Quiet week on the election front

Feb 18, 2021 by

Published February 18, 2021

By MAUREEN DOHERTY

NORTH READING — Candidates for elective office in the annual Town Election have nearly one month to return nomination papers by the March 16 deadline.

As the Transcript was going to press Wednesday none of the candidates who have pulled their nomination papers for the May 4 election had returned them. It’s required of all candidates for public office in town to obtain a minimum of 50 signatures from town residents who are registered to vote in North Reading to be eligible for inclusion on the ballot.

To date only incumbents have pulled papers for the available seats. They are Select Board Chairwoman Kate Manupelli and Select Board member Stephen O’Leary, School Committee members Rich McGowan and Dyana Boutwell, and Community Planning Commissioner Ryan Carroll. All intend to run to retain their three-year terms.

There remains a vacant seat on the CPC after Bill Bellavance stepped down in December and announced he would not seek re-election to the three-year seat. Two candidates are vying for the joint appointment by the CPC and Select Board to fill the remainder of the term.

Also up for annual renewal is the Town Moderator’s seat, held by John Murphy who has not yet indicated his intention to run again.

The Transcript will publish candidates’ statements from each candidate in the edition closest to the election to enable them to speak directly to their constituents.

Town election basics:

The following seats are up for election on May 4 this year. The names of incumbents are listed in parentheses:

• Two seats for three-year terms on the Select Board (Kate Manupelli and Stephen O’Leary);

• Two seats for three-year terms on the School Committee (Dyana Boutwell and Rich McGowan);

• Two seats for three-year terms on the Community Planning Commission (Ryan Carroll and Bill Bellavance). Please note: Bellavance stepped down and his seat will remain vacant until the CPC and Select Board make a joint appointment to be in effect until election day.

• One seat for a one-year term for Town Moderator (John Murphy);

• One seat for a five-year term on the Housing Authority (no vacancy; this seat will be open for appointment).

The deadline for candidates to return nomination papers to the Town Clerk’s office is Tuesday, March 16 at 5 p.m. Candidates must contact the Town Clerk’s office to make an appointment to obtain or return nomination papers because Town Hall is closed to the general public during COVID without an appointment. Call 978-357-5218 during regular business hours.

Once a candidate is certified as eligible to run for an elective office by turning in 50 signatures of registered town voters, the last day that candidate can choose to withdraw his or her name from the ballot is Thursday, April 1 at 5 p.m.

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