New blood on the Pepperell Board of Selectmen

Newcomer unseats incumbent in lone contested race

Anthony Beattie, right, and Joe Radwich, center, reading preliminary results of the 2020 Pepperell Town Election at Varnum Brook Elementary School.

PEPPERELL – The annual town election has lead to new blood joining the Board of Selectmen.

According to preliminary results, Anthony Beattie won the only contested race at the polls Monday night. The newcomer defeated incumbent Joe Radwich with 804 votes to his opponent’s 714 votes.

Beattie is expected to be sworn in for his first three-year term.

“It’s been a long campaign and the pandemic didn’t help,” Beattie said at Varnum Brook Elementary School on election night. “But a lot of people came out to vote and paid attention to the election.”

Radwich was first elected to the board last November to fill a seat vacated by Lisa Ferolito, the former board chair who resigned on Aug. 28 after clashing with Town Administrator Andrew MacLean.

Speaking after the results were posted, Radwich said he was “glad” the campaign was over and agreed that it was “great” to see so many people come out to vote.

Town officials took precautions to still hold its election with the coronavirus still prevalent. Not only did the town encourage residents to mail-in ballots, but it also held early voting hours last week outdoors at Town Hall. Town Clerk Brynn Montesanti said there were 785 ballots submitted to the town by Friday, June 26 from those early voting hours and mail-in ballots. Despite those hours, Assistant Town Clerk Joan Ladik described a solid turnout on Monday.

“Everyone’s been in a good mood today,” she said. “They’re seeing people they haven’t seen hardly at all, so they’re stopping and chatting. They feel if they mailed-in votes, it’s convenient and observing safety precautions, but they still wanted to vote.”

Ladik also noted the importance of the early voting process while also saluting local residents for wearing masks at the polls.

“It’s an effective tool for the town,” she explained. “Some people drive by and see the convenience factor of it. It’s reminding them to vote.”

The rest of the election featured uncontested returns for multiple incumbents. Returning members include Board of Assessors member Susan Smith, Board of Health member Phillip Durno, Board of Public Works member John Harrington, Moderator Scott Blackburn, Planning Board member Leigh Casey Campetti, Frederick Kobs and Robert Kowalksi, who are both trustees at the Lawrence Library. All of those town officials will serve another three-year term, except for Campetti who earned another four-year term.

The election also welcomed newcomers to town positions thanks to more uncontested races. Marcia Jean Scofield earned a two-year term on the Board of Assessors, Rebecca Torpey scored a five-year term on the Housing Authority and Lisa Martin is joining the North Middlesex Regional School District School Committee for a three-year term.