Great debate Candidates for selectmen, school board to meet Tuesday


By Amaris Castillo

With the town election two weeks away, The Valley Dispatch will sponsor a Candidates’ Debate on Tuesday, May 1, at 6 p.m., at Harmony Hall, 1660 Lakeview Ave.

The debate, to be moderated by Christopher Scott, enterprise editor at The Sun, The Valley Dispatch’s sister paper, will feature candidates in the races for Board of Selectmen and School Committee.

The candidates for School Committee will be up first for about 50 minutes. There will be no opening statements, but candidates will have one minute to share their closing statements with members of the public. Scott will ask questions of the candidates.

At 7 p.m., it will be the turn of the Board of Selectmen candidates.

For one seat on the Board of Selectmen, the candidates are:

n Incumbent Joseph DiRocco Jr., who says he has some unfinished business in town as a member of the Board of Selectmen.

n John Joyce, defeated last year by incumbents Alison Hughes and Tami Dristiliaris, who says he’d like to tackle public-safety issues and work to make sure Dracut residents are head.

n Phil Thibault, chairman of the Master Plan Committee, who says he’d like to get particular things accomplished and thinks they can be accomplished better if he’s a selectman rather than a citizen.

For two seats on the School Committee, the candidates are:

n Susan Koufogazos, a longtime Dracut resident and assistant buyer for North Billerica-based Potpourri Group, who says she can bring a positive influence to the committee.

n Incumbent Vice Chairman Dan O’Connell, who says he wants to see the school district continue to make strides.

n Incumbent Chairman Joe Wilkie, who says it has been a privilege to serve the community and the families in Dracut Public Schools. Wilkie said he’s excited to continue a lot of the different things that the committee started over the last five years.

There’s one more contested race this year, for one seat on the Housing Authority. The race is between incumbent George M. Nangle and Frederick W. Spicer Jr. They will not be part of Candidates’ Night. The town election is Monday, May 7.

Follow Amaris Castillo on Twitter @AmarisCastillo. Her email address is