By BOB TUROSZ
NORTH READING — The town’s annual May 5 election will be here sooner than you think and it’s not too soon to begin thinking about nomination papers, which will be available in the Town Clerk’s office in town hall beginning next Tuesday, Jan. 20.
One person who agrees it’s time to start thinking about the election is Selectman Stephen O’Leary, who announced on Monday night he intends to run for re–election.
O’Leary made his announcement near the end of Monday night’s Board of Selectmen’s meeting, saying he intends to seek another three–year term. O’Leary is one of two Selectmen up for re–election in May. The other is Joe Foti, who is finishing his first term.
Selectman Jeff Yull said he was glad to learn O’Leary will run again and he hopes Foti will make the same choice.
There are nine elective offices up for renewal in 2015, some for one year, others for three years and one seat for five years. In an unusual development, three of the slots to be filled on the May ballot are for the Community Planning Commission.
To qualify for the ballot, candidates must return their nomination papers with at least 50 certified signatures in the Town Clerk’s office by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 17. To avoid disappointment, it’s highly advisable to obtain more than the minimum number of signatures since some may be illegible, ineligible or duplicates.
The list of elective officers on the ballot for 2015 are:
• Two seats on the Board of Selectmen, currently held by Foti and O’Leary. Both are three year terms.
• The Town Moderator’s post, a one year term held by John Murphy.
• Two seats on the School Committee, currently held by Karen Errichetti and Gerald Venezia. Both are three year terms.
The three seats on the CPC break down this way:
• Two seats currently held by Dan Mills and Patricia Romeo. Both are for three year terms.
• A one year unexpired term currently held by William Bellavance. This represents the unexpired portion of the CPC term Neal Rooney was elected to in 2013. Rooney resigned recently and Bellavance was appointed to fill his term through May 2015. Bellavance has already said he will be a candidate in May to fill the seat through 2016.
• One five year term on the North Reading Housing Authority, currently held by Mary Prenney.
The last day to register to vote in the town election is Wednesday, April 15, at 8 p.m.