Published in the May 5, 2016 edition.
WAKEFIELD — Former Selectman Phyllis Hull said yesterday that she plans to go before the Board of Selectmen at their meeting on Monday night and request a Special Election to fill the seat on that board that was vacated when Betsy Sheeran was elected to the office of Town Clerk in the April 26 Annual Town Election. Sheeran resigned as a selectman with one year left on her term. A Special Election would fill that one-year term.
In that same April 26 Town Election, Hull lost her bid for for re-election to the Board of Selectmen in a five-way race for three seats. Incumbent Selectman Ann Santos was re-elected and newcomers Peter May and Tony Longo also won seats. Dan Benjamin and Phyllis Hull finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
According to new Town Clerk Betsy Sheeran, Hull turned in more than the 200 registered voters’ signatures required to call a Special Election. The Town Clerk’s Office has certified 215 signatures.
Hull said last week, “Having six members on a seven-member board is not beneficial to the town, especially if there is a three to three tie. Waiting until the next election, in my opinion, is not a good idea.”
Town Administrator Stephen P. Maio said that the selectmen must call a Special Election upon the petition of 200 registered voters. He said that voting to call a Special Election will be on the agenda of their Monday, May 9 meeting.
Sheeran said that the earliest that a Special Election can be held is 64 days the from the date that the selectmen vote to call a Special Election. According to Sheeran, the 64 days is to allow time for the process of candidates pulling nomination papers, gathering and filing signatures, certification of signatures, withdrawal of candidates and printing ballots. That means that the soonest that a Special Election could be held would be mid-July, according to Sheeran.
Hull said that she fully intends to be a candidate in a Special Election for the Board of Selectmen.