WEST NEWBURY — The heat was turned up considerably on the local election season yesterday when two more candidates pulled nomination papers for a seat on the Board of Selectmen.
Town Clerk Michael McCarron reported yesterday that Joe Anderson of Bachelor Street and Kristi Devine of Montclair Road are now circulating papers for the three-year post currently held by Dick Cushing. Earlier this month, a third candidate, Michael Vetrano of Main Street, pulled papers for the same seat. Cushing announced last month that he would not seek a fifth term.
Anderson has served for several years on the Finance Committee; Devine is a local activist who has twice previously sought a seat on the board. Attempts this month to reach the newcomer, Vetrano, have been unsuccessful.
Voters will head to the polls six days earlier than they typically do this spring. In the interest of improving voter turnout, town leaders have decided to move the annual town election to Tuesday April 30 — the same day as a special state primary to fill the U.S. Senate seat formerly held by John Kerry.
The new polling day also means changes in the deadlines for when nomination papers may be obtained and returned. The last day to pull papers is March 8 at 5 p.m. Papers signed by at least 23 people who are registered to vote in West Newbury must be returned to the town clerk’s office by March 12 at 5 p.m.
Thirteen municipal seats will be filled on the annual ballot this year. Also circulating nomination papers are Kim Cole, Board of Health; Chris Wile, Pentucket School Committee; and Stephen Alvino, Glenn Coffin and Brian Richard for three seats as constables.
Other candidates whose three year terms expire this spring are Alexandra Guralnick, Marcia Sellos-Moura and Lucile Waehling, Board of Library Trustees; Cheryl Hoenemeyer, Board of Assessors; Greg Pope, Park and Recreation commissioner; and Albert Knowles Jr., water commissioner.
A five-year term on the Planning Board, currently held by Ann Bardeen, will also appear on the ballot in April.
The last day to register to vote at the April 29 Annual Town Meeting or in the April 30 town election is April 9. Anyone wishing to vote in the state primary on April 30 must be registered by April 10. The Board of Registrars will conduct registration in the town clerk’s office from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on April 9 and 10. In addition to regular hours at the town clerk’s office, voters may also register at the Registry of Motor Vehicles and certain other state agencies. Voter registration by mail is also permitted.
A special state-wide election is slated for Tuesday, June 25, to elect a new senator to replace Kerry, who represented Massachusetts in the Senate for 28 years. He was recently tapped to serve as U.S. secretary of state for the Obama administration.