By MAUREEN DOHERTY
LYNNFIELD — The contested race for the lone three-year seat on the Board of Selectmen has certainly generated much interest town-wide in an otherwise sleepy annual town election.
Polls will be open Monday, April 13 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Lynnfield High School, 275 Essex St. All voters from each of the town’s four precincts vote in the school’s gymnasium.
Selectman candidates Christopher Barrett and Cathleen “Katy” Shea have both campaigned hard to get their respective messages heard by the voters. They are vying for the seat currently held by Selectmen Chairman Dave Nelson, who announced in December that he would not be seeking re-election for the seat after serving one three-year term.
Shea, of 7 Daventry Court, announced her candidacy in December. A Lynnfield native and LHS graduate, this is her first run for elective office. She has been an active participant at Town Meeting and regular attendee of Selectmen’s meetings. She received her bachelor’s degree from Bentley, holds an MBA from Northeastern and currently runs a family business with her husband. She also launched the blog Lynnfield Initiative For Transparency (LIFT).
Barrett, of 38 Fairview Ave., is the current chairman of the School Committee, having served one three-year term on the board. In February, Barrett opted to run for the open selectman’s seat instead of pursuing a second three-year term on the school board.
Barrett is also a Lynnfield native, a graduate of LHS, obtained his bachelor’s degree from Merrimack College and holds an MBA from the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst. Currently, he is an assistant principal in the Everett Public Schools and serves as the vice chairman of the Lynnfield Catholic Collaborative Parish Pastoral Council. Prior to entering the education field, he ran a private business and served as director of Municipal Affairs for Gov. Mitt Romney and as Chief of Staff for Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey.
In addition to voting for their next selectman, voters will be casting ballots on Monday for eight other candidates who are running for seats to serve the town on six other boards. Although each of these candidates is running unopposed, three of them are running for seats that opened up after their current office holders decided not to seek re-election.
There are two open seats on the School Committee. Salvatore Cammarata is running for a second three-year term on the school board and Timothy Doyle is seeking the three-year term formerly held by Barrett. Doyle previously served on the School Committee from 2000-2012.
There are two candidates for two three-year terms for Library Trustee. E. Seavey Bowdoin is running for the seat he has held for 34 years and Russell Boekenkroeger Jr. is running for the seat formerly held for 21 years by Kerry Haughney, who opted not to seek re-election.
Don Garrity is running for a second three-year term on the Board of Assessors; Arthur J. Bourque III is running for re-election as Town Moderator, which is a one-year term.
In addition, Planning Board Chairman John Faria is seeking re-election to another five-year term and Michael Walsh is running for a five-year term on the Housing Authority for the seat currently held by Bruce Siegel, who opted not to seek re-election.
A specimen ballot is printed in today’s Villager.
Over 9,200 voters
According to Town Clerk Trudy Reid, there are currently 9,253 registered voters in town. She anticipates a voter turnout between 20 to 25 percent.
“Last year since there were no contested races, Lynnfield only saw about a 5 percent turnout. The two years before (2012 and 2013), the voter turnout was somewhere between 18-20 percent. Typically, for a contested race(s), I plan on 20-25 percent turnout,” Reid told the Villager.
Voters can still request absentee ballots until noon on Friday, April 10. Technically, voters can request that the ballot be mailed to them but at this late date it is not guaranteed that the voter will receive the ballot on time in order to return it to the Clerk no later than the close of polls on April 13 at 8 p.m., Reid said. Therefore, anyone who calls this week inquiring about absentee voting will be encouraged to come down to Town Hall to vote their ballot at the counter, she said.
How to vote when listed as “inactive”
Those voters who have not returned their annual town census may find upon checking in at the polls that their names have been marked as “inactive” on the voting rolls. Voters can still cast a ballot in the election but, Reid explained, there is a procedure inactive voters are required to follow in order to cast their ballot.
“If this happens, they will see the Warden who will ask the voter to complete the ‘Affirmation of Current and Continuous Residence for Inactive Voters’ form and show ID. Once this is completed, they will be allowed to vote. This process could take 5 to 10 minutes,” Reid said, so plan accordingly.
However, since Reid won’t be running the final voters list until Thursday afternoon or Friday morning, residents still have time to avoid this hassle by returning their annual census form today or tomorrow, she said.
The census form must be signed but it can be scanned with the signature and e-mailed to: [email protected]. Or simply drop it off in person at the Town Clerk’s office at Town Hall, 55 Summer St., or drop it in the mail.