The annual Dedham town election began sharply at 7 a.m. Saturday, when polls opened at each of the town's precincts.
Dedham Patch took to the polls to speak with residents Saturday morning and find out what was driving them to vote.
“I think we need someone who has a masters in public health [in the Dedham Board of Health] as well as an MDH for our board of health,” said resident Mary Scott. “I’m eager to see more women, particularly more women representing us in the Town Meeting. Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough choices, we don’t have enough women on our planning board or our board of selectmen. The women in Dedham are working to make that happen.”
Twenty residents were listed on the ballot to fill 13 spots for the Town Meeting members in Precinct 1, one of them being resident Joan Rome, with whom Dedham Patch spoke Saturday.
“I’m a new resident, I lived in Newton for over 50 years and I was always an election officer and I wanted to know more about Dedham,” said Rome. “I want to see a senior center here.”
Other residents who weren't running were simply for the candidates for Town Meeting seats.
“I’m voting because nine people from our community are running for Town Meeting members and I wanted to support them,” said John Averell.
Sarah Rosenberg Scott, who is running for the Dedham Board of Health, said she was out primarily to support women running for office in town.
Patricia Melville, meanwhile, was out to support her neighbor, Rachel McGregor, who is running for Dedham School Committee.
Others were out to vote for the Library Board of Trustees. Monika E. Wilkinson, Cecilia T. Emery-Butler, Michael Chalifoux and Daniel T. Barkowitz are all running to fill two seats for the board.
“It was very important for me to vote for the Library Board of Trustees,” said one Dedham resident who asked not to be named. “I always vote for the town meeting members, but those were the only two contests I voted for.”