As one of the few spots being challenged in Acushnet, residents will see who takes the third seat on the Board of Selectmen after next month's election.

Incumbent Garry Rawcliffe is running against opponent Roger Cabral.

The two candidates debated and answered questions from the crowd during Monday's Candidate's Night at the Council On Aging.

Acushnet's Board of Selectmen took heavy criticism from the hopeful member. During the forum, Cabral said the board has lacked leadership in recent years, as he criticized Rawcliffe specifically for remaining neutral on the potential LNG project in town.

Cabral, a firm opponent of the LNG facility, said, "Lead, follow, or get out of the way. From my perspective, the health and safety of Acushnet's residents are not for sale at any price, and the proposed LNG project would ask us to risk both."

Rawcliffe defended the board's stance on the facility, saying the town is better served keeping an open mind and staying non-confrontational to help with potential negotiations down the road.

He also stressed the importance of the town's expired water/sewer contract with the city of New Bedford. Despite only impacting part of the town, Rawcliffe said ensuring stable water and sewer prices for residents will be a major priority in the future.

"I think the environment is correct now for us to go and sit down with New Bedford, and hopefully we'll wrap that up, and it'll be a ten year deal so it'll be wrapped up for a long time," Rawcliffe said.

Besides the Board of Selectmen race, the only other opposed position in the election will be the Housing Authority seat. Incumbent Larry Mulvey will seek his final term of a 15-year career on the Housing Authority, as he faces Robert Lanzoni.

The town's Commissioner of Trust Funds seat will remain vacant, as no candidates are running for the position.

Acushnet goes to the polls on April 3.

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