NEWBURY — With the start of the election season one month away, Town Clerk Leslie Haley has begun compiling a list of seats that will appear on the annual ballot on May 14, along with the names of the incumbents who currently fill those positions. Residents may begin pulling nomination papers at the town clerk’s office on Feb. 1.
So far, Haley has identified 13 municipal seats to be filled, but stressed yesterday that her list was in draft form only. She said rumors of a possible resignation could wind up altering the list, but she hasn’t confirmed anything on it yet.
Topping the list of incumbents whose posts are up for three-year terms this spring is Chuck Bear of the Board of Selectmen. Other incumbents are Peter Murphy, Board of Assessors; Alba Goudlthorpe, Board of Health; Robin Williams, Triton Regional School Committee; Douglas Noyes, Trustee of the First Settlers Burial Ground; and Charles Colby, fish commissioner.
A three-year seat on the Board of Library Trustees, currently held by Richard Passeri, will also be on the ballot. Last fall Passeri was appointed to finish a term formerly held by Lois Smith, who passed away. The appointment was valid until the town election in May. Library Director Amy Sadkin was uncertain whether Passeri, who currently serves as the board’s chairman, would be seeking election to a full term, but she noted that anyone interested in serving is advised to first attend a board meeting to get a sense of what the position requires.
A five-year seat on the Planning Board currently held by David Powell will appear on the annual ballot, as will a four-year term for constable now held by incumbent James Cunningham and a 1-year spot as tree warden currently filled by Peter Hollis.
Two unexpired posts formerly held by life-long resident Richard “Dick” Cunningham, who passed away last June, must also be filled: a 2-year term as trustee of the First Settlers Burial Ground and 1-year as constable.
And an unexpired term for one year as fish commissioner needs a candidate. The post was held by Byfield resident Everett Davis, who passed away last April.
Because Newbury is part of the Triton Regional School District, Haley said she needs to speak with town clerks from Rowley and Salisbury before she can set final deadlines for other election season dates, such as when the nomination papers are due back and by what date when their signatures must be certified.