South

Stoughton residents still have time to run for selectmen positions

Stoughton residents who want to run as candidates in the town’s upcoming recall election have until Oct. 16 to obtain nomination papers and Oct. 17 to submit them to the town clerk.

Three members of the Board of Selectmen — chairman David “Spanky” Sousa, Robert Cohn, and Peter Brown — face recall in the Dec. 5 election, which selectmen scheduled after a group of residents filed enough signatures to require it. The ballot will feature three separate recall votes, one for each selectman.

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In each case, voters will also decide who should fill the seat in the event the recall succeeds. Because the three selectmen all declined the option to resign, their names will appear on the ballot, along with those of anyone filing nomination papers for their respective seats. To date, four people have taken out nomination papers for three seats, according to Town Clerk Amy Akell.

The recall campaign was launched after the board’s controversial ouster of town manager Michael J. Hartman June 30. With Sousa, Cohn, and Brown in the majority, the board had voted last December not to renew Hartman’s contract when it expired at the end of June, and at the June 30 meeting, the same three selectmen formed the majority in a 3-2 vote to name an interim town manager.

Hartman has sued the town, contending that he remained town manager because the town charter requires a 4-1 vote by the board to terminate his employment. His bid for a preliminary injunction in the case was rejected by a judge July 26.

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