Town Election News: No Contested Races So Far
With only one week remaining before the deadline to file nomination papers for local town and school offices, there has been a dearth of activity and to date no contested races have developed for major offices. All incumbents on the major boards: Selectmen, Planning Board and School Committee are seeking reelection.
A new candidate has filed nomination papers for a two-year position on the School Committee which became vacant when Berta Erickson resigned her seat on the Committee two weeks ago. Residents interested in seeking election to town and school offices have until March 8 to pull nomination papers which must be signed by 49 registered voters and returned to the Town Clerk's Office by March 12.
Selectmen incumbents Josh Degen and Stuart Schulman have pulled nomination papers and will seek reelection. Degen has returned his papers while Schulman has yet to return his. Both positions have three-year terms. On the Planning Board, there are two, three-year positions open for election and both incumbents - George Barringer and John Giger - have pulled nomination papers to seek reelection to their respective seats.
On the School Committee, there are two, three-year positions open for election and both incumbents - John Giger and Leslie Lathrop - have pulled nomination papers. A third position on the School Committee is also open for election and this seat will be decided at town elections. The position carries a two-year term which will complete the time remaining on Berta Erickson's seat. Thomas Steinfeld of Hawtree Way has pulled nomination papers to seek election to the two-year position.
Other incumbents seeking reelection to their respective positions include Rena Swezey for Board of Assessors, Diane Hewitt for Trustee of Trust Funds, James Gmeiner for Sewer Commissioner and Mark Gerath and Nancy Wilder for Trustee of Public Library. One non-incumbent - Mark Deuger - pulled nomination papers for Water Commissioner. To date, all these positions are uncontested.
Town elections are part of Annual Town Meeting and this year they are being held earlier than prescribed in the town's bylaws. Selectmen and the Town Clerk agreed to hold town elections on the date scheduled for a Special Primary State Election to elect nominees from the Republican and Democratic Parties for U. S. Senator from Massachusetts. The date for the Special Primary Election is April 30 and towns were provided the opportunity to hold their Town Elections on the same date. Normally, town elections are scheduled in early May two weeks after Annual Town Meeting. This year, Annual Town Meeting is scheduled for April 22 and Town Elections will be held on April 30.