Heather Hamilton Independent Candidate For County Commissioner

Brookline Select Board member Heather Hamilton has officially qualified as an independent candidate for one of the two Norfolk County Commissioner seats up for election Nov. 3rd.

Heather Hamilton

The three commissioners are elected to staggered four-year terms. Two commissioner seats are on the ballot this fall. One seat is open and the other is currently held by Quincy Democrat Joseph Shea who is running for re-election.

The three commissioners currently control a $31.7 million budget drawn partially from local property assessments with the rest coming from state funds. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Hamilton said she seeks to return as much of this money as possible directly to the county’s 28 cities and towns to relieve distressed municipal budgets.

A two-term selectwoman with extensive experience in public administration, Hamilton said she is also passionate about bringing transparency and sustainability to county government. Hamilton, after observing that Commissioner meetings are only accessible via unrecorded conference calls that are not posted online, said Norfolk County residents deserve better.

“As the first woman to run for this office in 16 years, I believe it is critical that an experienced, conscientious public servant committed to transparency fill one of the two seats up for election in November,” Hamilton said.

A county resident for over a dozen years, Hamilton began her career in public service ensuring MassDOT complied with accessibility standards before transitioning to lead the largest fleet of publicly-owned vehicles in New England. In this leadership role, Hamilton increased the fleet’s percentage of alternative fuel vehicles by almost 50 percent.

“I have always been passionate about sustainability and affordability. My time on the Brookline Select Board focused on making town government more fiscally responsible to ensure those that want to live in this community can afford to do so,” Hamilton said. During her time on Brookline’s Select Board, Hamilton co-sponsored and worked to adopt warrant articles increasing sustainability, alternative vehicle pilot programs, and senior affordable housing. Seventy-four percent  of Brookline voters voted to re-elect Hamilton during the competitive 2020 town election.

Hamilton now seeks to bring her policy-oriented, non-partisan management style to the Norfolk County Commissioners’ Office. She is engaging voters in each of the county’s 28 communities to learn how she can accommodate the county’s diverse needs while finding ways to directly support the county’s communities amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more on Heather’s biography and policy proposals, visit her website, HeatherHamilton.org.

 

Cain Endorses Kennedy For U.S. Senate

On Tuesday (July 14), Quincy City Councillor Ian Cain endorsed Congressman Joe Kennedy III for U.S. Senate in a video released by the Kennedy for Massachusetts campaign. A Quincy native who was elected to the Ward 3 council seat in 2015, Ian Cain cited the need for new, bold leadership in the Senate as his reason for endorsing Kennedy.

https://twitter.com/joekennedy/status/1283126223892340736 

“I’m with Joe right now because the challenges of our generation require new, bold leadership in the Senate,” Cain said in a video on Facebook and Twitter. “It is time for our generation to take the mantle of responsibility in our state and for our country’s future. I appreciate Joe Kennedy because he is a person of integrity and there is action behind his words. It is time for leadership that is ready to tackle the hard issues. Joe is that kind of leader.”

“I’m proud to have City Councillor Ian Cain’s support in this race,” Kennedy said. “His leadership in Quincy emulates the basic promise of this campaign and what we should expect from all of our elected leaders today. He shows up in his community and listens to the concerns of his constituents. It’s a simple concept that’s all too often forgotten by today’s elected officials. I look forward to working with him to build a better future for Quincy and for our Commonwealth.”

Kennedy is seeking the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate in the Sept. 1 primary. He is trying to unseat incumbent U.S. Sen. Ed Markey.

Cain is among three Quincy city councillors who have endorsed Kennedy for U.S. Senate. The others are City Council President Nina Liang and Ward 4’s Brian Palmucci.

Joseph Shea Seeking Re-Election As Norfolk County Commissioner

Pledging to continue working to reform Norfolk County government with modern-day best practices, County Commissioner Joseph P. Shea of Quincy announces he will be on the ballot for re-election in the Democratic Primary Tuesday, Sept. 1.

Joseph Shea

The top two vote-getters in the Democratic primary for county commissioner will advance to the Nov. 3rd general election.

Shea, who is widely respected as Quincy’s former city clerk, has served as a county commissioner since 2015. He is known for his trusted leadership in the county and says he is running for re-election to continue reforming Norfolk County government into a cost-effective, inclusive and transparent regional entity that provides a real value to Norfolk County residents, families and communities.

“I’ve dedicated my life to public service and providing proven leadership at every step of the way,” Shea said in announcing his re-election campaign. “Helping people, promoting good government, and serving the county for the last five years has been my passion. I’m looking forward to this year’s re-election campaign and asking for the continued support of Norfolk County residents so that I can continue doing what I love.”

Shea said he is proud to have earned the continued support of various county elected officials, labor organizations and community groups. He has received the endorsements of the Norfolk County Labor Council whose members announced their support of his re-election campaign in mid-June.

As one of Norfolk County’s three county commissioners, Shea says his priorities for the county have focused on modernizing its financial and capital planning practices and working to ensure the county remains a viable regional partner with local communities. He said his public service experience has centered on working to connect residents with the government and to improve government operations at every point in his career.

“For the first time in Norfolk County, we’re creating policies to help guide financial decisions. We’ll be leading a comprehensive analysis to better position the county’s fiscal health,” Shea said. “We’re also prioritizing capital investments in our infrastructure. We’re investing the upkeep and maintenance of the county’s six court houses, including our historic Superior Court in Dedham Square.

“We’ve made significant improvements,” Shea continued, “at the Registry of Deeds and Administration Offices, and we’re continuing to work with the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) to bring the Norfolk County Agricultural High School further into the 21st century.”

Shea added that the county has continued looking at innovative ways to promote regional services between Norfolk County communities. The county is currently working on a proposal to support community organizations respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and recently led a state grant initiative to create more regional public health nursing services between the towns of Avon, Holbrook and Randolph. His plan is to continue more of these efforts in the coming years.

“We know we have something special in Norfolk County, with our renowned agricultural high school and so many resources that continue to make a difference to our residents and communities. But there’s also no question that county government in 2020 is much different that it was even 20 years ago,” Shea said. “It’s clear that Norfolk County’s government must continue to respond, adapt, and ensure that the county is governed with modern-day practices that remain viable and sustainable as we move forward.

“I’m running for re-election and I’m honored to ask for the support of the residents of Norfolk County to continue this work,” Shea added.

Kennedy Meets With Quincy Business Owners, Campaigns For U.S. Senate Here

Cong. Joseph Kennedy (center), a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, visited Quincy last Friday and met with local residents and business owners. At left is City Council President Nina Liang who has endorsed Kennedy in his bid to replace U.S. Sen. Ed Markey as the Bay State’s junior U.S. senator. Courtesy Photo

Congressman Joe Kennedy III met last Friday with former Cong. Bill Delahunt, Quincy City Councillors Nina Liang and Brian Palmucci, and LGBTQIA+ Activist Sheika Babin to meet with local business owners and residents in Quincy Center. Kennedy’s visit came after his announcement of the Kennedy Jobs and Justice Initiative (JJI) July 8th, a working legislative proposal to guide our country’s economic recovery efforts in building a better, stronger, more resilient post-COVID America.

As part of the ‘Jobs & Justice Tour’, Kennedy is meeting with working families, business owners, Black and Brown communities, organized labor, essential workers, and other community leaders across the state to inform his Jobs and Justice Initiative and receive feedback from local stakeholders.

Delahunt, Liang and Palmucci have endorsed Kennedy who is seeking the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate in the primary election Sept. 1. He is challenging fellow Democrat and incumbent Sen. Ed Markey.

On Friday afternoon, Kennedy, Delahunt, Liang and Palmucci  spoke with local business owners about the impact COVID-19 has had in Quincy and their needs moving forward. Kennedy visited The Fours, Alba, Sixteen C, Shaking Crab, First Class Salon, and other businesses in Quincy Center.

“The detrimental impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be felt by small businesses, especially restaurants as they attempt to recover in a struggling economy,” Kennedy said.  “Often forming the foundation of our communities, we cannot allow these local businesses to be left behind. As senator, I will fight to provide the necessary aid and working conditions that businesses need to recover. We must not only rebuild but ensure that businesses are better protected and less vulnerable than before.”

The Kennedy Jobs and Justice Initiative (JJI) proposes a large-scale public works and federal hiring program designed to both address the acute needs of COVID-19 response, and to remedy the profound injustices of our modern economy, which long predated this pandemic. With a focus on equality, intersectionality, and anti-racism, the proposal builds on Kennedy’s earlier “moral capitalism” platform and continues his efforts to reorient federal economic policies to center American workers.

Richard R. Staiti Candidate For Norfolk County Commissioner

Richard R. Staiti of Canton, an attorney, has qualified for the Democratic Primary race for Norfolk County commissioner to be held Sept. 1.

Richard Staiti

Despite the challenges presented by the novel coronavirus, Staiti and his supporters gathered over 1,000 signatures (over twice the reduced requirement of 500) to qualify for the Democratic ballot.

A lifelong resident of Canton, Staiti currently serves as the town moderator. Prior to serving as moderator, Staiti served nine years as a member of the Board of Selectmen (newly renamed the Select Board), being elected chairman three times. Staiti represents Canton on the Norfolk County Advisory Board which oversees all county finances and spending. He is the longest serving member of the board and has been elected chairman of this financial board three times.

“The role of County Commissioner is to oversee the operation and expenditures of various county operations  including  but not limited to the maintenance of the Court system, the Norfolk County Agricultural School, the President’s Golf Course, county roads and layouts, engineering and other agencies under their supervision,” Staiti said in a campaign press release.

“As an attorney and with my education and experience as a selectmen, town moderator and long time member of the county advisory board, I feel this skillset will enable me to deal effectively and professionally with the many issues confronting county government in the decade ahead,” Staiti said.

Staiti added that his many years of service in education and first hand knowledge as a classroom teacher as well as director of Science and Technology at Canton High School will be invaluable in providing leadership to maintain and improve upon the programs of study at the Norfolk County Agricultural school.

“The County School is the jewel of the county,” Staiti said. “We need to improve and maintain high standards for the students, staff and parents.

“The pandemic has changed our life and forced us to rethink things the way they are at present. With the economic issues caused by the pandemic, and as revenues dwindle we need to investigate and explore new ways of producing revenue without increasing taxes.”

Staiti said he is a proponent for clean energy.

“We need to expand the use of clean renewable energy in the county to preserve our environment and increase sources of revenue to the county operation. As an attorney I permitted one of the largest solar fields east of the Mississippi. The revenue from that project will provide a steady stream of income over a 20 year period. In addition the town (Canton) derives energy credits on the utility bill. Clean and reusable energy is something that we need to act upon now, not in five years.”

“We should also collaborate and expand regional services to help local cities and towns especially in light of the impending fiscal crisis. With the help of the county and local chiefs, a grant was obtained to establish a regional dispatch operation that serves several towns in the county.”

Staiti said he has worked closely with the fire chiefs and director to make this regional service a reality. “As smaller communities struggle with budget shortfalls, the county can play a larger role in managing and providing regional services,” he said.

“Like any municipal entity, the county should have a well planned, long term capital program to repair and maintain our courts and buildings. We need to set aside funds in a stabilization account that should be used only for capital improvements.”

The son of working class parents, Staiti has been endorsed by unions such as New England Regional Council of Carpenters Local 346. He has been an avid participant in and supporter of numerous Massachusetts Nursing Association (MNA) vigils, canvassing and other related social justice actions.

The father of five children, Staiti is also a member of the Board of Directors on the Canton Association of Business and Industry, (CABI) as well as trustee of the Salah Foundation.

“Change is needed now at the county and in all phases of government, help make change happen now,” Staiti said. “I respectfully ask for your vote for Richard Staiti as your new County Commissioner  on election day Sept. 1.”

For more information about the campaign, visit : www.votestaiticommissioner.com

Michael F. Walsh Candidate For Norfolk County Register Of Probate

Michael F. Walsh, a 33-year trial attorney who was recently re-elected for a third term to the Westwood Select Board, announces his candidacy for the Norfolk County Register of Probate.

Michael F. Walsh

Walsh is a candidate in the Democratic primary which will be held Sept. 1. Present Register of Probate Patrick McDermott is not seeking re-election; he is among a group of candidates running for Norfolk County sheriff.

In his campaign announcement, Walsh said the Register of Probate is an important position that many people know little about until they need it.  It is the court system that handles all family matters, including divorce, child support, alimony, custody, wills, trusts, estates, name changes, adoption, and guardian ad litem issues.  The Register is the person responsible for the day to day operations of the Probate and Family Court for Norfolk County.  The need to know and understand the law, work with judges, lawyers, and members of the public (many who often try to navigate this system without lawyers), are essential skills needed for this position.

Walsh said he has spent 33 years getting access to justice for individuals and families of all races, religions, financial means, and gender preference in every type of courthouse in the Commonwealth, not just the Probate Court.  He said he has prided himself and his career on helping those individuals in need to receive the services they need to make for a better life for themselves or get back on track.

“My experience in dealing with people, whether clients or constituents, judges, or other lawyers, is greatly needed to improve the court system, especially now, and moving forward into the future,” Walsh said. “Gaining access to the courthouse is crucial, especially for those without cars.  Adding satellite offices and more technology, while providing guidance and assistance to those without counsel is also a priority.”

Walsh said he feels the next Register of Probate needs to be an attorney and have firsthand knowledge and experience in how to adjudicate in front of a judge, to know what is best for the court and its clientele.   He is currently involved, both at the courthouse and with attorneys who practice before the court on a day-to-day basis.  He said he understands the circumstances and what needs to be done to bring justice for all during some of the most difficult times of their life.

Walsh is currently a member of the Norfolk County Bar Association, where he sits on the Executive Board, a current member of the Norfolk County Advisory Board to the Norfolk County Commissioners and, is also a member of the Norfolk County Selectmen’s Association.  All boards that involve the Norfolk County government, including managing the current budget, staff, and creating protocols for making the system efficient for all.  Michael’s experience managing his own business, and as a negotiator, trusted advisor, advocate, and an elected official managing a budget over $100 million a year makes him the most qualified for the position.

Walsh is a former resident of the City of Boston and now a small town, which he said makes him uniquely qualified to serve the people of Norfolk County.  “Those who know me, through my work as their lawyer or through my service to my community, or the various boards and committees I serve, know that I am caring, dedicated, and hard-working.  I am a thoughtful, compassionate leader and advocate,” he said.

Walsh said his experience both inside and outside the courtroom, working with individuals, knowing the law, managing budgets and people, makes him the strongest candidate to run the courthouse daily.

Learn more about Michael at www.walshforprobate.com.    Call his office at 781-251-0100 or email him at mike@walshforprobate.com.

Follow him on Facebook and like his page at Attorney Michael F. Walsh for Norfolk County Register of Probate.

Former Sheriff Seeking County Treasurer Seat

By SCOTT JACKSON

A former sheriff of Norfolk County has entered the race for county treasurer and will face a member of the Quincy City Council in a Democratic primary election in September.

Michael Bellotti

Michael Bellotti, who was the sheriff of Norfolk County from 1999 until late 2018, has qualified for the September ballot, according to the secretary of state’s office. A Squantum resident, Bellotti served six years in the state House of Representatives prior to becoming sheriff. He resigned from the sheriff’s job to become interim president of Quincy College, a job he left in November.

Bellotti could not be reached for comment Thursday morning.

His opponent in the Democratic primary will be Ward 2 Councillor Brad Croall, who has also qualified for the ballot. Croall, a Penn’s Hill resident, has served on the Quincy City Council since 2012. He was the council president in 2018 and 2019.

The incumbent treasurer, James Timilty, is not running this year. No Republican candidates are seeking the position.

This fall’s ballot will also include a special election to fill the remainder of Bellotti’s term as sheriff, plus contests for register of probate and county commissioner.

All four candidates who entered the special election for sheriff have qualified the ballot.

Those include Jerry McDermott, a Westwood Republican who Gov. Charlie Baker named sheriff following Bellotti’s resignation.

Three Democrats have qualified for the race as well and will face off in September. They are James Coughlin, a retired State Police detective from Dedham; Patrick McDermott of Quincy, the county’s register of probate; and former Quincy mayor William Phelan.

Five candidates, all Democrats, have qualified for the ballot in the race to replace Patrick McDermott as register of probate. They are: Colleen Brierley, a Norwood attorney; Noel DiBona, a Quincy city councillor; Kathryn Hubley, a member of the Quincy School Committee; Courtney Madden, a Quincy attorney; and Michael Walsh, a Westwood selectman.

Two candidates have qualified for the ballot in the race for county commissioner.

They are incumbent Joseph Shea, a Quincy Democrat and former city clerk, and Brookline Selectwoman Heather Hamilton, an unenrolled candidate.

Braintree Town Councillor Charles Ryan, a Democrat, has collected enough signatures to appear on the ballot but still has to file a receipt from the State Ethics Commission confirming that he has filed his statement of financial interest before he can be officially on the ballot, according to the secretary of state’s office. Two other Democrats, Dedham Selectman Dennis Guilfoyle and Canton attorney Richard R. Staiti of have yet to file.

Candidates have until June 2 to file with the secretary of state’s office.

Norwood Atty. Colleen Brierley Candidate For Norfolk Register Of Probate

Attorney Colleen Brierley of Norwood announces her candidacy for Norfolk County Register of Probate and Family Court.

The seat is being vacated by three term Patrick McDermott of Quincy and there are currently five candidates in the race.

Colleen Brierley

Brierley said, ”I am uniquely qualified to be the next Register of Probate because I am the only candidate with over 30 years of experience working for children and families before the Probate and the Juvenile Courts of Massachusetts.” A Democrat, Brierley is seeking the Democratic nomination for Norfolk Register of Probate in this fall’s state election.

Brierley said she learned early on in her career that the courts play a powerful role in people’s lives.

Brierley said, “As a probation aide, social worker, youth advocate and now as an attorney, I have zealously and compassionately helped people navigate the court system to find solutions.”

Brierley said, “I know that the Register of Probate can make a positive impact and that is why I’m in this race. Programs aimed at support and connections to treatment are one of my top priorities. Other programs that I will champion as Register of Probate are the Lawyer of the Day Program, the Attorneys Representing Children Program (ARC) and Domestic Violence Ended (DOVE). The next Register needs to be someone who understands how the courts work and that life circumstances can bring all of us to the court.”

“The Probate and Family Court touches all of our lives during times of change, crisis, uncertainty and joy. The court hears cases ranging from change of a name, divorce, probate of an estate, guardianship, conservatorship, and adoption.” Brierley said. “The Probate Court truly is the people’s court and the Register of Probate is an elected position within that courthouse.”

“During times of change, whether they be devastating or joyful, leadership within the court is necessary to reduce delay and anxiety. I believe that the Register of Probate works directly for the people within the 28 cities and towns that make up Norfolk County. My experience makes me the best candidate for this leadership role.”

For the past 22 years, Colleen Brierley has operated her private law practice in Norwood. Brierley is also co-founder and manager of the nonprofit, Journey to Parenthood. Journey to Parenthood assists people across the country with the high costs of adoption and fertility treatments.

Of great importance to Brierley is the impact of addiction and the opioid crisis on families.

“Through my work in the courts, I have seen how this insidious drug affects families. I have also felt the heartache within my own family.” Brierley’s oldest brother battled a heroin addiction before passing away in 2015.

Colleen and her husband Bob met at Norwood High School and all five of their children attended and continue to attend the Norwood Public Schools. Brierley and her husband, who first became parents in the 1990s, have adopted three children through the Massachusetts foster care system.

Sheriff Candidate Phelan Postponing Large Campaign Events Due To COVID-19 Pandemic

Former Quincy mayor and Democratic candidate for sheriff of Norfolk County Bill Phelan announces his campaign will postpone all large events in public spaces in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Phelan cited the need to prioritize public safety and committed to closely follow CDC, local and state guidance regarding upcoming events. The Phelan campaign advised members of the community to follow the safety guidelines issued by DPH, CDC and WHO.

“Our campaign is taking this public health crisis very seriously. Effective immediately, our campaign will postpone all large events in public spaces and carefully evaluate any other upcoming events and closely follow CDC, local and state guidance,” said Phelan. “We’re in uncharted territory in terms of campaigning during a pandemic, but please know that I am putting public safety above all else. I’ll be sending updates on how supporters can stay engaged with the campaign effort, but for now, let’s focus on being safe and protecting our loved ones.”

In addition, Phelan also called on supporters to be particularly mindful of those in the community that are the most vulnerable to this outbreak, including, Low-wage workers, students, small business owners, immigrant communities and senior citizens.

Bill Phelan is a former School Committee member, three-termn mayor of Quincy and attorney. Learn more at www.phelanforsheriff.com

 

Courtney Madden Democratic Candidate For Norfolk County Register Of Probate

Quincy resident, attorney and community strategist Courtney Madden announces she is running for the open Register of Probate and Family Court seat in Norfolk County. The seat is being vacated by Patrick McDermott.

Courtney Madden

“The Office of the Register of Probate and Family Court serves a vital role in our community, protecting our most vulnerable residents in some of their most difficult times of need. That’s why I’m tossing my hat into the ring” for Register of Probate, Madden said in her announcement release.

“After careful consideration, I am announcing my candidacy for Register of Probate because families in need deserve to have a system and government that works for us. When a loved one passes away, or families require government intervention, residents of Norfolk County need to know they have an advocate on their side who is dedicated to cutting red tape, ensuring fiscal responsibility and modernizing the Office of Probate and Family Courts in Norfolk County to better serve residents.

“I am proud to announce my candidacy for Register of Probate because all Norfolk County families deserve dignity and respect when entering the Family and Probate courthouse,” Madden said. “I am running, not because I want a title, but because this is home and home matters. My professional career has always been focused on bringing people together, empowering them, and most importantly building bridges so that government can be a partner in solving problems and helping families – and not an obstacle. Family and Probate court touches all our lives and I am ready to be your Register who knows how to navigate judicial waters and will always put Norfolk residents first.”

Madden is a seasoned political professional and lawyer focused on increasing civic engagement and empowering everyday citizens. As executive director for New Leaders Council, Courtney manages the recruitment, training, and promotion of young leaders in over fifty markets around the country.

While speaking to voters at a recent kitchen table talk in Quincy, Madden explained the importance of the role of Register of Probate and Family Courts telling attendees, “The Register of Probate and Family courts is a servant leader position and it’s where I can contribute the most to the community I care so deeply about. It’s where my talent for building coalitions and public private partnerships can fill in the gaps in resources to our families. The Register of Probate needs to be a leader, a servant, and an advocate. I am all of the above.”

Madden, a Democrat, is asking voters for their support in the primary election on Sept. 1st “because this election is about protecting families and Norfolk County needs a tireless advocate who will always put the people of Norfolk County first.”

Learn more about Courtney Madden and her campaign by visiting her Facebook page @MaddenforProbate.

Madden is the fourth candidate to take out nomination papers for Register of Probate. The others are Quincy City Councillor Noel DiBona, Quincy School Committee member Kathryn Hubley and Michael Walsh, a Westwood selectman.