This week and next, candidates for select board, school board, and a range of other elected committees and commissions will be pulling nomination papers at town halls, collecting the 20 or 30 signatures needed to qualify for the ballot, and turning in documents to officially begin their election campaigns.
In Truro, the filing period has already begun and will end on March 10 at 5 p.m.
In Wellfleet, candidates have until Monday, March 13 to file papers; in Provincetown, until Friday, March 17; and in Eastham, until March 28.
Most towns have only one or two completely open races, meaning seats that are currently vacant or whose incumbent officeholder is not running for re-election. In most of the other races the incumbents told the Independent they plan to run again, although that does not preclude other candidates from filing for the same seat, triggering a contest.
Seven elected positions will appear on the ballot on May 9, and four incumbents have already pulled papers, according to Town Clerk Kaci Fullerton.
Stephanie Rein’s three-year term on the select board is up, and she will be seeking re-election. School committee incumbent Kolby Blehm’s term is also up, and he told the Independent on Feb. 2 that “at the moment I am planning to run again.” Virginia Frazier’s five-year term on the planning board will be on the ballot this year, and according to Fullerton, she is seeking re-election as well.
There are two seats up for election on the library board of trustees. Martha Magane is seeking re-election, and incumbent Margaret Royka said she had not made a decision as of Feb. 3.
Mary Rose, whose term is up on the housing authority, said she will not seek re-election after 13 years on that committee.
Finally, Holly Ballard Gardner said she will be seeking re-election to the cemetery commission, which she has chaired for two years.
The last day to register to vote in Truro’s town election is April 15, and mail-in ballots can be requested as late as May 2. —Sophie Mann-Shafir
There are nine positions to be filled on election day on May 1, and eight incumbents have already taken out papers, according to Town Clerk Jennifer Congel.
Select board Chair Ryan Curley will be seeking re-election, Congel said, as will Town Moderator Dan Silverman.
Nauset school committee Chair Chris Easley has also pulled papers. “I couldn’t not run,” Easley said. On the elementary school committee, both Martha Gordon and Laura Baghetti will be seeking re-election as well.
Library board of trustees incumbents Andrew Freeman and Robin Robinson are both running again.
And finally, at the cemetery commission, incumbent Nancy Vail is running again, but Bonnie Robicheau is retiring, leaving an open two-year term on that board. Newcomer Richard Davis has already taken out papers to run, Congel said.
The last day to register to vote in the town election is April 14, and mail-in ballots can be requested as late as April 24. —Sam Pollak
Eight positions will be elected on Provincetown’s ballot on May 9, at least three of which have no incumbent seeking office.
On the select board, Bobby Anthony has announced he is not running again, which he re-confirmed to the Independent this week. “Nine years is enough,” said Anthony, who also served in Provincetown’s police dept. for 32 years, 10 of them as chief.
The other select board seat up for election this year is currently held by Louise Venden. She told the Independent she is still undecided about running for another three-year term.
There are two seats up for election on the board of library trustees. Stephen Desroches, who chairs the board, has decided not to run for re-election, while Joan Prugh said she is “absolutely” running for another term.
At the Provincetown Housing Authority, both Arlene Weston and Frances Coco confirmed that they are running for re-election. A vacant seat is available on the town’s charter compliance commission. And on the school committee, Liz Lovati said she is undecided about whether she will seek a fourth term.
The last day to register to vote in the town election is April 19, and the last day to request a mail-in ballot is May 3. —Amelia Roth-Dishy
Unlike the other Outer Cape towns, in Eastham the head election official, the town clerk, is itself an elected job. Incumbent clerk Cindy Nicholson has decided to retire after four years, meaning the clerk’s office will be one of a few races that won’t have any incumbents at the May 16 election.
Nicholson said she is supporting the assistant town clerk, Linda Sassi, in her run for the clerk’s office. Sassi is the only person who has pulled papers for that position so far.
Just over half of Massachusetts towns still elect their town clerk, Nicholson said, but the trend has been to make it a regular staff position, hired by the town manager or administrator.
In 2018, Eastham’s voters considered and rejected a charter change that would have made the town clerk an appointed position. Nicholson favors the status quo.
“The number one seller to keep this position elected is that the obligation is to the people, not the corner office,” she said. “It is of course essential to be part of the team, but my real responsibility is to the town’s citizens.”
One advantage of an appointed clerk is that the pool of candidates can be larger, Nicholson said. One must be a registered voter in Eastham to stand for the elected job, which currently pays $84,000.
“This is a respectable and well-paid position, and I will miss the challenges and especially the people I work with,” Nicholson said. “Would I do it again? Absolutely. I just wish the opportunity had arisen sooner in my life.”
Sassi “is willing and able to do a great job, is now certified as a municipal clerk, and has my full support,” Nicholson added.
Two select board seats will appear on the ballot this May. Incumbent Arthur Autorino told the Independent he will run for another three-year term, while incumbent Aimee Eckman said she has not yet made up her mind. The upcoming term would be her fifth, Eckman said, after two terms from 2008 to 2014, and another two from 2017 to now.
In the two seats that are up on the elementary school committee, Judy Lindahl has already decided not to run for re-election, while Erin Ellis said she is undecided.
Likewise, Sarah Burrill is not sure if she will run for another five-year term on the Eastham Housing Authority.
Town Moderator W. Scott Kerry is running for re-election, however, as are both incumbents on the board of library trustees, Mary Shaw and Ignatius “Al” Alfano.
The last day to register to vote in the town election is April 21, and the last day to request a mail-in ballot is May 9. —K.C. Myers