South

STOUGHTON

Three challenge trio of selectmen facing recall

Three town residents have filed nomination papers seeking to replace the three Stoughton selectmen who are facing recall in a Dec. 5 special election.

Richard Hill, Christine Howe, and Stephen Cavey all earned a spot on the ballot. The Dec. 5 election will feature three separate recall votes, one for each of the selectmen facing recall -- chairman David “Spanky” Sousa, Robert Cohn, and Peter Brown.

In each case, voters will also decide who should fill the seat.

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Town Clerk Amy Akell is urging that, for each seat, residents cast a vote on both questions -- for or against the recall and then in favor of their preferred candidate -- since the town charter indicates that the candidate receiving the greatest number of votes is deemed to be elected.

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The three selectmen are automatically on the ballot because they declined the option to resign. Each faces one of the challengers.

Cohn, whose term expires next spring, will vie with Cavey.

Brown, whose term expires in 2019, is challenged by Richard Hill.

Souza, whose term lasts until 2020, is opposed by Howe. Cavey and Howe are on the Finance Committee, and Cavey is also a Town Meeting member.

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Hill is a Town Meeting member and a member of the High School Building Committee and was formerly on the Finance Committee. He lost a bid for selectmen last April.

The recall campaign was launched after the board’s controversial ouster of then Town Manager Michael J. Hartman June 30.

Selectmen scheduled the vote after a group of residents filed petitions with sufficient signatures to require it.

John Laidler can be reached at john.laidler@globe.com.