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Baghdady Ponders a Run For Selectmen

Planning Board member is being recruited to step onto the mat for the open seat in April's Town Election.

Sami Baghdady.
Sami Baghdady.
One of the favorite annual games Belmont residents play – actually, it's popular in nearly all communities in the US – is speculating who is interested in filling one of the town's elected positions especially when an open seat become available.

And in the latest rumor bouncing around the coffee shops, you wouldn't say this one person is thinking about throwing his hat into the ring but rather, will he step onto the mat for a political grapple. 

When asked at Wednesday's Warrant Committee meeting, Dec. 4, Planning Board member Sami Baghdady said that he is "considering" challenging for Ralph Jones' open seat on the Belmont Board of Selectmen at the Town Election in April, 2014.

"It is not a 'fait accompli'," said the former Planning Board chair who continues on the board as an appointed member. "It is something I am considering but I haven't decided yet. I don't think (nomination) papers are even available," the Loring Street resident said. 

Traditionally, nomination papers are available in mid-December at the Town Clerk’s office for the annual April Town election.

While currently non-committal on a possible run, Baghdady did say that he was being "recruited" by people in town. One person rumored to be on that list is former Belmont Selectman Angelo Firenze.

If Baghdady chooses to enter the race, he will go up against Belmont Energy Committee Co-Chair Roger Colton who has already established a political committee for his run for the board back in the summer and has been active around town seeking advice and endorsements.

Chairman of the Planning Board from 2010 to this year, Baghdady is known for his stewardship of the board during the year-and-a-half approval process for Cushing Village, the commercial/residential/parking complex that won board approval this summer.

A real estate and corporate attorney with a solo practice in Arlington, the nearly life-long resident of Belmont – Butler, Chenery, Belmont High alum – lives with his wife, Rola, and four of his five children – his son, Sami, is at Brown – near Belmont's Central Square.

The Baghdady name is featured prominently with banners on the walls of Wenner Field House at Belmont High School as Baghdady and his extended family are well-known for their wrestling achievements including two state championships. 
John Bowe December 06, 2013 at 09:15 AM
So Angelo is recruiting him. Recall Angelo's first campaign for selectman and how he went on about how we need a "balanced" board. Apparently he does not really believe that. No surprise.
Martha C Bazakas December 08, 2013 at 06:26 PM
The article also fails to note how Baghdady was on the planning board during a period of tearing down single family homes and replacing them with box-shaped two family homes that barely legally fit into their lots. We also lost a historic wood church during his oversight. This is in part why we have a moratorium on building right now. I agree with John in that Baghdady would not bring a balanced board on many issues.

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