By Seth Daniel
As nomination papers have come available in the last week, an interesting race between a sitting councillor and a former councillor has already started to unfold in the Mill Hill District 3 area.
Councillor Matt Frank has pulled his papers for another run in the ward he has represented for some time, but this year, he is going to face former District 5 Councillor Joe Perlatonda.
Perlatonda pulled papers last week after having moved to Clinton Street in the Mill Hill area, and he said this week he is ready to take on Frank. The two councillors were often quite at odds with one another while serving together on the Council, so the race is sure to be interesting.
“I’m not going to bore you with everything, as other City Councilors will tell you what they have or have not done; we all know what needs to be done,” he said. “Unfortunately there is always more that needs to be done and I am here to tell you that I am, and have always been, up for the challenge. I want residents that have lived here in our community for a long time to be more familiar with our community and be able to reach out to their City Councillor. We all have concerns of what is going on in our City and what we can do to resolve such issues. I’d had discussions with not only our seniors in the community, but also with all of you who have approached me in the past concerning the healthcare, safety, schools, parks, churches, streets, businesses, the homeless, and most of all, the quality of life, here in Chelsea. Everyone needs to be heard. Think back for those of you have lived here for years and how we have progressed throughout the years…I, Joseph Perlatonda, am here in your corner representing the people of Chelsea no matter how big or how small that issue may be.”
Councillor Frank said he is ready to serve some more at the Council, but he won’t engage in mudslinging with his potential opponent.
“My family has lived in Mill Hill for over four generations and I carry that with me with every vote I take, every statement I make and every position I carve out,” he said. “I’ve been having a conversation with my neighbors for 10 years now and am looking forward to continuing that conversation a little bit longer. I’ve learned so much in this position and am humbled that those around me have trusted me year after year to represent our home. I’ve already seen some mud flying around and I am not interested in that at all. I would rather be judged by the content of my character and the responsiveness of my office than how much I can malign someone else. We will work to continue making Chelsea the best it can be and I will remain committed to that charge regardless of what happens in the fall. District 3 has always been there for me; I will always be there for all of you. My promises remain what they were the first time I ever ran: I will listen to anyone who calls me. I will hear all sides of an argument. I will remain transparent and forthright.”
Meanwhile, in other areas there likely will be a race in District 5, where Candidate Henry Wilson has pulled his papers.
Councillor Judith Garcia is expected to pull papers in the district for re-election, though some have postulated that she is contemplating an at-large run.
In the at-large race, so far only incumbents Roy Avellaneda, Damali Vidot and Leo Robinson have pulled papers.
In District 8, Councillor Dan Cortell has pulled his papers and intends to run for re-election.
No other sitting councillors or challengers have pulled nomination papers yet.
For School Committee, the activity has been rather muted also.
Those pulling papers so far are incumbents Robert Pereira, Yessenia Alfaro, Kelly Garcia and Jeannette Velez.
Candidates have until Aug. 1 at 5 p.m. to pull nomination papers and return them with the proper signatures. District seats require 50 signatures of registered voters within the district, while at-large seats require 50 signatures from any registered voter in the city.