BY JENNIFER SOLIS
---- — WEST NEWBURY — A member of the Finance Committee has returned nomination papers for a three-year term on the Board of Selectmen, while a former selectman is now seeking endorsements to place his name on the ballot for a spot on the Board of Assessors.
Town Clerk Michael McCarron reported on Friday that Joe Anderson has turned in his papers in hopes of filling a municipal post currently held by Selectman Dick Cushing, who announced he is not seeking a fifth term.
Anderson, who has lived in town for over a decade, has served for nine years on the Finance Committee and as its vice chairman for the past three years.
Previously a member of the Regional Dispatch Study Committee and the Zoning Board of Appeals, Anderson believes his collective municipal experience will limit the learning curve should he be chosen as the next selectman. He feels he has the skills to help address the long-term financial challenges the town faces, particularly in the area of managing future school facility upgrades within Proposition 2 1/2.
Anderson said he jumped into the race because he had heard there were already two other candidate circulating papers and he wanted to give voters a third choice.
Kristi Devine, who has twice pulled papers for selectman and ran for the post once, and newcomer Michael Vetrano are both circulating papers for Cushing’s seat.
McCarron also noted that former Selectman Tom Atwood has pulled papers for the Board of Assessors and the selectmen’s current chairman, Bert Knowles, has done the same for a spot on the Board of Water Commissioners. Knowles is the incumbent for that seat.
Incumbent Chris Wile returned papers for another term on the Pentucket Regional School Committee last week.
But according to McCarron, as of Friday no one has formerly indicated an interest in running for Board of Park and Recreation commissioner or one of the three open seats on the Board of Library Trustees.
The last day to pull papers is Friday 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.
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, who is now U.S. secretary of state.
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 registering 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 join Sen. Elizabeth Warren in the U.S. Congress.