By BOB TUROSZ
NORTH READING – School Committee member Karen Errichetti threw a new wrinkle into the run up to the annual May town election by resigning her seat on the School Committee three months before the election.
Errichetti’s resignation was received in the Town Clerk’s office on Feb. 2 and takes effect Feb. 15. The text of the letter reads:
“I am resigning my position as a member of the School Committee effective February 15, 2015. I am moving to Bridgewater to meet obligations to my family. I have very much enjoyed serving the North Reading community and I wish the School Committee and all employees of the town of North Reading best wishes for the future.”
Under state law, the vacancy created by Errichetti’s resignation can be filled temporarily by joint appointment of the remaining members of the School Committee and the Board of Selectmen until the next annual town election on May 5. However, Errichetti’s three-year term on the school board will actually expire with the upcoming town election and there are already two declared candidates for the School Committee in May: incumbent Chairman Gerald Venezia and newcomer Julie Koepke, both of whom pulled nomination papers last week.
It may be that the School Committee decides to limp along with only four members until voters can fill the seat in May, given the Selectmen’s policy of advertising vacancies on town boards and committees and the fact that no action concerning Errichetti’s resignation can take place until after the effective date of her resignation.
Including Errichetti’s soon-to-develop vacancy, there are two seats up for re-election on the school board. The other is held by Venezia, who is running for re-election.
Other seats up for renewal in the May 5 election:
TWO SEATS on the Board of Selectmen, occupied by Stephen O’Leary and Joe Foti. O’Leary has pulled papers to run for re-election, while Foti hasn’t announced his plans yet.
THREE SEATS on the Community Planning Commission currently held by Patricia Romeo, William Bellavance and Dan Mills.
THE ONE-YEAR Moderator’s post held by incumbent John Murphy.
A FIVE YEAR SEAT on the North Reading Housing Authority held by Mary Prenney, who pulled papers to run for re-election last week.
To be on the May election ballot, candidates must file nomination papers in the Town Clerk’s office by Tuesday, March 17. At least 50 voter signatures are necessary to qualify for the ballot.