Farley, Pike win Middleboro Select Board seats; Pennini, Lewis to serve on School Committee

Apr 6, 2024

MIDDLEBORO — Teresa Farley and William Pike earned seats on the Select Board following results from the Middleboro Town Election Saturday, April 6, while newcomer Susan Pennini and incumbent Ezekiel Lewis were voted on to the School Committee.

Farley defeated challenger Jane Slavin, receiving 692 votes to Slavin’s total of 237, to secure a three-year term on the board.

“I’m happy, and looking forward to working with the select board,’’ Farley said shortly before being sworn in at the Town Clerk’s office once the unofficial results were tallied. “I think Middleboro got it right today,’’ she said of the overall results.

Pike, who was running unopposed for one year of the remaining seat left vacant by Arthur Battistini’s departure, earned the most votes of any candidate during the elections with 795 voters backing him.

The numbers pleased him. He said he was “very happy’’ with the results, which he said showed that voters felt he “did a good job on the Finance Committee,’’ where he served as chair, and “I’m qualified to do the job.’’

On the School Committee side, newcomer Pennini was the big winner, receiving 785 votes, the second highest tally of the day. Lewis, the current committee vice chair, retained his seat with 438 votes.

They defeated newcomer Rebecca Hopkins, who received 333 votes.

“I feel great,’’ Pennini said of her win. “I’m really looking forward to it. I got more and more excited as I connected with more people in the last few weeks.’’

She said that her first priority would be “ to strengthen communication between the community and the School Committee. We need to find better ways to listen and share information. Our current modes are contributing to a sense of lack of transparency and distrust. This needs to change.

Lewis said he felt “decent’’ with the results, although he said he “didn’t get as many votes as I thought I would get.’’

He said his support for Superintendent of Schools Carolyn Lyons, who received a contract extension through 2028 on Thursday, may have hurt him. Although some have criticized what has been described as a lack of communication and transparency from the district, Lewis said he believes she is doing “an excellent job’’ and hopes to highlight what he described as the accomplishments of both students and administration going forward.

Hopkins said on Sunday that, even though she fell short, her experience was enlightening. “I knew going into yesterday’s election that no matter who won, the Town of Middleboro would win. Susan and Zeke are qualified, driven by their desire to serve this community, and I have every confidence in their abilities. It has been wonderful to see all of the passionate people stepping up to run for office in this town that we all love so much. This process has been truly eye opening. I have learned a lot... I don’t think this will be the last time the name Rebecca Hopkins appears on a ballot.”

The day’s only other contested race, for Gas and Electric Commissioner, was won by John Healey and William Taylor, who received 580 and 543 votes respectively. They defeated Adam Carbone, who fell short with 497 votes.

Turnout was light, with 990 of the town’s 20,010 registered voters casting ballots. That translated to about five percent.

Other totals in the uncontested races were: Board of Assessors, Robin Perry, 731; Town Moderator David Cavanaugh, 738; Finance Committee, John Barella III, 675 and Eric Machado, 669, running for two seats; Planning Board, William Garceau, 715; Park Commissioners, Gregory Thomas, 742, and Garrett Perry, 739, running for two seats; and Housing Authority, Maureen Nicholson, 725.