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Town election season begins

Potential candidates for local offices must file this month

BRATTLEBORO—The New Year is only days old, but Town Clerks are looking ahead to Town Meeting season and municipal elections.

Brattleboro Town Clerk Annette Cappy has her 2016 town and school district election calendar at the ready.

According to Cappy, candidates (town and school) seeking re-election must file with her office by 5 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 19.

New candidates for town or school positions and Town Meeting Members have until Monday, Jan. 25 by 5 p.m.

Petitions for Town Officers must contain at least 30 valid signatures of registered Brattleboro voters and be filed in the Town Clerk’s office for their names to appear on the ballot.

According to Cappy, candidates for Town Meeting Member must file a nomination petition with at least 10 valid signatures of voters from the district where the candidate lives.

Between the town and school’s elected positions, 12 will open up this year. Most are one-year terms.

On the town side of the ballot: Town Moderator (currently held by Lawrin Crispe); a three-year term for Town Lister (Eric Annis); First and Second Constable (Steven Rowell and Richard H. Cooke); and a three-year term for Trustee of Public Funds (Marshall Wheelock).

Three Selectboard seats are also up for grabs — a three-year seat currently held by Vice-Chair Kate O’Connor, and two one-year seats now held by Chair David Gartenstein and Donna Macomber.

Gartenstein and O’Connor said they will run for re-election, while Macomber says she will not run again.

If re-elected, Gartenstein wrote in an email that it would be his sixth term on the board.

O’Connor, if re-elected, would serve a second term.

When asked in a phone interview why she planned to run again, O’Connor answered that she wanted to see through to the end a number of projects, including the Police-Fire Facilities project.

O’Connor also commented that she enjoys working with new Town Manager Peter Elwell and wants to continue working on economic development initiatives.

If elected, O’Connor will continue balancing her work on the board with her position as executive director of the Brattleboro Area Chamber of Commerce, and as chair of the Nuclear Decommissioning Citizens Advisory Committee.

In an email, Macomber wrote, “I will miss working with the other members of the Board. I am privileged to have dipped my toe into the ‘waters’ of elected office and had such fabulous people by my side.”

“A highlight for me has been interviewing and hiring our current town manager,” Macomber wrote. “Peter is an incredible leader and a stellar human being.”

Macomber continued, “We are blessed with superb department heads and dedicated staff. And nobody has the smooth charm of our very own Jan Anderson. I call her the ‘heart’ of our local governmental ‘body.’”

Macomber says she will continue serving on the board for EmergeVT, which aims to increase the number of women elected to local and state government. “A goal for me (in my lifetime) is to witness gender and racial balance in our Congress. So there’s work to do on that front. I am rolling up my sleeves!”

Three seats will open on the town school board: a 3-year term (Jill Stahl Tyler), and two 1-year terms (Todd Roach and Mark Truhan). One 3-year seat on the Brattleboro Union High School board of directors will open (Robert Woodworth).

According to Cappy, petitions for Brattleboro Town and Town School District Officers and Town Meeting Members are available at the Town Clerk’s office.

Town elections and the Presidential Primary are on Tuesday, March 1, and the annual Representative Town Meeting is on Saturday, March 19.

Voters in the Brattleboro Union High School district’s member towns will vote on the school budget on Feb. 9.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #338 (Wednesday, January 6, 2016). This story appeared on page C1.

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