Wallner, Pappavaselio latest to announce candidacies

Mar 7, 2019 by

Published March 7, 2019

 By MAUREEN DOHERTY

NORTH READING — The landscape in the annual town election has changed significantly in the past week, with a probability of at least two contested races on May 7.

In the run up to the March 19 deadline to return nomination papers, two more residents have entered the race.

Chris Pappavaselio of 54 Spruce Road is a new candidate for School Committee. He pulled his nomination papers on March 1.

Rich Wallner of 57 Lakeside Boulevard is the latest candidate for the Select Board. He pulled his papers on March 4.

Pappavaselio joins incumbent Janene Imbriano, who is running for her third consecutive three-year term, and another newcomer, Tracy DeGregorio, in seeking a seat on the board. There are two seats available for three-year terms on the School Committee. Incumbent Mel Webster will be stepping down on March 19 as he is moving from town.

The addition of Wallner in the Select Board race would make it a three-way race with Liane Gonzalez and Andrew J. Lee. There are two open seats for three-year terms on the Select Board as both incumbents Michael Prisco and Bob Mauceri will not seek re-election.

In the race for Community Planning Commission (CPC), incumbent Chairman Warren Pearce is currently the only announced candidate. Incumbent Jonathan Cody, who was also up for re-election, resigned Jan. 31 after moving from town.

The remaining members of the CPC and the Select Board have the option of meeting jointly to fill the vacancy until the next election or letting it remain vacant until the next election.

Originally, the CPC informed the Select Board of its preference to seek candidates for the vacancy and in making a subsequent joint appointment. After extending the length of time for interested townspeople to submit resumes to the Town Administrator’s office through last Friday, the board had four interested applicants to potentially interview Tuesday night, March 5.

However, at Monday night’s Select Board meeting, with two CPC members present for the planning department’s budget presentation, the subject came up and Select Board Chairman Mike Prisco suggested that with potentially only a couple of CPC meetings between the appointment date and the May 7 election it would appear to make sense to leave the seat vacant. Prisco added that it would be wise to encourage all of those who expressed interest to continue to attend the meetings to learn more about the role of the CPC in the community. CPC Chairman Warren Pearce agreed that this approach would make sense.

The four residents who expressed an interest in the interim CPC appointment were Mark G. Hall, Michelle Mullet, David Rudloff and Renu S. Wadhwa.

A similar situation may arise with the School Committee. Mel Webster originally thought he would be complete his fifth term on Election Day. However, his house sold more quickly than expected and he announced last week that his last meeting will be Monday, March 18. The school board also may vote to seek applicants for an interim appointment jointly with the Select Board or keep it vacant until the election.

There are also two other offices up for re-election on the ballot. Incumbent Housing Authority member James DeCola has pulled papers for the one seat available for a five-year term.

Incumbent Town Moderator John Murphy has pulled papers for his 15th consecutive one-year term.

To date, none of the candidates have filed their nomination papers with the Town Clerk’s office to have them certified with a minimum 50 signatures of North Reading registered voters. The deadline to return the nomination papers is Tuesday, March 19 at 5 p.m.

Once a candidate is certified as eligible to run for an elective office, the last day that candidate can choose to withdraw his or her name from the ballot is Thursday, April 4 at 5 p.m.

The last day a resident of the town can register to vote to participate in the May 7 annual town election is Wednesday, April 17 at 8 p.m.

Candidates for any municipal office are required to file campaign finance reports on specific dates per the provisions of Mass. General Laws Chapter 55. Those with questions about this process may contact the state’s Office of Campaign and Political Finance for assistance by phone: 617-727-8352, email: ocpf@cpf.state.ma.us or visit the website at www.mass.gov/ocpf.

For additional assistance the public may also call the Town Clerk’s office at 978-357-5218.

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