LYNNFIELD — There are now two contested races in the April 12 Town Election.

Town Clerk Linda Emerson informed the Villager on Monday that Lynnfield Historical Society Treasurer Bob Gillon pulled nomination papers for a three-year term on the Select Board. The Main Street resident is challenging Select Board Chairman Dick Dalton, who is running for a third three-year term. Emerson certified Dalton’s nomination papers last month.

The Select Board severed ties with the Historical Society last August due to the nonprofit organization’s 501(c)(3) nonprofit status getting revoked in September 2011. The Historical Society’s nonprofit status was revoked because Society officials did not file a Form 990-series return form for three consecutive years. According to Town Counsel Tom Mullen, the Society “failed to file tax returns for several years.”

Gillon informed the Historical Society’s Board of Directors in a Sept. 18, 2021 email that the nonprofit’s 501(c)(3) status was reinstated. Mullen informed the Select Board during an August 2021 meeting that the Society registered with the Attorney General Office’s Division of Public Charities in July 2021.

Mullen recalled in an Aug. 26, 2021 letter sent to the Select Board that a Town Meeting vote in 1960 authorized the Historical Society to operate and maintain the Meeting House on the town’s behalf. He expressed concerns about the town continuing its relationship with the Society due to legal reasons.

“I was surprised to learn that the town has for many years, without any written agreement, permitted the Society to arrange rentals of the Meeting House, to collect rental payments and to apply the proceeds to the cost of maintaining the building, all without periodic accountings,” Mullen stated. “I have reviewed the 1960 Town Meeting vote that purported to authorize something like this relationship. Whatever the state of the law at that time, it is clear that the vote did not (as, indeed, it could not) convey the real property to the Society (a private organization), and that it gave the selectmen (as they were then known) veto power over any expenditure made to repair or improve the building.

“I have been informed that it has been many years since the Society sought or obtained approval for such expenditures (if it ever did),” Mullen continued. “Under current law, no private organization such as the Society could be given control of a town-owned property to run and profit from it as it sees fit, at least without a public bidding process under General Law Chapter 30B, designed to ensure that the town received the most advantageous terms possible.”

Mullen recommended that the Historical Commission, a government board that is not affiliated with the Historical Society, be put in charge of maintaining and coordinating rentals of the Meeting House permanently. The Historical Commission started overseeing the Meeting House after the town suspended its relationship with the Society in March 2021.

After Mullen unveiled his recommendation to the Select Board during a meeting last August, the board unanimously voted to put the Historical Commission in charge of the Meeting House and severed ties with the Society. Gillon and his wife, Historical Society President Linda Gillon, as well as a small group of Society members in attendance were prohibited from speaking at the meeting.

Subsequently, the Gillons and other Society members blamed the Select Board and Historical Commission Chairman Kirk Mansfield for causing the Society’s relationship with the town to be severed. Society officials and members were also angry that the town decided to have the Historical Commission bring back the Country Store fundraiser last December.

Gillon attended Monday’s Select Board meeting and waved to Dalton, Town Administrator Rob Dolan, Select Board member Joe Connell and Assistant Town Administrator Bob Curtin before taking his seat in the audience.

The Villager sent Gillon an email asking why he has decided to run for Select Board, which is the newspaper’s standard practice for candidates running for office. He informed the Villager after Monday’s meeting he was not sure if he would be able to send a statement by the 9 a.m. deadline on Tuesday, but he would respond at a later date.

In addition to the Select Board race, there is currently a three-candidate race for School Committee. Chairman Rich Sjoberg and Vice Chairwoman Stacy Dahlstedt are facing off against Homestead Road resident Corrie J. Luongo.

Town Clerk Linda Emerson certified Luongo’s nomination papers on Tuesday, Feb. 1, and the political newcomer is running for a three-year term. Dahlstedt, who is looking to serve a second three-year term, had her nomination papers certified by Emerson last month. Sjoberg is running for a third three-year term.

Emerson also informed the Villager that Planning Board Chairman Brian Charville pulled nomination papers on Monday. He is running for a second five-year term.

Library Trustees Vice Chairwoman Faith Honer-Coakley has pulled nomination papers and is running for a fifth three-year term.

In addition to Honer-Coakley, Library Trustee Richard Mazzola also pulled papers for the Town Election. He is running for a third three-year term.

Town Moderator Joseph Markey is running for a fourth one-year term. Markey’s nomination papers were certified last month.

Housing Authority Board of Commissioners member Stephanie Petty has also pulled nomination papers. She is running for a five-year term.

Board of Assessors member Richard O’Neil Jr. has also pulled nomination papers. He is running for a three-year term.

Candidates who pull nomination papers are required to receive at least 50 signatures of registered voters in order to have a their name appear on the ballot. The last day to submit nomination papers is Tuesday, Feb. 22 at 5 p.m.