TEWKSBURY — Over the past year, various changes have occurred in the realm of town politics. From new elected officials, to major articles being passed at Town Meeting, the Tewksbury local political sphere shifted throughout 2019.
Following the 2019 annual town election, we saw a shift in elected leadership, as some long-serving officials were voted out in favor of some new faces. Notably, long-serving Selectmen Todd Johnson was replaced by former Town Moderator Jayne Wellman-Miller for a seat on the Board of Selectmen, and Maria Zaroulis replaced George Ferdinand on the Board of Health.
The School Committee also gained some new members after longtime members Krissy Polimeno and Arthy Bennett opted to not run for reelection at the end of their term. The two new School Committee members elected were Shannon Demos and John Stadtman.
Regarding the 2019 annual Town Meeting, the town voted to approve the funding for a new elementary school and athletic complex located at the current Center School Location. Regarding funding for a new Center Fire Station, Town Manager Richard Montuori opted to withdraw the article proposing the town would borrow $2,000,000 to cover expenses. Town meeting attendees also debated an article that gained social media traction, regarding the town’s plastic bag ban. The article sought to reinstate the use of single-use plastic bags in retail establishments, voiding the ban set in motion in April 2019. At Town Meeting, the article was indefinitely postponed.
Looking towards 2020, there is potential for change on the horizon once again as State Representative Dave Robertson will be challenged in his bid for reelection next fall. Currently, Republican Alec Difruscia is set to challenge him in November.