Selectmen candidates say economic growth, business should be town's focus

Jan 20, 2018

Wareham’s town election will be held April 3 with two Selectmen seats for three-year terms on the ballot.

Incumbent Alan Slavin holds one of the seats and is seeking reelection for that seat. The second seat was held by Judith Whiteside, who resigned unexpectedly citing an unspecified personal reason after serving one year of her term. The candidate who wins the seat held by Whiteside will serve for two years, finishing the term.

Slavin, who has returned his nomination papers with the required 50 signatures, said he wants to see some projects he’s started through to completion.

“I want to see Wareham continue to move forward,” said Slavin, who has championed projects related to transportation, including bringing a commuter rail station to town.

Slavin said he’s also focused on bringing grants and new business opportunities to Wareham through his involvement with Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District Commission. The agency seeks to create economic opportunity in southeastern Massachusetts, protect natural resources and develop cultural amenities.

“My goal has always been to continue being proactive, develop trust and confidence with our residents,” said Slavin.

Slavin has served on the Board of Selectmen for the past six years. Before that, he was on the Capital Planning Committee and the Planning Board.

Mary Bruce, who is president of the Wareham Garden Club, has also pulled nomination papers. Bruce is seeking the seat previously held by Whiteside.

Bruce said she’s been wanting to serve on the board for awhile and “now seemed like the right time.” If elected, Bruce said she wanted to focus on bringing business to town.

“Economic growth is one of the biggest issues facing town right now,” she said.

A Wareham native, Bruce has served on the Wareham Council on Aging, is a currently a member of the Beach and Tourism Committee and is a member of Don’t Trash Wareham, a volunteer-driven organization dedicated to beautifying town.

Other candidates in the Board of Selectmen race are Faith Berry and Marc Bianco, who is a member of the Planning Board. Wareham Week has reached out to both seeking comment.

Nomination papers are still available. The last day to pick up nomination papers in the Town Clerk’s office is Feb. 9. The deadline to return papers is Feb. 13 at 5 p.m.