SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

March 6, 2013

Election season promises to be busy one

BY ETHAN FORMAN
STAFF WRITER

---- — DANVERS — Selectmen have decided to take a pass on state legislation that would have allowed the town to combine its municipal election with either the special U.S. Senate primary on April 30 or the Senate election on June 25.

As scheduled, the annual Town Election will be Tuesday, May 7.

As the last day to return nomination papers approaches on March 19, there are two possible contested races for townwide office, that for Board of Selectmen and Housing Authority.

Town Manager Wayne Marquis told selectmen last week that holding the Senate and town elections on the same day would still mean each election would have to be run separately at each precinct, causing logistical issues.

“Even though you could combine the election, you would need to have a separate ballot,” Marquis said at the Feb. 26 meeting.

That would require separate sign-in and sign-out tables at each precinct and increased staff to handle the workload.

Of the communities the town surveyed, most are staying with a separate elections, Marquis said.

“I think separate probably makes much more sense at this point,” Selectman Mike Powers said.

Selectman Gardner Trask suggested the board vote to affirm that stance, and it did so 5-0.

Those who have pulled nomination papers from the town clerk’s office as of 2:30 p.m. yesterday are: Moderator Pat Fraizer for a single one-year term; incumbent Selectman Dan Bennett, incumbent Selectman Keith Lucy and Foster Street resident James Mitchell for two three-year terms; incumbent School Committee member Arthur Skarmeas for a single three-year term; incumbent Library Trustees Julie Curtis and Kathleen Lopes and newcomer Natalie Luca Fiore for three three-year terms; and incumbent Housing Authority Commissioner Ann Marie Penick and Michael Swindell, whose name is listed as maintenance staff on the Housing Authority, for a single five-year term.

Several Town Meeting member races lack six candidates, with six seats up for grabs in all eight precincts.

Staff writer Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-338-2673, by email at eforman@salemnews.com or on Twitter at @DanverSalemNews.