Candidates Credentials for Contested Seat for Board of Selectmen

Voters of Stoneham we have an important election this April for the Board of Selectmen.  The seat is once again contested with two candidatesRemember this is not a popularity contest but an important position on the Board for the future of Stoneham.  There are serious issues facing our community with the problems of economic development and smart growth in Stoneham as well as the need for fiscal deliberation.  We need a Selectmen in this case a Selectwoman who has the ability to review and deliberate the best solutions for our town.  She must have a talent for negotiation and seek innovative results to better serve the whole community. 


She must have experience in meeting and dealing with homeowners, parents, seniors, town departments and the business community. She must have managerial skills. So far a review of what has been publicized by each candidate we know the following:

Ann Marie O’Neill

Raymie Parker

17 year resident of Stoneham

12 year resident of Stoneham

Incumbent   7 months to date


Contesting Seat

Worked on Greenway/Bikeway  & will bring to Stoneham $5.5 Million

Involved in youth boards

Started initiative to beautify Stoneham Islands that had been neglected for over 2 years

PTO –Robin Hood Ways and Means

Fought successfully the issuance of beer and wine licenses to local gas stations

Girl Scouts (Cookie Mom)

Requested BOS to take a second look at Stoneham’s Tobacco By-laws

Stoneham Youth Football & Cheer (Cheer Director)

Actively involved in Stoneham’s Drug and Alcohol Coalition to combat drug//alcohol addiction and prevention

Stoneham Softball (Secretary & Coach)

Improved communication between town departments

Have spoken out of the development of the Commons at Weiss Farm and provided significant input at public meetings and letter to Mass Housing.

Lobbied for an Economic Developer for Stoneham

Proponent of revitalizing downtown area, filling empty store fronts and buildings to gain revenue


Employment: these are listed for Town of Stoneham only

High School Cafeteria

Traffic Director

Records Manager of Police Dept.

Strong support to Seniors of Community, Schools and Library


Employment experience:  11 years Vice President of Technology for investment firm of Scudder, Stevens and Clark

Real Estate agent as a multi million dollar producer

Also experience in health care industry






So far this is all we know about both ladies.  In the coming weeks I hope more is stated with a positive approach on each candidate that shows by past experience, current work and volunteerism who is the best choice for the whole community. Remember both are willing to do the job.  The issue is who can do it better for Stoneham.


Camille February 22, 2014 at 09:47 AM
Jeanne, every sentence you have written in every comment you have made has ended with an exclamation point. How should we interpret this? Is it anger, frustration or just your way of making a point? We have two people running for the same position - both qualified, I'm sure. Townspeople should know, in advance of the election, the qualifications of each candidate. Then, they can make an informed decision. Paula was trying to list qualifications of both candidates. Naturally, Ann Marie would appear to have more...she is, in essence, the incumbent. And, in the end, what their opinions are about issues affecting the town are just as important as their qualifications. The need is out there for debate or, at least, a position paper from both candidates. Most people are smart enough to focus on what is important to them and disregard the small stuff. This election is not a personality contest. We are in dire need of people who will commit to taking a stand and listening to the people of Stoneham. That's all the voters want.
Tara February 22, 2014 at 09:32 PM
I have a question - if one of the candidates works for the town and has to recluse herself from any vote involving budgets contracts personnel, and I guess even the trash issue because there is a fee what if the vote between the selectmen was a "tie" isn't that why there are five selectmen?
Patricia Walsh February 23, 2014 at 08:50 AM
Tara... that is one of my points.... thank you for recognizing my concerns.
Angelo February 23, 2014 at 12:09 PM
This should be raised with town counsel...
Joan McDermott February 23, 2014 at 12:47 PM
So because it is a tie...it fails??? That hardly seems fair. I would also like clarification from Town Counsel
Patricia Walsh February 23, 2014 at 02:31 PM
"Town of Stoneham Selectmen-Administrator Act - Chapter 26 - Sec 2. Appointments by Selectmen & Town Moderator: The selectmen shall appoint their administrative employees, the town administrator, town accountant, town counsel and the members of multi-member boards, committees and commissions except those appointed by the moderator or elected under Article 1 of the annual town meeting. If the moderator does not make an appointment within sixty days after notification of a vacancy in a position for which the moderator is the appointing authority or within sixty days after a committee is created by the town meeting for which he is the appointing authority, the board of selectmen shall have the authority and responsibility for making such appointment. Section 5. Town Administrator - Appointment/Qualifications/Contract - The selectmen elected as provided herein shall appoint, as soon as practicable, for an indefinite term, a town administrator who shall be the person ...." - shall I go on??
Patricia Walsh February 23, 2014 at 03:07 PM
Jeanne you do want to argue with me... you always want to argue with me whether it is in the Patch or on Facebook. I can read as well as you can... I also read Sec. 13 that states that the Town Administrator shall appoint and may remove ..... all department heads, etc. But again, the TA is hired by the BOS and the TA can remove any department head but the BOS can reject. I am a voter and a taxpayer and I also am a very intelligent individual and I take offense to you thinking your are an authority on everything in this town.
mark patterson February 23, 2014 at 05:44 PM
The Massachusetts State Ethics Commission defines an EMPLOYEE as any person who, whether elected or appointed, paid or unpaid, performs a service for that state, county, city or town. Therefore, both candidates are employees. May the best candidate win!
Paula B Sarno February 24, 2014 at 07:28 AM
Service of town employee being elected to the Board of Selectmen has benefits and drawbacks. The individual knows the individuals who work for the Town as equals if not in a managerial position. Has awareness of the day-to-day operation of different departments. Sees daily the problems that arise in town operations. Has an inside look of areas that are great or need improvement. However even though a town employee has the right to be an elected a town official such as Selectmen or School Committee member there are some drawbacks. They must excuse themselves from any contract negotiations brought before their respective boards. They are both an employee of their respective departments and the boss possibly of the department head depending on which board they are on. The community as a whole does not receive in the Selectmen ‘s scenario a full board making a determination on salary negotiations, which do influence the town budget since residence, only receives 80% of a functioning board. But that has happened repeatedly with the existing Chairmen of the Board of Selectmen not being present at any of the public meetings held by the Board of Selectmen on the pressing issue of The Commons at Weiss Farm. Individuals who are willing to give up their nights attending meetings, daily receiving phone calls from residence and researching issues vital to towns successful operations should be commended as their volunteerism takes its toll on family time and leisure. We appreciate your volunteerism while still working in the private sector and the stipend received should be considered as a thank you and possible assistance to defray expenses such as baby-sitting, travel or whatever need arises for you to do this job. It has been said by many town officials that they put in at times 20 hours a week on town business while holding outside jobs. See: http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/regionals/south/2014/01/19/pay-for-councilors-and-selectmen-varies-from-thousands/mKtVdKyKM1g3XVXeFg9KdP/story.html which was an article in the Boston Globe in January 2014 titled “For most on town boards, it’s not for the money” The most important thing for our voters to know is that the individual you choose must be available and represent 100% of our community and not a select few.
Russ March 08, 2014 at 12:30 AM
Still waiting for bios which would allow an effective comparison of the education, background and experiences of the candidates. Also, it is best to avoid the perception of any conflict of interest. It seems obvious that if you have a key role in determining your manager's budget that s/he would have a tendency to account for that at 'raise time.' For those of us who have listened to both sides the decision is clear.
Patricia Walsh March 09, 2014 at 10:21 PM
It is with immense disappointment as a homeowner, parent, grandparent, taxpayer and voter in the Town of Stoneham that Raymie Parker, who is running for a seat on our Board of Selectman, would have the audacity to state in today’s Boston Globe that if elected “she hopes to address issues such as budget shortfalls and the exodus of families choosing to leave Stoneham’s schools for educational opportunities in other towns”. Does she not understand that by making such a negative statement about our schools, prospective homebuyers will not even consider moving to this town and that she has just lowered the value of Stoneham real estate? How do our local realtors and the Superintendent of Schools, School Committee and Town Administrator feel about comments like this during an election? I for one am appalled.
Melisa Passanisi Thorne March 10, 2014 at 09:40 AM
I personally would like to understand each candidate's position on the issues that we face in the town of Stoneham.
Patricia Walsh March 10, 2014 at 09:44 AM
Melisa: Ann Marie O'Neill has a very informative website: http://www.annmarieoneillselectman.com/
Tom Boussy March 10, 2014 at 09:49 AM
if you search Ann Marie on the patch her announcement should answer some of your questions on Ann Marie O'Neill http://stoneham.patch.com/groups/annmaries-blog/p/ann-marie-oneill-announces-intention-to-rerun-for-board-of-selectmen_61f5b906
Melisa Passanisi Thorne March 10, 2014 at 09:52 AM
Yes Ann Marie has been very open in her position on the issues. Other than community involvement and experience, I cannot seem to find any information on the other candidate's position on these issues.
kelly floyd March 10, 2014 at 05:40 PM
Dear mrs Walsh I am a well educated mother of four in stoneham who is disgusted by the treatment of our children at the Robin Hood school And would encourage any young families NOT to move to this town because of the school district. My son was exposed to a pedophile by his 8th week of kindergarten. He was abused and neglected (left curled up in. Ball on the floor for hours at a time) by multiple staff members including the principal who clearly did not accept anxiety as a real disorder and were not willing to learn how to help a child with anxiety disorder. I reported this treatment of my son to dr steven orloff who told me my son was on his radAr and I can tell u how appalled I was to see his fAce on my tv 14 days later arrested for posing a child in the news. The charges are federal now and this man had clear access to our high schoolers & younger children. I went to dr Olson with my concerns, ms Reilly , linda gross, Marybeth Ebert. I got nowhere until I hired an attorney and an advocate. We were outsourced immediately to a school paid for by SPS and have had not one issue. My daughter returned this year and her teacher who clearly has some personal issues tipped her desk over and demeaned the children in her care daily. My daughter who has loved school since age 3 cried every nite Andmorning and would go I to the bathroom to hide from the abuse. were damaged by poorly supported teaching staff, a horrible excuse for a principal who nevers leaves her office and allows staff to scream at students. Children with disabilities are shuffled out of RH. There Are many great people there but all kinds of minds are not welcome there. I am an educator with a principal certification myself And can assure you that stoneham is 10 years behind most neighboring communities curriculum wise, art/technology wise and investing in our children. Please feel free to contact me if u would like more information. I have met raymie Parker and am proud that she is brave enough to be transparent about the problems in SPS that most would rather turn a blind eye to. I also really hope that these two nominees will serve together at one point as they would hopefully be able to turn things around for our most precision resource... Our kids. None of my children will return to stoneham until we invest in our children and treat them kindly.
Paula B Sarno March 10, 2014 at 08:14 PM
It really sounds like Raymie Parker would be a great candidate and member of the School Committee. The treatment you described about your family is nothing short of horrifying, and I only hope that their current placements are constructive and beneficial to their well being. It is a shame that we have two dynamic candidates vying for the same seat on the Board of Selectmen. Both have talents and desires to serve our community. Ann Marie O’Neill has nine months’ worth of experience in terms of improving our community, and her professionalism and care are obvious at each Selectmen meeting. Imagine how powerful our community would be with Parker on the School Committee and O’Neill continuing her position as Selectman! Something to strongly consider…
Forrest Rhoades March 10, 2014 at 08:58 PM
Ms. Floyd, Perhaps you should disclose any relationship you have with the Parker Campaign.
kelly floyd March 10, 2014 at 09:07 PM
No affiliation at all. I welcome both Ann Marie and raymie to contact me if they would like more details. My vote goes to the best candidate for the position who recognizes that Stoneham is in need of some positive change.
Forrest Rhoades March 10, 2014 at 09:37 PM
Ms Floyd, I am very sorry for what has happened to your children. After reading your story, I am convinced that we should not elect someone who is close to members of the School Committee (particularly Jeanne Craigie) and has their enthusiastic support. Don't you think that your story is an indictment of their leadership? Do you think that they would support a candidate if they felt that the candidate would threaten their authority and control?
kelly floyd March 10, 2014 at 10:05 PM
Thank you for your compassion. I have found that most people are content to turn a blind eye to what is going on in this town as long as it didn't happen to their child. My children are safe and nurtured now at different schools BUT I truly hope that the families being redistricted to RH will hold ms Reilly and dr Olson accountable for the safety of their children socially, physically and emotionally. After all another knife was found in a students desk last week despite a previous knife discovery blamed on a student who no longer goes there. An Another child scapegoated and destroyed by Alice Reilly and her lack of motivation to be a 21st century lead learner. Shame on her I pray for her soul and retirement
Paula B Sarno March 11, 2014 at 11:23 AM
Kelly there is a separation here of two distinct official and elected boards in our community- the School committee and the Board of Selectmen Review of the web sites posted for both boards give some insight into their official responsibilities. You can review the School Committee at: http://www.stonehamschools.org/pages/Stoneham_Public_Schools/District_New/School_Committee Pay particular attention to their policy book. See: http://www.stonehamschools.org/files/_xcAnJ_/1640e1beff4d6e8a3745a49013852ec4/POLICY_BOOK_1.30.14_COMPLETE.pdf Powers and Duties of the School Committee The School Committee is accountable for the quality of the public schools and shall support policies and procedures needed to promote the highest quality of education for the community. The School Committee shall insure that the Superintendent and Administrative Staff translate this objective into practice. The Board of Selectmen’s responsibilities can be viewed at: http://www.stoneham-ma.gov/board-of-selectmen Selectmen’s Mission statement The Board of Selectmen, which sets policy for the Town, continues to be receptive to citizen input, at public hearings, through phone calls received at home, in our contact with the public, and in phone calls and visits made to our office by the public. The Board welcomes this input. The Board holds public hearings on important issues to give the townspeople and businesses an opportunity to be heard. The Board of Selectmen and its office continue to perform the multiple, diverse functions required by both Town Bylaws and Massachusetts General Law and to assist the public where needed. There are many areas in Stoneham that need improvement. The right person on the right board is required. Real estate values and schools are married in every community. Good schools mean prime real estate and prime real estate creates a great school system The School Committee and the Board of Selectmen should be equal partners in enhancing our town. image.
Russ March 11, 2014 at 11:51 AM
Why would we support a candidate for town office who has been solicited by some of the long term professional politicians in Stoneham who have put us in this position? It's time to elect/appoint people who are able to do the job, particularly protecting our children.
C March 11, 2014 at 06:58 PM
I have to agree with Russ....no offense to residents good enough to volunteer their time in office, but please look at who is a BIG supporter for Raymie. First of all, a huge RH crowd, and many that are "town connected" and have been for years. This is why others do not step up or do not have the chance to. Too much power in who is behind you in a small town is BAD for the town and its residents. Lets try to get some Un-connected people running the town, instead of the same last names (or affiliated with them somehow).
C March 11, 2014 at 07:03 PM
And to Kelly....my stomach was sickened by your post.....I am truly sorry to have read that and hear what happened to your children. May they thrive in their lives. And we wonder why our high school almost lost accreditation and why our residents are leaving the schools here ? I have heard other stories of bad bullying at South as well, and children who are asking their parents to leave the school system....children asking! How sad. I hope that your children lead a wonderful life and I am glad to hear they are happy where they are.
Anna March 11, 2014 at 08:57 PM
I am not following this conversation. Both candidates are new to the political scene in Stoneham and both are being backed by long-term politically involved families. Where is the difference?
Anna March 11, 2014 at 08:59 PM
It could be the viciousness candidates are subjected to that prevents more good people from coming forward.
Anna March 12, 2014 at 07:29 AM
Just an observation - the qualities that make a person a great candidate for School Committee also make that person a great candidate for the Board of Selectmen. Both require dedication, determination, committment to finding innovative solutions, and most importantly, a thick skin.
Frank Pignone March 12, 2014 at 05:50 PM
Interesting 'reading'. And its all good spirited debate and individual 'concern'. I know AnnMarie as a fine public servant, working 'very hard' and 'honestly' in a 'very' non political or 'swerved' way. I have not seen many over they years in the Selectman's seat who stand so solidly as 'their own minds'.. I also have heard wonderful things of the work and heart of Ms. Parker who has 'every right' to run for Selectman( woman) ( person) whatever. I feel that 'next year' would have been a far better choice for her candidacy and also better for the community as a whole for 'many' reasons. Most individuals do not have 'any idea' of the issues which come before the Select.... 'people'.. ; the 'contracts', Bonding, Analysis, Budgeting, Site Plans, Building Laws, and just 'keeping track' of the never ending 'Changes' in site plans which seem to never wind up as initially seen or written.Many people who have worked in our town over the years have been historical and often 'Legend' Select'people as June McTaggart, Paul Means, and many more. What may be 'more ' of a 'Conflict' is the relationships of consultants, attorneys, and more with Board Members or Elected Officials I am afraid. At this point, the less all of you get involved with these two fine women's efforts..the better off we all will be. This is by no means or should it be a 'popularity' contest. It is not what this position is all about. If one feels they can serve the town better in the children's organizations or other areas , perhaps that is the best place....for 'now'. I personally believe that if both ladies served on the Board 'Together'...it will be 'Best' for our Town..and again.. .for 'many reasons'... We are Blessed to have this Energy of ladies and candidates in our Community and I do hope the Boston Papers and others are 'equally' open to our populace. We are 'watching' that, and 'shall' speak on that as well.... strongly.
Forrest Rhoades March 12, 2014 at 11:20 PM
Anna, when the lies become the truth, print the lies...are you sure you aren't Karl Rove (you made need to google him)..Parker is being supported by a longtime selectman, a longtime school committee member, and her campaign manager is the daughter of a former long-serving selectmen. Who do you claim is supporting O'Neill? Do you really expect us to believe that Parker wants to change things when some of the biggest obstacles to change are her biggest supporters?


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