HARWICH — Jesse Gallante filed his nomination papers on Tuesday and will face off against Mary Anderson for the one three-year term on the board of selectmen on the ballot of the annual town elect.
The seat is being vacated by Selectman Ed McManus, who decided not to seek re-election as a selectman. Instead, he decided to run for a seat on the newly formed water/wastewater commission. McManus will face a challenge for that seat in the only other race on the ballot. East Harwich resident John B. Gough is also running for the two-year seat.
Gallante, a Lothrop Avenue resident, took out nomination papers last week. Thomas Sherry had previously taken out nomination papers for selectman but decided not to run due to health reasons.
Anderson, a recently appointed finance committee member, has filed her nomination papers. She was the executive director of The Family Pantry of Cape Cod for 11 years and worked in management for Verizon for many years.
Gallante said what drew him to the position is a concern for rising taxes. The pandemic hit people hard financially and some residents lost jobs, he said. He expressed concern for what he termed a “triple wammy,” taxes being raised at the federal, state and local levels during the pandemic.
Gallante, 38, is a Cape Codder. He moved from Brewster to Harwich in 2000. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Christendom College in Virginia and is working on his master’s degree in business administration at The Fletcher School at Tufts University. He is a four-year active duty veteran of the United States Air Force.
He said he was working for a defense contractor until 2020, which required a lot of global travel. He resigned for family reasons and returned home.
“I’m happy to be home. The Cape is my home,” Gallante said.
He said he has no municipal experience, but his work provided experience with government.
When asked about issues facing the community, Gallante said a couple of towns have established resident beaches and it might be something for Harwich to consider. He referenced various fees residents pay to enjoy things that should be provided through property taxes.
He also questioned whether the town is making it as easy as possible for business owners, suggesting the town is losing businesses.
Cranberry Valley Golf Course loses money, he said, and the town should consider privatizing or selling it.
There is a lot of angst over the school budget, Gallante added, admitting he is not fully up to speed on the details, as he doesn’t have any children in the schools. But there are a lot of people in Harwich and Chatham who are not happy about it, he said.
Town Clerk Anita Doucette said nomination papers for all candidates have been certified. They include Moderator Michael D. Ford; Monomoy Regional School Committee member Robert “Terry” Russell; Brooks Free Library trustees Joan McCarty, Jeannie Wheeler and Kathleen Remilliard; water/wastewater commission candidates for three-year terms Gary Carreiro and Noreen Donahue; and Kimberly Bourgea running for a five-year term on the housing authority.