Wareham Selectmen's race will feature 4 candidates

Feb 14, 2018

An incumbent Selectmen will face one challenger while two newcomers vie for a second seat on the board in Wareham’s April 3 town election.

The candidates are: Faith Berry, Mary Bruce, Marc Bianco and incumbent Alan Slavin. All candidates submitted the signatures of 50 registered voters before a Feb. 13 deadline, qualifying them to seek office.

Slavin, a six-year veteran of the board, is being challenged by Planning Board member Marc Bianco.

If elected, Bianco said he’d focus on new business, education and infrastructure. Bianco’s town experience includes the Planning Board, where he has served for the last nine months and a stint on the Zoning Board of Appeals in the early 2000s. He’s lived in town for the past 25 years and is originally from the Berkshires.

Bianco said if elected he’d bring a “fresh set of eyes and ears” to the board. For Bianco, planning for the future is important.

“We need to take the 25,000-foot view, so to speak,” said Bianco. “And see where the town is going not only tomorrow, but ten years from now.”

If reelected Slavin said he wants to see some projects he’s started through to completion. He 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 also served on the Capital Planning Committee and the Planning Board.

Two people, Faith Berry and Mary Bruce, are seeking the seat formerly held by Selectman Judith Whiteside, who resigned in January.

Berry said she had several goals if elected. Those include promoting friendly, inclusive meetings, starting a program that rewards town employees for good customer service and seeking more grant opportunities.

Most importantly, she said, is getting businesses to invest in Wareham, which would bring in more tax dollars.

“It is my belief that government works to better the lives of those who live in the community they serve,” said Berry. “I want to promote bringing in new businesses that preserve the ambience of Wareham’s beach town quaintness. This will generate additional revenue.”

Berry said she has a strong interest in public service. She has worked for the federal government as a supervisor, park ranger and firefighter. Currently, she works for the National Fire Protection Association. The nonprofit is dedicated to promoting fire safety.

Bruce, who is president of the Wareham Garden Club, said she’s wanted 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, which is a volunteer-driven organization dedicated to beautifying the town.