7 Jenna Circle (Candidate for re-election)
– Fiscal responsibility: ensure funds optimized, spent towards priorities, & debt under control
– Become greener: increase solar & protect our forests/water
– Disciplined Zone planning: remaining a desirable community (strong property values) & attractive to business (spec. in the business corridor)

MARK J. GLUESING, 48 Mackintosh Avenue (Candidate for re-election)
No response received.

PAUL DAVID ISENBERG, 44 Stewart Road (Candidate for re-election)
1) Fiscal restraint
Exponential growth in Town spending has only Town Meeting to restrain that spending.
2) Aging public infrastructure
Ensure schools remain a factor in making Needham a desirable community.
3) Accountability of Town leadership
SelectBoard must be accountable to Town Meeting.

JAMES D. MASTERMAN, 53 Canavan Circle (Candidate for re-election)
First, creating a balance between development of new housing to meet demand and maintaining the character and quality of residential life. Second, financial preparedness for the likely economic downturn in the next few years. Third, robust funding of the schools, the bedrock of the community.

PAUL B. TILLOTSON, 21 Howe Road (Candidate for re-election)
No response received.

IRENE BERLINSKY, 96 Gay Street
1. Improve Pollard and Mitchell buildings while the School Facilities Master Plan is put in motion. As a Newman parent, I follow this closely!
2. More affordable housing options for those looking to move to – or remain in – Needham.
3. Greater transparency in town government.

ANDREA ROSE DANNENBERG, 131 Locust Lane
1) Development and redevelopment that balances affordability while maintaining the character of our town
2) Updating Pollard and Mitchell schools (and the responsible financing of these projects)
3) Responsive and transparent governance

TODD NEIL EYLER, 156 Whitman Road
I’m a 22-year resident of Needham and manage a financial services software company.
The three highest priorities are:
1) Affordable housing for seniors and first-time home buyers.
2) Greater discipline with large expenditures.
3) Increased number of minority-owned businesses.

ELIZABETH ANN LANGFORD, 395 Charles River Street
No response received.

RICHARD D. PEVEAR, JR., 25 Whitman Road
No response received.

 

Candidate for One Year / VOTE FOR ONE

BRIAN JAMES COLLINS, 120 Locust Lane
No response received.

TOWN MEETING MEMBERS for three years / VOTE FOR NOT MORE THAN EIGHT

ALEXANDRA ROSE BLAUER, 59 Robinwood Avenue (Candidate for re-election)
• Responsible Spending, Development & Growth: major impacts from school & facilities master plan, MBTA communities & housing plan, commercial & residential development
• Ensuring a Vibrant, Safe & Inclusive Community for All Residents & Businesses
• Preserving & Enhancing our Natural Surroundings

KAREN L. CALTON, 387 High Rock Street (Candidate for re-election)
No response received.

CYNTHIA L. CONTURIE, 96 Robinwood Avenue (Candidate for re-election)
No response received.

REGINALD C. FOSTER, 898 South Street (Candidate for re-election)
No response received.

ANNA GIRALDO-KERR, 42 Moseley Avenue (Candidate for re-election)
Transparency of intent and action from town leadership, TMM, & elected and appointed officials is essential for equitable town governance.
Improve communication between town leadership and the community at large.
Public health and safety, with a particular focus on mental health.

RICHARD J. LUNETTA, 182 Marked Tree Road (Candidate for re-election)
No response received.

ROBERT A. PETITT, 80 Robinwood Avenue (Candidate for re-election)
Encouraging smart growth to continue to build our downtown; road and sidewalk improvements to support better bicyclist and pedestrian safety, including separated bike lanes where possible; and ensuring timely and cost-effective replacement of older school buildings.

THOMAS F. SOISSON, 128 Maple Street (Candidate for re-election)
MA Section 3A Zoning Act, which calls for high density(15 units/acre) residential zoning near MBTA stations
More public safety issues that originate in mental illness rather than criminal intent.
Deal with frequent storm deluges, flooded streets, and polluted runoff, without needing overrides.

ROSS M. DONALD, 25H Chambers Street
1) HOUSING Property owners, tenants, and guests need services, planning, and a tax structure, for a decent, safe, and affordable place for all.
2) PUBLIC INFORMATION Open meeting and public records must be accessible and participatory.
3) COMMUNITY We need to get together and gave a good time.

CHRISTOPHER J. GERSTEL, 184 Maple Street
The three highest priority issues I think the town is facing is recreational /open space allocation, affordable housing for families, and school facilities. I feel that all of three of these issues will be on going and there is no easy fix for them. I feel time is needed to look at them

ERHARDT GRAEFF, 207 Maple Street
1) Quality, accessible education from preschool on; 2) Affordable housing that ensures our residents can grow their families here and will allow us to attract new residents to our community; and 3) Climate change, which threatens the futures we want for our community, our children, and the planet

KATE LINZMEYER, 7 Stonecrest Drive
1) Making Needham a place where residents can work, play and live- specifically through more affordable housing options 2) Continuing to invest in our schools and 3) Prioritizing conservation and recreation areas.

TOWN MEETING MEMBERS for three years / VOTE FOR NOT MORE THAN EIGHT

ADAM J. BLOCK, 103 High Rock Street (Candidate for re-election)
Housing reform. Climate action. Town budget

ROBERT R. BRAMAN, 76 Lawton Road (Candidate for re-election)
Responsibly & cost-effectively providing public safety, educ., & public works should be the highest priorities of town gov. In the current cycle, specific imp. issues incl the proposed revision to the ADU bylaw & the town’s debt load given the major proj. on the horizon, e.g. Pollard & Mitchell.

JULIA DALE MAHR, 124 Edgewater Drive (Candidate for re-election)
1. Does our spending align with our values as a town? I want Needham to continue to be a town we can be proud of via our investments in green infrastructure, conscientious spending when it comes to preservation, investments and schools, and remembering to take care of our community members

PHILIP R. MURRAY, 453 Warren Street (Candidate for re-election)
Planning for infrastructure renovations and replacements (financial implications); Addressing town zoning restrictions impacting affordable housing options; Needham Center parking and traffic matters to encourage business growth and address multi-dwelling housing options

MICHAEL L. NIDEN, 178 South Street (Candidate for re-election)
No response received.

FORD H. PECKHAM, 26 Lawton Road (Candidate for re-election)
Priorities: fiscal prudence, public safety, efficient use of tax dollars. Qualifications: terms on the FinCom and as Trust Commissioner, 25+ years as Town Meeting Member, a graduate degree in Economics, and a career in financial institution regulation.

RONALD W. RUTH, 248 Warren Street (Candidate for re-election)
1. Achieve soon fiscally sound renovation of aging Schools/enhance performance of Schools/cultural institutions.
2. Address development issues – Town to be a desirable/diverse place to live/work.
3. Manage Town’s fiscal/administrative functions to serve the citizens transparently/sustainably.

KATHLEEN CAHILL ALLISON, 200 South Street
Building a positive, inclusive community while adapting to change is an important priority. Revitalizing town retail centers is another priority. Protecting the taxpayer’s dollars while maintaining excellence in our schools, library, and recreational facilities and environment is important.

VICTOR PAUL SEIDEL, 56 Green Street
I believe three priorities are: To limit over-development pressures, preserving our town’s suburban neighborhoods alongside much green and open space. To promote civic building projects in a cost-effective manner. To support historical preservation efforts to maintain the character of our town.

TOWN MEETING MEMBERS for three years / VOTE FOR NOT MORE THAN EIGHT

GARY ROBERT AJAMIAN, 47 Meetinghouse Circle (Candidate for re-election)
I will continue to represent precinct F residents and seek their input to determine priorities & goals within available budgets. Support Town infrastructure needs, education quality & effectiveness, first responders & safety and housing needs without over regulating and overburdening residents.

LAWRENCE J. COHEN, 77 Warren Street (Candidate for re-election)
Best use of tax dollars to most effectively maintain a community in which all residents thrive;
Find tools to ensure culturally diverse community for town; &
Safeguards to assist Select Board to make fair and equitable decisions, & to achieve equal justice for all those who live & work in town.

JOHN P. CONNELLY, 67 May Street (Candidate for re-election)
No response received.

JEFFREY D. HELLER, 1092 Central Avenue (Candidate for re-election)
No response received.

KATHERINE P. JACQUES, 41 Hancock Road (Candidate for re-election)
1.Continue to strongly support the Town of Needham Police,Fire and First Responders
2.Support the renovating of our school buildings
3.Continue to emphasize the importance of “open space/parks” for Needham residents to enjoy now and in the future.

MARY ANNE MACMAHON, 89 Warren Street (Candidate for re-election)
I am a lifelong resident and pleased to be a candidate for re-election. The town has changed considerably, and I hope that it will continue to do so. It is important that attention be paid to the tax burden on residents, preservation of open space, and housing that allows older residents to stay.

DENNIS FRANCIS MCCAFFERTY, 3 Meadowbrook Road (Candidate for re-election)
I believe the three highest priority items facing Needham are:
1) Maintaining the high level of education in our public school system
2) Being financially responsible with your tax dollars – separating wants from needs
3) Allowing Needham to advance but remain a safe place for all

F. TIMOTHY HEGARTY, JR., 55 Blacksmith Drive
No response received.

LARS MARK UNHJEM, 56 Meadowbrook Road
Investing in our SCHOOLS (brains and buildings), prudent SPENDING especially in a higher-interest-rate world, and improving SAFETY, quality of life, and economic development opportunities by establishing a Quiet Zone and eliminating non-emergency train horns throughout Needham. www.LarsUnhjem.com

TOWN MEETING MEMBERS for three years / VOTE FOR NOT MORE THAN EIGHT

JENNIFER LEWIS BUELL, 53 Pinewood Road (Candidate for re-election)
Updating Needham’s public school and playground facilities; balancing the growing demand for retail spaces, restaurants, and small business and affordable housing for families and long-time senior residents; adapting green practices throughout Needham

MICHAEL A. DISTLER, 122 Washington Avenue (Candidate for re-election)
No response received.

ROBERT JOHN FERNANDEZ, 19 Bradford Street (Candidate for re-election)
No response received.

KENNETH B. FREUNDLICH, 54 Bradford Street (Candidate for re-election)
More affordable housing; limits on teardowns; funding future major renovation projects (e.g., Mitchell Elementary School)

PATRICK WESTON TACELLI, 179 Harris Avenue (Candidate for re-election)
No response received.

CHRISTOPHER G. THOMAS, 130 Warren Street (Candidate for re-election)
No response received.

MARSHALL EDWARD FOX, 36 Melrose Avenue
The three highest priority issues facing Needham are environmental sustainability, affordable housing, and civic education. I hope to serve you as a Town Meeting Member to support policies that address these issues and those important to our community.

JENNIFER L. GERACI, 45 Melrose Avenue
Develop ways to increase the availability of affordable choices for housing; address the climate crisis by incorporating and meeting short and long term climate goals and objectives; and ensure thoughtful land use development that serves all residents of our town.

MARCUS JONATHAN HUGHES, 55 Wilshire Park
Attracting and retaining young families by maintaining affordable housing options and quality public schools; Strengthening the vitality of our commercial centers; developing an equitable and inclusive Arts and Culture Plan that stimulates a thriving arts and cultural scene

TOWN MEETING MEMBERS for three years / VOTE FOR NOT MORE THAN EIGHT

MOLLY KASTORY CARTER, 136 Tudor Road (Candidate for re-election)
No response received.

LYNN SARA FEIGENBAUM, 80 Richard Road (Candidate for re-election)
No response received.

THOMAS EDWARD GILLOGLEY, 4 Wendling Road (Candidate for re-election)
No response received.

MICHAEL C. KARDOK, 55 Berkshire Road (Candidate for re-election)
No response received.

JOHN A. KINGSTON, 70 Grosvenor Road (Candidate for re-election)
No response received.

KUMRAE HELBIG LEE, 349 Great Plain Avenue (Candidate for re-election)
1. Updating Pollard and Mitchell schools 2. Thoughtful development (commercial and residential) that supports economic growth and socioeconomic diversity 3. Increasing participation in town government by a broad cross-section of our community

EILEEN K. ORSCHELN, 67 Whittier Road (Candidate for re-election)
No response received.

AMY M. WIXON, 92 Grosvenor Road (Candidate for re-election)
No response received.

GREGORY JOHN DUNN, JR., 86 Douglas Road
No response received.

TOWN MEETING MEMBERS for three years / VOTE FOR NOT MORE THAN EIGHT

JAMES S. BONASIA, 174 Tower Avenue (Candidate for re-election)
No response received.

CLAIRE DEE ECSEDY, 20 Holland Terrace (Candidate for re-election)
1). Parking in downtown Needham. There needs to be more parking spaces in the downtown area. 2). Diversity in Needham is very important. Everyone should feel free to move about town and in the schools. 3) Affordable housing – there needs to be more affordable housing.

JOEL S. GOLDEN, 22 Edwardel Road (Candidate for re-election)
increase the stock of affordable housing in the town. Adoption of the MBTA Communities Act. We need to incentivize developers to build affordable units. Lastly I support the support the efforts to to create a program to allow residents to purchase green electricity at a competitive price.

GLENN ALAN MULNO, 40 Morton Street (Candidate for re-election)
Affordable housing. ADUs/multi-family zoning could help this.
Working with landlords of commercial property to lower monthly rents to help make doing business in Needham more attractive.
Making occupying commercial real estate in Needham more attractive (post pandemic vacancy rates are skyrocketing)

PETER J. PINGITORE, 146 Hillcrest Road (Candidate for re-election)
1. Facilitating the development of housing for low, moderate and middle income individuals and families. 2. Addressing the capital needs of the Needham Public Schools. 3. Balancing the continued development of our commercial tax base with the legitimate concerns of residents.

DAVID PAUL SUPPLE, 58 Helen Road (Candidate for re-election)
No response received.

ELIZABETH H. HANDEL, 3 Rosemary Street
Housing for high earners only puts downsizers/ 1st time buyers on the road out of town.
Natural world gives quality of life-native plantings can help with loss of tree canopy from clearcut lots.
Carbon neutrality is urgent.

JOHN A. KALIN, 15 Hoover Road
1- make Needham strong again with accountability and transparency
2- housing: with equitable property taxes for both the old World War II homes and new large homes 3- listen to the voices of reason in town on equality , fairness, and justice for all .VOTE for KALIN jack781444@gmail.com

JOHN A. TERRY, 17 Lindbergh Avenue
Does the Town care enough about housing affordability to give up some single-family zoning for denser housing?
Is there a cohesive and articulated vision plan for development or is an ad hoc “case-by-case” process.
Hiring individuals to support the idea of a cost conscious yet forward-looking Town.

 

Candidate for One Year / VOTE FOR ONE

DAVID J. ECSEDY, 20 Holland Terrace
No response received.

TOWN MEETING MEMBERS for three years / VOTE FOR NOT MORE THAN EIGHT

GEORGINA ARRIETA-RUETENIK, 236 Greendale Avenue (Candidate for re-election)
No response received.

DAVID P. MONTGOMERY, 361 Webster Street (Candidate for re-election)
No response received.

JANE B. MURPHY, 760 Highland Avenue #17 (Candidate for re-election)
I believe that the three highest priorities for the Town of Needham are:
Climate Change, Infrastructure and provide a high level of services for our population.
For Climate Change we need to assess the energy efficiency of our town buildings.
Infrastructure survey of town roads.

HENRY G. RAGIN, 25 Bennington Street (Candidate for re-election)
To ensure transparency, as a town meeting member, I will not vote for any proposal that was the product of closed-door negotiations.
Secondly, I will advocate for housing that is affordable for families and for independent senior living.
Finally, I will take a harsh view of wasteful spending.

JAMES R. RUETENIK, 236 Greendale Avenue (Candidate for re-election)
No response received.

LAUREN SOPER, 32 Mark Lee Road (Candidate for re-election)
No response received.

WESLEY S. SOPER, 32 Mark Lee Road (Candidate for re-election)
No response received.

SIDONIE MIA XAVIER GRANADILLO, 96 Greendale Avenue
1. Empty storefronts and overall limited diversity of businesses to meet the interests of residents.
2. Condition of Mitchell & Pollard school buildings.
3. Lack of public spaces and facilities for kids and teens to play and congregate.

LORRAINE M. MURPHY, 760 Highland Avenue #9
1. The Town’s Budget
2. Climate Change – continued work towards a cleaner Town
3. Affordable Housing

GILAD SKOLNICK, 33 Park Avenue
1. Investment in our parks and open spaces throughout town, not just Needham center. Many are underutilized, and could have playgrounds, bathrooms, dog parks and picnic tables
2. Improved sidewalks and walkability
3. Tax incentives to encourage desired businesses such as bookstores and cafes

Voting Information

Write-ins: Please contact the Town Clerk’s office at 781-455-7500 to express interest in becoming a write-in candidate and to learn more about a write-in candidacy. Should you wish to vote for someone who is not listed on the ballot, you may do so by writing the name and address of the person (substantially as it appears on the voting list) on the line titled “write-in space only” provided for each office on the ballot after the list of candidates. Don’t forget to fill in the oval next to the write-in line with the special pen.

Rides to the polls: As a voter service to Needham residents, the LWVN will offer rides to the polls on Election Day. Please call 781-343-1031 and leave a message to request a ride…please call at least 24 hours before; rides cannot be guaranteed if you call on Election Day.

Click on the post below for information about the April 11 election.