Tewksbury Selectman Race Heats Up With Candidate Announcement

Bruce Panilaitis, a Foster Road resident, announced his intention to run in the April 5 town election on Sunday with a Facebook page.

Tewksbury Town Hall. Photo Credit: Patch File Photo.
Tewksbury Town Hall. Photo Credit: Patch File Photo.

While nomination papers won't be available at the Town Clerk's office until next Monday, the race for Tewksbury Board of Selectmen is already heating up with one candidate announcing his intention to run against incumbent Selectman Doug Sears. 

Bruce Panilaitis, a Foster Road resident, announced his intention to run in the April 5 town election on Sunday with a Facebook page.

Tewksbury residents will remember Panilaitis as an opponent of the proposed slots parlor that was defeated at an August Special Town Meeting.

Announcing his intention to run for Selectmen on Facebook, Panilaitis writes:

My wife and I have been very involved in town with the school system, youth sports, our church, and the town in general. After a whirlwind summer with our role in the slots debate, I have decided it is time to go from spectator to participant in our local government and will be pulling nomination papers on January 6th to get on the ballot in April 2014. I hope to earn your support and your vote to have the privilege to fill a seat on the Tewksbury Board of Selectmen.

Panilaitis was a vocal member of the grassroots group No Slots Tewksbury, who rallied against the proposed slots parlor at 300 Ames Pond Drive, citing increases in crime, depreciation in property values and negative impact on local business. 

The proposed slots parlor was defeated at an Aug. 20 Special Town Meeting by a vote of 1,568 votes against to 995 in favor.

There is only one seat up for grabs on the Board of Selectmen this time around, and it is expected Sears will run for reelection. 

Tewksbury town officials facing expiring terms in 2014 include Selectman Doug Sears, School Committee member Brian Dick, Library Trustees Robert Homeyer and Patrick J. Joyce, Board of Health member Charles J. Roux and Housing Authority member Louise A. Gearty.

Planning Board member Vincent Spada also faces an expiring term, but has announced he does not plan to seek reelection. 

Town Moderator Keith Rauseo also faces an expiring term in 2014, but announced at an October Special Town Meeting that he would not seek reelection

mike monahan January 01, 2014 at 02:25 PM
Having someone on a Board who offers different opinions and viewpoints should be welcomed. The slot parlor is history. Let's focus on what opportunities are ahead. I feel that Bruce will be a valuable addition to the Town Government.
Bruce Panilaitis January 01, 2014 at 03:27 PM
I think it is more productive to talk directly to people on complex issues, so if anyone would like to discuss some of the issues brought up here, please send an email to me at bruce@panilaitis4selectman.com and I'll be happy to meet with you or have a phone conversation. That being said, I just wanted to respond to "Tewksbury2001" who wrote: "You were at odds with the entire board of selectman all summer. If elected how will you work with the other Board members?" To that question I will simply say I was never at odds with the BoS. I disagreed with a proposal for the town, not with the selectmen personally (see this blog post: http://tewksbury.patch.com/groups/stuff/p/support-the-selectman-but-vote-down-the-slots). A few weeks after the slots vote I invited Scott Wilson and Jim Wentworth to come and volunteer to sit in a dunk tank for my church's family picnic and field day. They came, we all had a good laugh trying to knock each other in. Scott even brought one of those green "Yes for Tewksbury" shirts and hung it over the dunk tank to give me extra incentive to dunk him. Together, along with Krissy Polimeno and our church's pastor Jonathan Goodell, we helped raise almost $1,000 for the Tewksbury Food Pantry. Should I earn enough votes to become a member of the Board of Selectmen I am sure we will disagree at times on the issues, but any debate I am a part of will be based in facts and will be respectful.
Christian Panasuk January 06, 2014 at 10:02 AM
Thank you to any community member who has the time and passion to volunteer to serve our town. Bruce has shown that his commitment to the organizations and town service opportunities over the past ten+ years have been well-served. I welcome his name on the ballot, and look forward to hearing more about his views on all types of town issues.
Lorna Garey January 06, 2014 at 04:44 PM
To be clear, most of the people against the slots proposal didn't have some big ethical beef. They just understood that Tewksbury deserves clean, high-quality businesses that will bring high-paying jobs -- NOT minimum-wage jobs while clogging up our streets with traffic and increasing crime. Just for the record. Oh, and for those thinking we'd be rolling in dough, check out how Foxwoods is LOOKING FOR A GOVERNMENT BAILOUT! Yes, you read that right. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/mar/27/indian-tribes-seek-federal-bailout-money-casinos/
Jon January 06, 2014 at 11:08 PM
Congratulations Bruce on your decision...You have my vote!


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