Water/Wastewater Commission Chair Gary Carreiro Withdraws From Town Election

by William F. Galvin
Water/Wastewater Commission Chair Gary Carreiro, right, with Superintendent Dan Pelletier. FILE PHOTO Water/Wastewater Commission Chair Gary Carreiro, right, with Superintendent Dan Pelletier. FILE PHOTO

HARWICH – Water/Wastewater Commission Chair Gary Carreiro, who filed nomination papers to seek re-election to another three-year term, on Friday filed a request to withdraw from his candidacy on Friday.

Carreiro has served on the commission for nine years, six as chair.

According to Carreiro, the decision was made because of a change in his work schedule. Carreiro works for UPS and has been working nights, but as the company goes through consolidation and reorganization, he will shift to a daytime position. That will not leave him the time he has been able to give to the commission and department, he said.

The deadline for filing nomination papers for the post has passed. Carreiro and commission member Noreen Donahue had both filed papers for the two three-year terms on the May 21 election ballot. With Carreiro’s decision to withdraw, one of those two positions will not have a candidate.

“A write-in candidate could win the seat,” said Town Clerk Emily Mitchell. “The person would have to be qualified (a registered Harwich voter) and willing to accept the nomination. There is no minimum number of votes a write-in candidate for this seat would need to receive, just more than any other candidate.”

If no qualified candidate is elected via the write-in process, the select board and remaining members of the water/wastewater commission could appoint a member to serve until the next annual election, said Mitchell. Massachusetts General Law also allows the select board to call a special election to fill the vacancy, but the town charter specifies that a vacancy in an elected office (other than select board) can be filled by a vote of the select board and the remaining members of the respective board.

“With Water/Wastewater Superintendent Dan Pelletier leaving, it’s a bad time” to be stepping down, Carreiro acknowledged.

Pelletier will step down April 26 to take a job doing similar work for a private firm. He has served as superintendent of the department for nine years and has been instrumental in implementing the town’s comprehensive wastewater management plan and running an award-winning public water department.

“It’s a huge loss,” said Carreiro. “Dan and the department made us look good. Dan wanted to do it and do it right. He did that. He put the time in with the residents and the projects. He was there and people trusted him. People don’t alway do what they say. Dan did.”

Carreiro said he will continue to serve out his term, which is scheduled to end with the May 21 annual town election.

Regarding his tenure on the water/wastewater commission and the nine years he spent on the appeals board, Carreiro said, “I love this town and am fortunate to live here. I’ve always wanted to give back to my community. It’s a great town and we need people who don’t have an agenda and will serve it well.”

Members of the water/wastewater commission receive an annual stipend of $1,000.