By MAUREEN DOHERTY
NORTH READING — Odds are strong that there will be two races on the ballot in the annual Town Election for candidates seeking a three-year term on the Select Board and the Community Planning Commission.
Tuesday, March 14 at 5 p.m. was the deadline for candidates to submit their nomination papers to the Town Clerk’s office with a minimum of 50 signatures of certified town voters to get their names on the ballot.
Mother Nature tossed a wrinkle in that deadline with the arrival of a nor’easter that prompted schools and municipal buildings to close at midday while the library was closed all day. Since the town’s public safety buildings never close, candidates were given the option to turn in their paperwork to the North Reading Police Station by 5 p.m. to meet the deadline. A notice was sent out via all the town’s social media channels that Town Hall would be closing at 11 a.m.
At press time Wednesday morning, Assistant Town Clerk Stephanie Connolly told the Transcript that the last two candidates were able to drop off their paperwork to Town Hall by 11 a.m. Tuesday and they were working on certifying those signatures. Both of the candidates are seeking to run for the CPC, incumbent Chairman Christopher Hayden of 20 Swan Pond Rd. and newcomer Jeffrey Griffin of 31 Abbott Rd.
The Town Clerk’s office had previously certified that both candidates for Select Board had met the criteria, which sets up a race between incumbent Vice Chair Vincenzo Stuto, 122 Elm St., and newcomer Jack Carroll, 40 Main St., Apt. 21.
The first candidate to be certified was incumbent School Committee Chair Scott Buckley, 5 Alden St., with 123 signatures. Last week the Transcript incorrectly stated that none of the candidates in this year’s election had been certified with six days remaining to the deadline, but Buckley had already been certified. He is running unopposed for another three-year term.
Also certified this week was incumbent Town Moderator John J. Murphy, 13 Duane Dr. It is the only elected position on the ballot that is re-elected annually under the town’s charter.
This is the odd year in the town election cycle when only one seat is up for reelection on each of the town’s three five-member boards – Select Board, School Committee and Community Planning Commission.
Voter registration deadline
The last day residents may register to vote in the Tuesday, May 2 Town Election is Saturday, April 22, 2023. Town Hall will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. that day. Residents may also register to vote online or check their voter registration status online via the secretary of the commonwealth’s website.
Those with any questions on the Town Election process may call Duplin’s office at 978-357-5218 or visit the Town Clerk’s page on the town website at northreadingma.gov.
The positions on the ballot in 2023 are:
One three-year term. The incumbent is current Select Board Vice Chair Vincenzo Stuto, 122 Elm St.
One three-year term. The incumbent is current School Committee Chair Scott T. Buckley, 5 Alden St.
COMMUNITY PLANNING COMMISSION
One three-year term. The incumbent is current CPC Vice Chair Christopher B. Hayden, 20 Swan Pond Rd.
One one-year term. The incumbent is John J. Murphy, 13 Duane Dr.