Local Government and Politics, News

Board of Assessors race highlights Swampscott’s local election

SWAMPSCOTT — Low voter turnout is expected for Tuesday’s local election, which will feature only one contested race.

Two candidates are vying for a seat on the Board of Assessors. Linda Paster, chairwoman of the board, faces a challenge from Diane O’Brien, who owns a tax practice based in Somerville.

The other seven races in the local election are uncontested.

Paster has served on the board of assessors for nine years, including three non-consecutive years as chairwoman. She is seeking her fourth, three-year term.

She has worked as a clerk in the building department at Town Hall since 2008, and has worked for the town since 1996. Prior to her current role, she worked in the assessing department.

If re-elected, Paster said she would focus on keeping the public aware, making sure public questions are answered and making sure the level of transparency continues.

O’Brien, an enrolled agent through the IRS, prepares tax returns for a living. She said the position is in her wheelhouse, as she understands procedures and tax rates.

O’Brien is on the For the Love of Swampscott board and is PTO treasurer for Swampscott Middle School. She previously served as PTO treasurer for Clarke Elementary School.

Peter Spellios, a principal at Transom Real Estate in Boston, is running for a second, three-year term on the five-member Board of Selectmen.

Ted Delano, a Swampscott Police detective, is running for a third, three-year term on the five-member School Committee.

David Zucker, an attorney, is vying to fill a vacant seat on the five-member Planning Board, as JR Young opted not to run for re-election.

Tript Sembhi, a marketing coordinator and agent at Sagan Realtors, is running for her first, three-year term as a Trustee of the Public Library. She was appointed in December after another trustee stepped down.

Michael McClung is running for a third, one-year term as town moderator. The town moderator runs Town Meeting.

Marianne Hartmann and Richard Callahan are running for reelection to the Board of Health (three-year term) and Housing Authority (five-year term) respectively.

There are 10,856 registered voters in town, according to Town Clerk Susan Duplin, who is predicting a low voter turnout.

She said absentee ballots, which are good indication of election turnout, have been light for this election. Last year’s election had a 13 percent voter turnout.

Local elections cost the town between $10,000 to $12,000, Duplin said.

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Polling locations are the Swampscott Senior Center, 200 Rear Essex St. for Precincts 1 and 2; First Church Congregational, 40 Monument Ave. for Precincts 3 and 4; and Swampscott Middle School, 207 Forest Ave. for Precincts 5 and 6.

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