LENOX -- Wanted: A few good men and women to fill Town Hall vacancies.
With local election deadlines looming, very few candidates have surfaced so far for openings on the Board of Selectmen, the Planning Board and various town committees.
The Lenox Democratic Town Committee has slated its annual caucus to nominate candidates seeking election to town positions or boards from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 18, at Town Hall.
The deadline for candidates seeking any of the available offices is 4 p.m. today, either to Channing Gibson, committee secretary, or the Town Clerk Jen Picard. Nomination papers are available from the town clerk’s office.
Nominees will be selected for moderator, Board of Selectmen, School Committee, Board of Assessors, Board of Health, Planning Board and Housing Authority. The meeting is open only to registered Democrats who are encouraged to attend and vote for the candidates of their choice.
Registered Democratic candidates who receive the most votes for each position will have their name placed on the ballot as the town’s Democratic Party nominee for the annual town election on Monday, May 5.
More information is available from Gibson at (413) 637-5686 or Democratic Committee Chairman Ken Fowler at (413) 329-7850.
Candidates running independently have until 4 p.m. March 17 to submit nomination papers signed by 38 currently registered Lenox voters.
For the open Select Board seat vacated by John McNinch, who chose not to seek re-election, Warren Archey has returned nomination papers.
Archey is the retired head of the state’s Bureau of Forestry, part of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. He is a board member of the Lenox Land Trust and is tree warden for the town.
Select Board Chairman David Roche, whose term expires in May, is running for re-election.
Two Planning Board vacancies for five-year terms are up for grabs following the recent death of Stephen Sample, a longtime board member, and the resignation of member Gary Schiff.
In addition, a three-year term for the seat currently held by Kameron Spaulding will be on the May 5 ballot. Spaulding, who was appointed last August to fill out Kimberly Flynn’s term after she resigned, has filed nomination papers with the Democratic Committee.
Anyone with an interest in land issues is qualified, along with a willingness to go through an informational handbook that covers state law and local zoning bylaws, said Kate McNulty Vaughan. She also cited "an interest in trying to engage with the public and being open to helping people who come in, as well as the broader issues in planning." Currently, meetings are held on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month at 6 p.m.
"It’s really getting difficult to recruit people," said McNulty Vaughan. She attributed the challenge to the prevalence of two-income families. Controversial projects also tend to stoke interest, she added.
For School Committee, with two three-year seats up for election, only incumbent Michael Moran has returned nomination papers. Other slots on the ballot include a one-year term as town moderator, three-year terms on the Board of Assessors and Board of Health, and a five-year Housing Authority term.
To contact Clarence Fanto:
firstname.lastname@example.org or (413) 637-2551.
On Twitter: @BE_cfanto