Selectman Slavin stays, School Committee member Swett ousted in Wareham election

By Matthew Bernat | Apr 03, 2018
Selectman Alan Slavin, left, was reelected Tuesday. School Committee member Geoff Swett lost his seat in a three-way race for two seats.

Selectman Alan Slavin kept his seat and longtime School Committee member Geoff Swett lost his position in Wareham’s town election Tuesday.

Slavin bested a challenge from Planning Board member Marc Bianco. Slavin earned 830 votes to Bianco’s 616 for a three-year term. A third candidate, Mary Bruce, earned 1,243 votes in her uncontested race for Selectman Judy Whiteside’s former seat. Whiteside resigned last year for an unspecified personal reason. Bruce’s term is for two years.

Bianco said he may consider a run for the board next year.

“I think it was a good effort by everyone and fair play,” Bianco said. “This was the voice of the people, and I wish the best for Alan and Mary.”

Bruce, who volunteers with the Wareham Garden Club and Beach and Tourism Committee, echoed those sentiments.

“I’m just thankful for everyone who came out,” she said. “I can’t wait to get to work.”

Slavin could not be reached for comment on Tuesday night.

Swett lost his seat after serving for 12 years on the School Committee. In the three-way race for two seats, Swett garnered 731 votes. Challengers Mike Flaherty and Rebekah Pratt earned 895 and 908 votes, respectively.

Flaherty will return to the board after a previous three-year stint. He stepped down in 2015 to spend more time with his family.

“I’m elated to have a second chance,” said Flaherty. “I’m thankful for the support and am ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work.”

Flaherty said the committee has several important issues to deal, including a decision to close Minot Forest Elementary.

Pratt moved to town a few years ago and has a daughter attending Wareham High School. She told voters some of the major issues facing the district is teacher and student retention and changing a negative perception of Wareham schools.

“I am beyond excited,” she said about winning. “I’m looking forward to coming together as a committee and working as a team.”

Swett could not be reached for comment on Tuesday night.

In total, 1,478 voters cast ballots on Tuesday, marking a 10 percent turnout. Last year, 2 percent of registered voters participated in the election, which had no contested seats.

Town Clerk Mary Ann Silva said the election went smoothly and results were posted sooner than usual.

“There were minimal issues, nothing to speak of,” said Silva at the end of the night. “All precincts got their results in early, which was a surprise.”

Comments (8)
Posted by: Steve Holmes | Apr 04, 2018 08:18

Guys please update our wonderful Town Clerks name is Mary Ann Silvia. Thanks.

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Apr 04, 2018 09:01

It's ok, Sullivan is the Irish equivalent of Silvia.

Posted by: Matthew Bernat | Apr 04, 2018 09:34

Hi Steve, looks like neither one of us was right on Mary Ann's last name. It's Silva. The article has been corrected.

Posted by: Steve Holmes | Apr 04, 2018 11:47

Thanks Matt, and I wrote it down before I typed it in, because I can never remember if its a Y or and I in Silva. Great job!!  LOL

Posted by: Steve Holmes | Apr 04, 2018 11:47

PS at least I got the wonderful part right!!

Posted by: Andrea Smith | Apr 04, 2018 12:08

Congratulations Selectman Slavin - May your reward not only be an opportunity for three more years of tireless work on behalf of Wareham, but in addition the honor of announcing that commuter rail has been secured for Wareham.


Selectman Bruce - May opportunities abound for you to work toward fulfilling all that you hope to accomplish in behalf of Wareham.


Mr. Bianco - You garnered a very impressive number of votes in your first run for office in Wareham. If you wish to run again every year offers one or two opportunities to campaign for a seat on the Board of Selectmen. In the meantime, the planning board will continue to benefit from your efforts in it's behalf and you have an opportunity to further acquaint yourself with the work of Wareham's many boards and committees and the people who so generously contribute their time and effort to the boards and committees.


Ms. Pratt, congratulations, may you bring to every school committee meeting the enthusiasm and energy that I saw in your wave as I drove past you at one of the polls and may the contributions you dreamed of bringing to the school committee become your reality.


Mike Flaherty - So happy to see you back at work on the school committee. Never doubted for a moment that you would win another opportunity to serve.


Mr. Swett - Thank you for all of your years of devoted work in behalf of Wareham's schools and students. It's spring. More time for tennis, and more time to coach (and inspire) the" up and coming" middle school age tennis players that Matthew Bernat highlighted last week in an article.



Posted by: bob | Apr 04, 2018 12:11

Nice to hear Mr. Bianco ,take the lost with good wishes...Hope you consider to make a run in the  future...

Posted by: cranky pants | Apr 04, 2018 12:47

Congrats to all, I'm happy because the Slavins are fans of the Minot forest and that place is trashed right now.

If you wish to comment, please login.