By Dakota Antelman, Managing Editor
MARLBOROUGH – Arthur Vigeant thanked voters and reflected on everything from voter turnout to priorities for the future in an interview, Nov. 2, less than 24 hours after he won re-election as mayor of Marlborough.
“We’re excited with all the people that came out yesterday and want to thank everyone for giving me the opportunity to do another two years,” Vigeant told the Community Advocate.
Unofficial election results showed Vigeant defeating challenger David Garceau with 2,985 votes to Garceau’s 1,505.
The win ushers Vigeant into his sixth term in the city’s highest office.
Vigeant’s priorities for new term
Vigeant noted a number of priorities for his next term throughout his now completed 2021 campaign. Those included a focus on infrastructure through public housing upgrades and efforts to connect the Assabet River Rail Trail to Main Street, among other goals.
Vigeant discussed ongoing capital projects, including major renovations at the Marlborough Public Library and the proposed construction of a new fire station for the city’s West Side.
He also noted the city’s response to COVID-19, as well as continuing efforts to balance both commercial and residential development.
“Marlborough is still affordable in comparison to the neighboring communities and it’s my priority to keep it that way by balancing development and bringing in additional commercial revenue,” Vigeant wrote in a candidate statement to the Community Advocate last month. “I look forward to continuing to maintain services and improve our infrastructure while making Marlborough a great place to live, work and play.”
Data shows voter turnout at 19%
Vigeant said he started Election Day, this year, with a handful of meetings. From there, though, he said he was on the phone throughout the afternoon reminding individuals in Marlborough to vote.
“We were confident going in, but I was pretty nervous all week,” he continued. “So, we were pretty happy by 9:00 o’clock when we saw some results and it looked good.”
All told, just over 19 percent of Marlborough’s 23,994 registered voters turned out on Nov. 2 according to unofficial totals.
Though that turnout number is Marlborough’s lowest in a municipal general election since 2013, it’s actually higher than what some in the city expected for 2021, Vigeant said.
“We expected a real low turnout yesterday,” Vigeant said. “That was concerning. It popped up a little more than we had expected. So that was good.”
Vigeant said he sees many factors influencing voter turnout in Marlborough, including the decreasing frequency of contested races across the ballot.
“It used to be two or three people lined up to run for the mayor’s seat,” he said. “There were always people looking to run for city council. It’s tough to get people involved now.”
“It’s been difficult,” he continued. “People are really busy with their lives and work and their families.”
Brown wins Ward 4 City Council race
Outside of the mayoral race, this year’s elections saw Teona Brown challenge incumbent Ward 4 City Councilor Robert Tunnera for his seat.
Unofficial results had Brown beating Tunnera 338-295.
Vigeant said that, while he does not know Brown personally, he planned on reaching out to her to congratulate her.
“It’s going to be a big hole she’s going to have to try to fill with Rob,” Vigeant continued. “He’s been there for a while and he knows the system. In the last couple years, he’s really stepped it up. So, we’re going to be sad to see him go.”
On the School Committee, incumbents Michelle Bodin-Hettinger, Denise Ryan and Earl Geary held onto their seats in a four-way race with Maureen Brennan.