Lazo, Manna win in head-to-head contests
📸 Southbridge Town Council candidates Jacquelyn Ryan, Monique Manna, and Joseph Cotrona shared tent space by the entrance to the community center as voters made their ways to the poll on Tuesday afternoon. Shaun Moriarty photo.
SOUTHBRIDGE – Results of the annual town election are in, with five people elected to the Town Council. Two of those election winners, John Jovan and Monique Manna, are incumbents who have been re-elected.
Three candidates were eligible to take three-year seats. These three seats went to current Town Council Chairman John “Jack” Jovan with 778 votes, Joseph Cotrona with 445 votes, and Mike Marketti with 410 votes.
Jacquelyn Ryan ran an unsuccessful write-in campaign for one of the three available three-year seats on the Town Council. There were 188 write-in votes for a three-year term on the Town Council. A report posted to the Town of Southbridge website indicates that Mx. Ryan received exactly 188 write-in votes.
In a two-man race for a two-year seat on the Town Council, Scott Lazo defeated John Pulawski, 563-439, a margin of 124 votes. For this seat, there were 37 write-in votes.
Incumbent Monique Manna defeated newcomer James Daubney in the race for a one-year term by a 105-vote margin. Manna received 556 votes to Daubney’s 451 votes. There were 14 write-in votes for this seat.
The Southbridge School Committee, which currently holds no authority under the State Receivership model that now controls Southbridge’s public schools system, had two three-year seats available, as vacated by Amelia Peloquin and Tanya Duval. The one candidate who ran for School Committee, Andrew Murch, received 762 votes.
Southbridge voters also voted “yes” on a ballot measure to “ask that the Town Council repeal and remove” a bylaw which prohibits establishments that sell adult-use recreational marijuana. This question received 676 “yes” votes and 417 “no” votes.
The Southbridge Town Council has nine seats and candidates are normally elected to three-year terms. The two-year term and the one-year term in this election came as a result of the resignations earlier this year of councilors Kristen Auclair and Jorge Morales, who had two years and one year left on their terms.
Tonight’s election saw a 10.5% voter turnout with only 1,157 voters making it to the polls, out of a total of 11,061 registered voters. This represents a decline in voter activity from the 2018 town election, when there was also a low voter turnout of 14%.