PEPPERELL -- Preliminary election results showed longtime Pepperell police officer William Greathead will fill the open seat on the Board of Selectmen.

The unofficial results posted on the town website Monday night show Greathead with a substantial lead over former Selectman Stephen Themelis by a vote of 1,180 to 630.

Shortly after the results were revealed, Greathead said "big changes for the better" were on the way.

"Transparency, honesty and integrity," he said.

Bill Greathead retired from the Pepperell Police Department last November after 30 years.

Greathead said during his campaign his experience in law enforcement has provided him with the skills to serve on the board.

"I'm not a politician," Greathead said. "I'm a fixer."

Before the results came in Monday, he stressed the community is not being represented properly.

"There's no transparency," Greathead said. "Two of the current selectmen don't communicate well with the public. When questions are asked they don't answer them. None of the stuff gets on the town website as far as minutes of the meetings. That's something that has to change.

"The community has to be a part of this town and if they're not informed properly, how can they make proper decisions?" he added.

One of Greathead's main focuses has been public safety. He has stressed the Fire Department needs more staff members and new equipment.


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Money spent to fix the roof of an old, mold-infested building of the Police Department could be put toward a new public-safety complex, Greathead said.

Greathead, who has lived in Pepperell for roughly 30 years, also stressed preserving a small-town image.

He wants to avoid more traffic in the community, along with big business and retail coming in. Greathead said he wants to make sure the town can be a place where people want to raise their families and a community where local businesses thrive.

Themelis served six years on the board before being ousted by former Town Clerk Lisa Ferolito in last year's upset election by a vote of 229 to 214.

Themelis was unavailable for comment following the release of Monday's unofficial results.

Greathead replaces Melissa Tzanoudakis who did not seek re-election.

Follow Aaron Curtis on Twitter @aselahcurtis