Voter turnout at 15 percent as Ciaburri sweeps selectman seat

By Andrea Ray | Apr 11, 2018
Photo by: Andrea Ray Paul Ciaburri (right) campaigns during Rochester's annual Town Election on April 11.

Rochester — Longtime Emergency Management Director Paul Ciaburri is Rochester's newest selectman, with 340 votes to fellow candidate David Arancio's 298.

Planning Board incumbents Ben Bailey and John DeMaggio will return to their seats, defeating new challengers David Shaw and Bill Milka.

Voter turnout was about 15 percent; 671 voters turned out to the town polls on April 11, out of a total of 4,185 registered voters.

Ciaburri said he was happy with the results, and particularly happy with the way the election progressed. "It was a good election, it went the way elections should go," he said. "There were no bad words, it was all very civil. We have different opinions, maybe, but we still get along."

The new selectman is a longtime resident of Rochester, a former firefighter in town and the Emergency Management Director. With more free time following his retirement, he said he felt like it was time to get more involved in shaping the town.

He said that he will remain as Rochester's Emergency Management Director, because the position is an unpaid, volunteer position that doesn't create a conflict of interest. As far as the Fire Department goes, though, he'll be taking a leave of absence. "The State Board of Ethics said I could do that or recuse myself every time we voted on Fire Department matters," he said. "Taking a leave absence seemed like, ethically, the right thing to do."

He will take the selectman seat formerly held by Naida Parker.

Parker, currently Rochester's Town Clerk, chose not to rerun for her seat on the Board of Selectmen this year. "When I started my career early on," she said, "there was this old lady serving as a Town Clerk, and she kept being reelected basically because nobody else ran. I don't want to be that lady," she said with a laugh. "I don't mind being the lady down the hall, but I don't want to be the little old lady that needs to get out!"

She affirmed her intention to leave her Town Clerk post when that term expires as well. "My name will never appear on a ballot again!" she joked.

Planning Board

John DiMaggio and Ben Bailey will return to their seats as Planning Board members after defeating new challengers David Shaw and Bill Milka.

DiMaggio, an electrician, received the most votes—322. He has has served on the Planning Board for several terms; in 2013, he was re-elected via write-in campaign. During several hearings for solar farms off of Mattapoisett Road and Mendell Road, DiMaggio stated that he was a proponent of solar farm restrictions and had done extensive research on the effects of solar farms and panels on the ground and local area.

Bailey, who received 308 votes, has been on the Planning Board for seven years, and said during the election campaign that he intended to continue the kind of work—in terms of solar farm bylaws and restrictions—that it has been doing.

None of the Planning Board candidates were present when the election results were read out.

Other election results

There were no other contested races in this year's election.

Town Moderator Kirby Gilmore will return to his post, having faced no challengers. Other returning officials are Tree Warden Jeff Eldridge, Board of Health member Dale Barrows, Park Commission member Kenneth Ross, Water Commission member Michael Conway, Rochester School Committee members Tina Rood and Robin Rounseville, and Old Rochester School Committee member Cary Humphrey.

Noelle Johnson and May Patricia Ruocco, incumbents of the Plumb Library Board of Trustees, chose not to return to their seats this year. Instead, new candidates Gloria Vincent and Jordan Pouliot have taken their seats.

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