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Spinelli, Fontaine on special election ballot

DeMartino falls short of required signatures to run

Lawrence Spinelli, left, and Gary Fontaine are the two candidates running for Southbridge Town Council. File photos. (click for larger version)
December 29, 2010
SOUTHBRIDGE — Lawrence Spinelli and Gary Fontaine will be going head to head for the vacant Town Council seat in the town's special election on Tuesday, Feb. 15.

Perspective candidates faced a 5 p.m. filing deadline on Tuesday, Dec. 28. Stephanie DeMartino had returned her paperwork, but needed 14 additional signatures of residents and failed to qualify for the ballot.

The two candidates have much in common when it comes to what they would like to see change on the council. Both said infighting and the council's failure to work together are what they would like to see change the most. Both also say that their experience is what makes them qualified for the position.

"I have the desire and ability to govern with an open mind and an even temperament," said Spinelli, a process engineer with Dexter Russell. "All the fighting that goes on at the meetings is not a good representation of what this town is like. It's fine that councilors have a difference of opinion. It's just that they need to be able to work together. Why did people run if they aren't going to be able to solve problems? It's the time and place for this to end. It's time to deal with issues, not personalities."

Experience in town government is something that neither lack. Spinelli has served on the Charter Commission, been a Boy Scout leader and worked on a study to analyze low-income housing in the town.

Fontaine served as the acting chief for the Southbridge Police Department for two years and was a lieutenant for 12 years. He retired from the police department in 2006 and currently works with the Worcester County Sheriff's Department on the Civil Process and Apprehension Unit.

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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