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Costello and St. Pierre elected to Town Council, Gaudette to School Committee

In a race featuring 13 candidates, voters elected former School Committee member John Costello and Tri-County PTA member Patricia St. Pierre as the newest town councilors.

The two were elected on April 4, along with incumbent councilors Mark Gould, Justin Pare, Andrea Slobogan, John Simmons, Andy Shanahan, Dan Donovan and Darius Gregory.

The remaining candidates, Blake Buchanan, Rachel Cady-Welch, Charles Dobre-Badobre and Aiden Prescott did not secure enough votes to win a seat on the nine-member council.

“I congratulate all the candidates for stepping up to serve their community, as it is not an easy thing to do,” Costello said. “I am looking forward to seeing what the next term brings and working with fellow councilors to make local government as effective as possible.”

Pare, the council president, won 1,281 votes. Following Pare was Simmons with 1,150 votes, Slobogan with 1,080, Gould with 1053, Gregory with 920, Shanahan with 874, Donovan with 791, Costello with 642, St. Pierre with 482, Cady-Welch, with 482, Prescott with 476, Buchanan with 448, and Dobre-Badobre with 409.

Costello and St. Pierre will serve as the successors to councilor Patrick Reynolds, who retired to work at a law firm, and Kathleen Prescott, who decided to run for a seat on the School Committee, but lost.

“People are paying attention to all the projects in the pipeline,” Pare said. “We have work to do and I think people understand that.”

In the School Committee election that featured six candidates, incumbent Sarah Stone was re-elected, while James Gideon Gaudette, director of technology at the Whitman-Hanson Regional School District, was elected to work alongside her.

Gaudette was the top vote-getter with 887 votes, followed by Stone with 865.

“I can’t thank all of the voters enough for taking time out of their day to vote for me,” Gaudette said. “I’m excited to get back to work for the students and staff.

The losing candidates were Zach Achin, who received 579 votes, Marjorie Avarista, with 347 votes, former town councilor Kathleen Prescott with 339 votes; and Aaron Whirl, with 229 votes.

Some races were uncontested that night. The election for the Board of Public Works saw incumbent Donald Cerrone re-elected while John Ruppert and Tom Difiore were re-elected to serve on the Park Commission. Both races featured no other candidates. Gregg Ellis was the only candidate to run for the open electric commission seat.

Patricia Dolan, the election coordinator for North Attleborough said turnout was at 8.1 percent this year. The turnout was higher than the last council election’s 3.7 percent but was not near the goal of 10 percent turnout the elections office wanted.

“Turnout was steady,” she said. “We tried to hit 10 percent turnout.”

For voters, the election put a spotlight on upcoming projects the council and committee are set to tackle this year.

Joanne MacDonald, a recent retiree of North Attleborough Public Schools, said the quality of the town’s schools was a priority to her. She wants to see the town address the building quality of its elementary schools, instead of solely focusing on the high school building and the possible $2 million feasibility study attached to it.

“For improving the schools, things can be done better,” she said. “Maybe looking at the elementary schools can be more equitable.”

One issue that did not receive as much comment from voters was the town’s push for more mixed-use housing. Despite elected officials and Town Manager Michael Borg prioritizing it as a needed addition to the town, many did not have a solid opinion to support or be against the policy.

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