A committee of residents has filed a petition to hold a recall election to get 3rd Ward Councilman Franco Mazzei out of elected office.
Carver Washburn, Michele Mandler, and Dawn Savincki, all 3rd
Ward residents, formed the committee recently. They filed a notice of intent
with town clerk Paul Margiotta Friday to hold a recall election.
They claim that Mazzei has refused to oppose a plan to redevelop several vacant and underdeveloped commercial properties. Officials want to have more mixed-used and residential properties, including rentals, in town. The plan would add about 1,000 residential units in town. Mayor Chris Vergano and town planner John Sazbo developed the plan.
Washburn and others have spoken out against the plan at public meetings.
“Our councilman is hiding behind the false claims that he cannot have an opinion on this matter,” said Washburn, the committee chairman. “We, the citizens of the 3rd Ward, expect our councilman to listen to our concerns, look at the facts, and stand up for our community.”
Washburn said Mazzei has not responded to his and other residents’ attempts to speak with him about the issue.
“He just stonewalls us,” Washburn said. “We would prefer he support us, but if he does that means he’s going against the mayor and the plan.”
According to Washburn, if approved, the plan would mean higher taxes, lower property values, overcrowded schools, and more traffic in town.
The committee would need 25 percent, or about 2,000 3rd Ward residents, to sign a petition saying they want a special recall election to be held. The committee would have 160 days from when the notice is approved to acquire the signatures.
Mazzei did not respond to a message seeking comment. A call to the phone number listed for him went unanswered.
Mazzei was elected to the council 2011. He was appointed to replace Gerard Porter who resigned after 20 years of service. Before he was elected, Mazzei served on the library’s Board of Trustees and the Board of Education.
Mazzei said he was “humbled” and “honored” to receive the people’s vote.