Keno comes to Franklin, Anthony Giunta to return to mayor’s seat

  • Rollie Schaffer Grinwas, a 4th grade student at the Center School in Greenfield wears his "I Voted" sticker on his cowboy hat after voting in the school's mock election Tuesday, October 18. The candidates were "Shellizabeth Warren" and "Jill Swine." Recorder Staff/Matt Burkhartt

Monitor staff
Thursday, October 05, 2017

Anthony Giunta will return to his position as mayor of Franklin starting in January.

The mayoral veteran beat state Rep. Leigh Webb in all three wards – by a 20 percent margin overall – during a city election Tuesday.

​​​​​​“This is just a great time to be mayor of the city of Franklin,” Giunta told the Monitor on Wednesday. “So many positive things are happening.”

Giunta previously served two terms as mayor from 2000-04, and was also a city councilor. He will replace former mayor Ken Merrifield, who left the post when he was tapped to be the state’s Labor commissioner in May.

Giunta said his primary concern for the city will be economic development.

“We have been pushing up a boulder up a very high hill,” Giunta said. “Now we’re at the top of the hill, and I want to make sure that boulder goes over the hill and doesn’t fall back down.”

There was also an option on the ballot to vote to legalize the gambling game keno, which passed in all three wards with about 60 percent of the vote.

In Ward 3, incumbent City Councilor James Wells lost his seat to challenger Paul Trudel.

Voter turnout was less than last year, at rates below 15 percent. Out of 5,166 registered voters, only 703 residents showed up to cast ballots.

“Usually, more people show up for the mayoral races,” City Clerk Katie Gargano said.

Ward 1 Moderator Steve Foley attributed the lack of voter participation to “low interest.”

“I’m not sure that people are always aware of the voting because we don’t have the weekly newspaper like we used to,” Foley said. “It’s hard to get the word out.”