Busy Night for Hopkinton Republican Town Committee
Former selectmen chairman and 3rd Distric Congressional candidate Brian Herr steps in at last minute as Dick MacDonald withdraws. Democrats have an easier night.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The following changes were made to this report on April 10 at 7 p.m. following a note from HRTC Chairman Ken Weismantel. Library trusdtee candidate Mike McNamara is unenrolled. Beth Malloy has withdrawn fromn the school committee race. Thanks Ken!
Republican Dick MacDonald was listening to what he said was a generic conference call on new regulations for those in the financial services industry when he thought, "Uh oh."
MacDonald was a candidate for Hopkinton selectman until then. As he listened to the new rules, he realized they might not prohibit him from holding office, but they would be prohibitive regarding actions he might take as a member of the town's executive authority.
As an example, he said selectmen's authority over Hopkinton's treasurer, who oversees town contracts, could be viewed as a conflict with the duties of his firm, which provides advice on contracts and investments to government entities.
MacDonald gave the example of auto czar Steven Ratner, who arranged the General Motors and Chrysler bailouts. Ratner paid a $7 million civil fine for peddling influence before he became car czar, but his actions prompted a new set of federal regulations regarding government officials in their private businesses.
What does that have to do with Hopkinton?
"It's like Bernie Madoff," MacDonald said. "What he did, what Ratner did, those things were already illegal.
"But Congress felt compelled to act. So they passed laws to make things that were already illegal, doubly illegal," MacDonald said. A side effect was regulations so strict that MacDonald, who listened to the conference call Friday, had to quickly notify the Hopkinton Republican Town Caucus that he couldn't run.
"I want to volunteer for the town but I don't want to endanger my livelihood," MacDonald said. "At least I found out beforehand."
Contacted by HRTC Chairman Ken Weismantel, Brian Herr, a former Hopkinton Selectmen chairman, agreed to be a candidate at 5 p.m. Friday, just as the Republican town caucus started.
"I had time to ask my wife (Mary Murphy, a Patch writer and owner of Hooray for Books) and some of my kids (Herr has five)," Herr said.
Other candidates were chosen for other offices. But as Weismantel said, "That's 90 percent of the story right there."
Republican Caucus Candidates
Selectman - Brian Herr
Planning Board (2 seats) - Brian Karp, Claire Wright
Planning Board (unexpired term) - Christian Ollenborger
Parks and Recreations (2 seats) - Ken Driscoll, Brian Eberlin
Housing Authority - Deborah Kollmeyer
Board of Health - Mark Gates
Cemetery Commission - Claire Wright
School Committee - (2 seats) Scott Aghababian, Nancy Burdick
Library Trustees - (5 seats) Leda Arakelian (also a Patch writer), June Harris
No candidates for Commissioner of Trust Finds or Board of Assesors
As a side-note, Leda Aarakelian had on her Brian Herr for Selectman T-shirt at the Troop 4 Boy Scout Pancake Breakfast Saturday morning.
"How did you get that so fast?" she was asked.
"It's from last time," she said. "I don't throw things away."
Democratic Caucus Candidates
Richard de Mont - School Commitee
Frank D'Urso - Selectman
Mary Arnault - Commissioner of Trust Funds
Candidates could also gather signatures and return nomination papers to Town Clerk Ann Click to get their names on the ballot. Among those are independents John Palmer for assessor, Marie Eldridge and nd Mike McNamara for library trustees. Democrat Beth Malloy has withdrawn from the race for school committee.
Glen Layton turned in papers to run for school committee but found that because he is a federal employee, he cannot run in a partisan election.