Borrelli Picked for Selectman; Jacob, DiCicco Win Park & Rec. Seats
Town Clerk: Voter turnout on April 10 was at about 20-25 percent.
After winning the selectman’s race in Tuesday’s Town Election, Matt Borrelli will be sworn in to office tonight, at the board’s next meeting.
Borrelli took about 56 percent of the votes in the contest against Michael Greis for a two-year term on the Board of Selectmen, receiving 2,453 votes to opponent Michael Greis’s 1,864 votes (42 percent) and winning nine of the town’s 10 precincts.
Greis beat Borrelli only in Precinct I, where he received 275 votes to Borrelli’s 267.
Borrelli heard the results at a post-election party held at New Garden restaurant on Chestnut Street, where he was waiting with his wife Alison, campaign manager Louise Miller and other supporters.
“We were just ecstatic as the precincts came in,” he said. “We knew that the hard work that we had put in for six weeks had paid off. It just was an amazing feeling.”
Borrelli said he felt the race was “extremely close” on election day.
“There was a low turnout at the beginning of the day and through the day, and I just felt like it could go either way,” he said.
“Michael ran a great campaign,” Borrelli added. “I’ve been with Michael on our liaison assignments with the School Committee, and I wish him the best. I know he has some great ideas, and I look forward to working with him on the School Committee.”
Borrelli will take over the remaining two years of a term begun in 2011 by Jim Healy, who stepped down from the board in January for personal reasons. Healy was among those who helped Borrelli celebrate his win at New Garden Tuesday evening.
“I think Matt Borrelli ran a fantastic grassroots campaign,” Healy said. “He was able to tap into all the segments of the town of Needham. He had people that would be conservative; he had people that would be unrenrolled; he had people that would be associated with more of the non-conservative party, all come over, and I think that’s because his message was that he wants to represent the entire town of Needham. He doesn’t have any planned constituent group; he has no planned agenda. He literally wants to protect the taxpayers, and I think that message in 2012 resonates.”
Greis and his supporters were gathered at the Needham Historical Society to await results and had unofficial tallies shortly after the polls closed at 8 p.m. Reached by cell phone, Greis told Patch: “When I started this, I knew it was going to be a long slog and we had an opponent that had a lot of local presence."
Though Greis said it was too early to consider another run for selectman, he said that he would be happy to continue his work on the School Committee.
“I get to go back to work for the town tomorrow, so that’s not a bad thing,” he said.
“There’s plenty to be done,” Greis added. “I think there’s still a lot of work to be done in this town, and I’ll continue to work on it in various ways.”
Voter turnout was higher this year than it was in the 2011 Town Election, when 2,793 voters—less than 14 percent of those registered—showed up to the polls. This year, a total of 4,416 Needham residents voted in the Town Election—about 20-25 percent of registered voters, according to Town Clerk Tedi Eaton.
Overall, the day went smoothly, she said, except for a glitch right at the end.
“We had very few problems [at the polls],” Eaton said. “At the end of the day, the computer program for our [voting machine] vendor didn’t work, so that’s why our results were a little later.”
Instead, the town clerk used the “old-fashioned” method: An Excel spreadsheet.
Park & Recreation Commission
The two-year selectman seat wasn’t the only one contested this year. Three candidates were vying for two seats on the Park and Recreation Commission.
In the end, incumbent Tom Jacob hung on to his spot, with 2,209 votes, and newcomer Dave DiCicco also grabbed a seat, with 2,051 votes. Another newcomer, Matt Toolan, collected 1,742 votes—not enough to win one of the two seats.
DiCicco was also celebrating his win at New Garden alongside other town officials and said he felt the contested race had been good for Needham parks.
“I think the best part of this whole thing is we got a chance to debate some great issues,” DiCicco said. “I think people understand that we want to look at a community center and we want the Rosemary Pool issue to be dealt with, and about my issue of the park maintenance fund. I think by Matt running, or Tommy or myself, it’s actually brought these issues to the front.”
Board of Health
While no one took out papers to run for the open three-year term on the Board of Health, several residents ran write-in campaigns.
Jane Fogg, a practicing primary care physician in Needham, won the seat with 326 votes to fellow write-in candidate Karen McLeod’s 146 votes. (Another 183 votes went to various other write-ins.)
Fogg currently serves as the medical director at Beth Israel Deaconess Health Care of Needham, a nine-member primary care internal medicine practice located on Chestnut Street, according to an information sheet she handed out at the League of Women Voters Candidates’ Night on April 2.
Full Election Results
Full tallies of votes cast at all 10 precincts on Tuesday, April 10 are available on the town website, under the Town Clerk tab.