Local towns need candidates to fill vacancies in many positions
by Jack Deming
Jan 24, 2014 | 2066 views | 0 0 comments | 80 80 recommendations | email to a friend | print
DEERFIELD VALLEY- Throughout the Deerfield Valley, some of the highest municipal offices are up for election at Town Meeting, but so far, very few positions have seen challengers throw their hats in the ring and take out a petition. The deadline for turning in nomination papers is Monday, January 27, at 5 pm, and those who take out petitions, including incumbents, may decide not to turn them in. If the current trend continues, however, some incumbents may find themselves sailing into another term unopposed. This article looks at the selectboard, school board, treasurer, and town clerk vacancies in a number of area municipalities.

Readsboro

A floor vote may determine the landscape of two town selectboards this year, as Searsburg and Readsboro each feature a selectboard seat that has yet to find a petitioner. In Readsboro, incumbent selectboard member and chair Teddy Hopkins has so far not taken out a petition to return, leaving a one-year term vacant. Last year, no petition was taken for a seat left vacant by then selectboard chair Ray Eilers, and Helyn Strom-Henriksen was voted in with a write-in victory at Town Meeting. Current school board member Larry Hopkins has taken out nomination papers to return for another term, while town clerk and treasurer Amber Holland has taken out papers for those positions as well, each a three-year term. Both Hopkins and Holland are the only petitioners so far for those vacancies.

Searsburg

There has yet to be any interest shown in a two-year selectboard term in Searsburg, as neither incumbent Tony Kilbride nor anyone else has taken out a petition. The three-year selectboard term held by Matthew Somerville is also up for election and Somerville is, as yet, the only one to take out a petition. Searsburg’s school board positions are elected from the floor at Town Meeting.

Whitingham

Whitingham has open positions at town treasurer, two positions on the school board, and three on the selectboard. According to town clerk Almira Aekus, all three members of the selectboard, Keith Bronson, Alan Twitchell, and Greg Brown, are looking to serve again and are the only ones to take out a petition for their respective current positions. Seth Boyd and Aimee Reed are both looking to serve as school board members again, and thus far look as though they will be running unopposed. Aekus meanwhile has taken out papers for another one-year term as treasurer.

Halifax

In Halifax, Patricia Dow is the only person to have taken out a petition to return as treasurer and town clerk, while Paul Blais looks to return as a school board member on a three-year term, and Lewis Sumner looks to return to the selectboard.

While the aforementioned towns have no current challenges, both Dover and Wilmington may see elections for positions on their respective selectboards.

Dover

According to Dover Town Clerk Andy McLean, selectboard members Randy Terk and Linda Holland have both taken out petitions for their respective two- and three-year terms on the selectboard that are open this year. According to McLean, he is unsure who else has taken out a petition for a selectboard position, but he has heard that someone other than Holland is petitioning for the three-year seat. Jollene Mahon and Rich Werner’s two- and three-year seats on the school board are also up for election this year and both are the only people to have taken out petitions.

Wilmington

In Wilmington, selectboard chair Meg Streeter has not taken out nomination papers to be reelected on a three-year term and is expected to retire from the board this year. Current selectboard member Susie Haughwout’s seat is also up for election, but Haughwout has instead taken papers out for the three-year term. With two open seats on Wilmington’s selectboard, two other petitions have been taken out for those seats. Also town clerk of Wilmington, Haughwout declined to say who the petitioners were. A three-year term and a two-year term are also up for election on the town’s school board, seats currently held by Adam Grinold and Kathy Larsen.
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