East Bridgewater Man Wins Planning Board Seat He Wasn’t Even Running For With 11 Votes

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2024/05/22/east-bridgewater-man-wins-planning-board-seat-he-wasnt-even-running-for-with-11-votes/

Even Myles Heger was shocked by the result.

He wasn’t a candidate on the ballot for the East Bridgewater Planning Board in the annual town election on Saturday, May 18, but he won – with 11 votes.

“I’m as surprised as anyone else,” Heger told NewBostonPost in a telephone interview on Tuesday. “I wasn’t even a candidate, but it’s good to be back involved with town politics.”

Just one name appeared on the ballot for a three-year seat on the Planning Board, despite two seats being open. 

And despite not announcing a candidacy for the position, Heger got the most write-in votes and therefore a seat on the board.

“I’m honored people thought of me,’ Heger said. “I’m not even sure who those 11 people were, but I’m thankful for them nonetheless.”

Heger knows many people in town. He has lived in East Bridgewater for all of his 33-year life and graduated from East Bridgewater High School in 2008. He is the vice president of the East Bridgewater Commercial Club, a social club in town with about 700 members. And he is the chairman of the East Bridgewater Republican Town Committee, a role he is ready to relinquish if someone else in town wants it.

Heger received 11 votes in an election where 926 people voted; 1.18 percent of those voters wrote him in – enough for a win. The next-highest total for a write-in candidate was five votes. Conversely, John Lawlor, the incumbent Planning Board member who was on the ballot and won re-election, got 718 votes.

But Heger is now just as much a member of the Planning Board as Lawlor. Heger is now one of six members of the board.

State law sets no minimum number of votes to win a general election, including a municipal election, according to the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office. That said, Heger could’ve won this race with as few as six votes.

The purpose of a town planning board is “to provide for and guide the orderly growth and development of the community,” according to the Town of Walpole’s web site.

“This is accomplished primarily through development of a Master Plan for the Town, the Zoning Bylaw, and the Planning Board’s Rules and Regulations Governing Subdivision of Land,” the site says.

On the East Bridgewater Planning Board, Heger told NewBostonPost, he will try to look out for the best interests of his town’s current residents. He also said that since he is in the process of learning more about the board and its capabilities.

“It’s about common sense,” Heger said. “We’re a small town and I don’t want to put a strain on our resources or the taxpayers. You just don’t want to lay the groundwork for possible outdoor water bans and tax increases.”

Heger is no stranger to local politics. He served on the East Bridgewater Board of Health from 2015 to 2021. Before that, he was on the town’s Finance Committee from 2011 to 2014.

Heger also encouraged more people to pursue public office, especially when no one else runs for a seat.

“It really comes down to this:  what do you have to lose?” Heger said. “You might win and you might be able to make your town a better place. I say:  go for it.”

East Bridgewater is a town of more than 14,000 located in Plymouth County, Massachusetts, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. It neighbors the city of Brockton and two other communities that have Bridgewater in their names:  Bridgewater and West Bridgewater.

 

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