Making Democracy Work

April 11, 2017 Town Election

Voters' Guide for the April 11 Needham Town Election

Town-Wide Candidate Information

Each candidate for town-wide office was asked to share his or her relevant qualifications in 30 words or less and answer the following question in 50 words or less: What do you see as the most important goal you would like to achieve if elected (or re-elected)? The candidates provided all responses; no editing was done by the LWVN except for style consistency.

SELECTMAN (for 3 years) Vote for 2

MATTHEW D. BORRELLI (Candidate for re-election)
1175 Great Plain Avenue
(781) 449-8391

Qualifications: Chairman-Needham Board of Selectmen, Past Chair-Needham Finance Committee, Past Chair-Needham 911 Memorial Committee, Member-Needham Fallen Brave Committee, Attorney, Exchange Club Member, Serve with Memorial Park Trustees, Two children in NPS.

Goal: - Oversee planning/construction of municipal and school projects
- Work with Town boards to implement Full-Day Kindergarten without overly burdening taxpayers
- Continue advocating for residents on proposed transmission line
- Develop plans to increase senior housing
- Expand economic development in Needham Crossing
- Focus on Needham recreational opportunities
- Maintain and increase downtown economic vitality

MARIANNE B. COOLEY (Candidate for re-election)
85 High Street
(781) 449-7458

Qualifications: - 4 years - Board of Selectmen
- 9.25 years - School Committee
- Founding member - Citizens for Needham Schools
- Soccer coach - Needham Soccer Club
- 30 + year resident

Goal: To preserve Needham's family and community oriented culture while evolving with the times. There is a tension and a balance that we are trying to get right - to be a welcoming, business friendly, safe, desirable town for all families - with great schools and wonderful amenities, maybe even a pub!

ASSESSOR (for 3 years) Vote for 1

46 Wachusett Road
(617) 335-2395
Fax: (617) 472-4600

Qualifications: Needham resident for 15 years. 30 years' experience in commercial real estate asset management, development and architecture. B.Arch., Boston Architectural College (1988). MSRED, MIT (1994).

Goal: Seek to maintain fair and equitable tax assessments of Needham properties. Provide applicants a fair review of their tax abatement applications. Review applications in a timely and efficient manner. Provide thorough and clear explanations for decisions as rendered.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE (for 3 years) Vote for 2

MICHAEL J. GREIS (Candidate for re-election)
384 Webster Street
Daytime: (781) 559-4623 Evening: (781) 449-8007

Qualifications: School Committee since 2005, Chair 2008-09, 2014-15. Contract negotiations, budget/finance leader. Resident since 1991, TMM since 1995. MS in Finance and CFA Charterholder. Finance/technology/sustainability expertise. 20+ years involvement, town boards/organizations.

Goal: Continued success in FINANCE (affordable yearly budgets, multi-year planning, long-term sustainability, operational improvements) and NEGOTIATIONS (fair and affordable contracts, collaborative relationships focused on continuous improvement). Expand NHS classroom space, implement full-day Kindergarten, open new elementary school in fall 2019 and successfully implement 1:1 technology at NHS.

KIM MARIE NICOLS (Candidate for re-election)
12 Crescent Road
Cell: (781) 223-6948 Home: (781) 455-8178

Qualifications: School Committee 2011-2017; Town Meeting since 2003; Needham Resident since 1994;Parent (Needham High School & UMass Amherst);Master's Degrees in Social Work and Educational Administration

Goal: Encourage increased engagement between Schools, Parents, and Community; Implement Full Day Kindergarten in 2019; Negotiate competitive and sustainable Contracts to retain and attract exceptional School Personnel; Oversee construction of new Elementary School opening September 2019; Continue to advocate for the Arts, Diversity, Special Education, and Students

156 Fair Oaks Park
(857) 753-1256

Qualifications: - 2010 NHS Graduate
- Have attended public and private schools from elementary through college
- Professional experience in operational efficiency
- Professional experience in budgeting and negotiations

Goal: While I hope to work with the committee to expand anti-bullying programs and critical thinking in curricula, I'd most like to galvanize interest and involvement of students in School Committee. The body works for the benefit of the students, and they should have a voice in the decision making process.

75 Hoover Road
(617) 955-6682

Qualifications: Parent of three children who attend Needham Schools and board member of Citizens for Needham Schools. Professional experience includes: teacher, principal and leader of an education nonprofit.

Goal: My goal is to contribute to the long-term vision of the schools and to impact how students and families experience education in Needham. This includes teaching and learning for all students, responsible budgeting, full-day kindergarten, high school expansion, use of technology and parent engagement.

TRUSTEE OF MEMORIAL PARK / VETERAN (for 3 years) Vote for 1

JOHN S. GALLELLO (Candidate for re-election)
30 Howland Street
No Response Received


RICHARD C. HARDY (Candidate for re-election)
1347 South Street
(781) 718-8876

Qualifications: Northeastern University - MPA - Masters in Public Administration Northeastern University - MBA - Masters in Business Administration Past Board Member - Library Foundation of Needham Past Officer - Library Foundation of Needham

Goal: Perhaps no place in any community is so totally democratic as the town library. The only entrance requirement is interest. Lady Bird Johnson My mission is to support the town agency that serves all of its citizens + and to implement the long-range plan, which can be found at:

THOMAS M. HARKINS (Candidate for re-election)
24 May Street
(781) 444-0496

Qualifications: - 70 years a Needham resident
- 40 years a Library Trustee
- 30 years a librarian
- I know the town and the library

Goal: Actually there are two goals: To help oversee the Library's current Strategic Plan, To prepare for the possible hiring of a new director

CAROL JEAN THOMAS (Candidate for re-election)
36 Mayo Avenue
(781) 449-5278

Qualifications: Needham resident since 1980; Library Friends volunteer; Lawyer (retired); Master's degree in Library Science, strong interest, some library work experience; parent and past Needham Schools math enrichment and arts volunteer.

Goal: As a Library Trustee, I will promote the Library as a vibrant and welcoming community hub, will advocate for resources adequate for our Library to serve the present and future needs of the Needham community, and will work with the Library Director to implement these goals.

BOARD OF HEALTH (for 3 years) Vote for 1

EDWARD V. COSGROVE III (Candidate for re-election)
17 Laurel Drive
(781) 449-0671

Qualifications: Forty years experience in Healthcare - teaching at Northeastern University and the University of Massachusetts. Assistant Commissioner in the Center for Environmental Health in the MDPH. Children's Hospital Lab Administrator.

Goal: Continue to strengthen the Needham Health Department in the following key areas:
- Communicable Disease Monitoring and Control.
- Prevention of youth substance abuse through education about the dangers of all classes of drugs.
- Outreach and assistance to the Council on Aging.
- Promotion of health for all through a healthy environment.

104 Beaufort Avenue
(978) 502-0538

Qualifications: - Practicing Internal Medicine Physician
- Three-term member, Needham Board Health
- Medical Director, Lowell Health Department
- Previous member, Massachusetts Public Health Council
- Board Member, Mass. Association Health Boards
- Town meeting member
- Parent

Goal: The Board should do more to reduce harm across our community from substances of abuse:
- Act on data already collected to support Seniors wrestling with social isolation
- Encourage our medical providers to minimize prescription medication abuse
- Use State Law to minimize marijuana access by vulnerable underage residents

PLANNING BOARD (for 5 years) Vote for 1

MARTIN JACOBS (Candidate for re-election)
36 Mayo Avenue
(781) 449-5278

Qualifications: - Resident for 37 years
- Planning Board member for 2 terms (10 years)
- Member of Council of Economic Advisors
- Attorney specializing in real estate law since 1978, semi-retired

Goal: Continuing the Planning Board's fair, objective, transparent, respectful and prompt deliberations and decision-making in all permitting matters, public and private, large and small, commercial and residential, and constantly working to improve and update Planning Board process and the Town's Zoning By-Law.

COMMISSIONER OF TRUST FUNDS (for 3 years) Vote for 1

JOHN H. COGSWELL (Candidate for re-election)
865 Central Avenue Apt O-506
(781) 258-7749

Qualifications: Treasurer of New England Telephone over seeing Pension Fund investments, Treasurer of many non-profits including Needham Historical Society, managing finances and investments and long time Selectman (12 years)

Goal: Prime goals are to maintain safety and yield on the investments and to publicize the Trust Funds to Needham Residents that might desire to leave a legacy Trust to benefit Needham residents in future years--either through a bequest or a donation (all are tax deductible).


MATTHEW MICHAEL TOOLAN (Candidate for re-election)
10 Beaufort Avenue
(508) 277-3840

Qualifications: Have been on the Park and Recreation Commission for the past four years and currently serving as Chair. Also coached of various sports teams over the past 20 years.

Goal: The biggest project on the Commission is the building of the Rosemary Recreation Complex which will provide our community with a new outdoor pool, spray park, and more recreational programs to serve the needs of our diverse townspeople.

CONSTABLE (for 3 years) Vote for 2

PAUL F. HUNT (Candidate for re-election)
608 Webster Street
No Response Received

CHARLES G. WRIGHT (Candidate for re-election)
515 Great Plain Avenue

Qualifications: 18 years, Needham Constable. - Former Town meeting member - 9/11 memorial committee - Sign bylaw committee - Needham Field of Dreams -Former Legion baseball coach - Life-long resident

Goal: With 18 years of service to the town as Constable. I would like to continue fulfilling the duties of this office
Service of civil process; Town Posting; Executions; Summary Process I have enjoyed an excellent relationship with the Needham Police Department and look forward to continued service

Town Meeting Members

General Information

The Voters' Guide is compiled by the League of Women Voters of Needham and is published by The Needham Times as a service to the community.

Disclaimer: The League of Women Voters is a non-partisan organization and, as such, does not endorse or oppose candidates for public office.

Election Day:
Tuesday, April 11; Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The last day to apply for an absentee ballot for the Annual Town Election is Monday, April 10 at noon. All absentee ballots must be returned to the Town Clerk's office by the close of the polls on Election Day.

Where to vote:
Please check your precinct location:

Precinct A: The Center at the Heights, 300 Hillside Avenue
Precinct B: The Center at the Heights, 300 Hillside Avenue
Precinct C: Newman Elementary School Gymnasium, 1155 Central Avenue
Precinct D: Newman Elementary School Gymnasium, 1155 Central Avenue
Precinct E: Broadmeadow School Performance Center, 120 Broad Meadow Road
Precinct F: Needham High School Gymnasium, 609 Webster Street
Precinct G: Needham High School Gymnasium, 609 Webster Street
Precinct H: Broadmeadow School Performance Center, 120 Broad Meadow Road
Precinct I: Mitchell School Gymnasium, 187 Brookline Street
Precinct J: Mitchell School Gymnasium, 187 Brookline Street

For more information, visit the Town Clerk's website at You may also contact the Town Clerk's office at 781-455-7500 (x216, x218, x219 or x252).

Information contained in Voters' Guide: The information on candidates for town-wide offices is printed directly as written by each candidate. No editing was done by the LWVN or The Needham Times, except for publication style. Candidate's names are printed in the order in which they appear on the ballot.

The LWVN asked each town-wide candidate to list his or her relevant qualifications. They were also asked to answer the following question:

  • What do you see as the most important goal you would like to achieve if elected [or re-elected]?

Town Meeting Member candidates are listed by precinct in this Guide and have been invited to answer the following question for the LWVN online Voters' Guide: What are the 3 highest priority issues facing the town? Click here, then click on the precinct you're looking for to review the TMM candidate responses.

Write-ins: Please contact the Town Clerk's office at 781-455-7500 (x216, x218, x219 or x252) to express interest in becoming a write-in candidate and to learn more about a write-in candidacy.
Should you wish to vote for someone who is not listed on the ballot, you may do so by writing the name and address of the person (substantially as it appears on the voting list) on the line titled "write-in space only" provided for each office on the ballot after the list of candidates. Don't forget to fill in the oval next to the write-in line with the special pen.

Absentee ballots: Voters who are out of town or unable to go to the polls may request an absentee ballot from the Town Clerk's office. You may also contact the Town Clerk's office at 781-455-7500 (x216, x218, x219 or x252). All absentee ballots must be returned to the Town Clerk's office by the close of the polls on Election Day.

What is the League of Women Voters? The Needham League celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2015!
For over 90 years the League of Women Voters has been a leader in working to ensure that citizens have a role in making democracy work. The League is a non-partisan, multi-issue, grassroots membership organization. It is our mission to promote political responsibility through informed and active participation of citizens in local, state and national governments and to influence public policy through education and advocacy. As a non-partisan organization, the League neither supports nor opposes political parties or candidates.

For further information about LWVN membership or activities, visit our website.

Rides to the polls: As a voter service to Needham residents, the LWVN will offer rides to the polls on Election Day. Please call 781-343-1031 and leave a message to request a ride...please call at least 24 hours before; rides cannot be guaranteed if you call on Election Day.

LWVN Warrant Discussion Meetings:
Monday, April 24, 7:30 - 9:30 p.m.
The Center at the Heights, 300 Hillside Avenue.
New Town Meeting Member orientation with the Moderator begins at 6:45 p.m.

The LWVN sponsors Warrant Meetings as a public service to the community. This is an opportunity for all residents to learn and ask questions about Town Meeting Warrant articles in an informal setting. Warrant Meetings are open to all residents and all Town Meeting Members are especially encouraged to attend. Sponsors of articles will be present to provide explanations and answer questions; Finance Committee members will also be available to answer questions.

Annual Town Meeting: Town Meeting begins on Monday, May 1, at 7:30 p.m. and will be held at the James Hugh Powers Hall at Needham Town Hall. The town warrant will be available to residents at the Town Clerk's office, The Needham Public Library, and on the town's website.