The School Committee will have an open seat when one of its members moves out of town, and the seat will be filled by a special election that will be on the ballot during this fall’s Town Election.
In May, School Committee member Candace Miller announced she would be stepping down from her seat because she and her family are moving. She told her colleagues on June 5, and submitted her letter of resignation to the Town Clerk that week saying she will officially step down on Aug. 5.
The decision of how the remaining 2 years and two months is made by the Town Council. Tuesday night Council President Mark Sideris recommended that a special election be called.
The other option would have been for the Town Council to allow the School Committee to choose someone to fill the spot.
“I think it is appropriate to allow voters to choose the candidate,” Sideris said. “The person will take office immediately after the election.”
The timing works well with the Town Election coming up in November, Sideris said.
“Papers are available now and are due on July 31,” Sideris said. “There is sufficient time gather signatures.”
While the person who will fill the vacant seat will be elected in November, the seat will appear separately from the three School Committee seats that are appearing on the ballot.
If the opening came at another time, however, the other option was added during the most recent Town Charter Review. Calling a special election comes with a hefty price tag.
“It would cost approximately $12,000 to organize (a special) election,” Sideris said.
The following is the text of the motion passed by the Town Council:
1. Nomination papers shall be available Wednesday June 14, and will be due no later than Monday, July 31 at 5:00 PM.
2. If more than two candidates are certified to be placed on the ballot, a Preliminary Election will be held Tuesday, September 19, in accordance with Section 7-4 of the Charter.
3. The person certified by the Election Commission as a successful candidate on November 7 shall immediately be sworn in to serve the remainder of the vacant term.