Get Your Papers & Run For Office

Phyllis Theermann

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The new year will bring a new era in Washington, with little hope of progress for our planet at the Federal level

The members of the Sustainable Wellesley leadership team are feeling that now, more than ever before, our best chance of having an impact on environmental issues will be at the local and state level. And we have heard from many of you who are feeling an urgent need to take action.

So we have a suggestion: Run for a position on a town Board or as a Wellesley Town Meeting Member!

Now is the time to get your name on the ballot.

We have made great progress on many issues of sustainability in our community

And we have a lot of room for improvement. In the face of the climate crisis, we need to elect more people for whom sustainability is among their top priorities. We are fortunate to live in a highly democratic town with many elected Boards and offices (see list below), and we have an elected Town Meeting that generally meets once a year to decide critically important issues for our town’s future.

In years past, there has been a general sense in Wellesley that departing incumbents should “choose” their successors, and incumbents or their chosen successors should run unopposed. We would like to encourage a new tradition in which it is the voters who choose among candidates and we have a polite and healthy exchange of views. No one should be discouraged from running just because someone else is running or because they weren’t “chosen” by someone who is stepping down.

If you care about our town, we encourage you to run

You can run for any Board, whether you have previously served in town government or not, and whether or not someone else is running!

There are many important issues that will be decided or voted on by Boards and by Town Meeting in the months to come, including the fate of the North 40; the closing or renovation of Hunnewell, Hardy, and Upham schools; a new private sports facility at 900 Worcester Street; our town’s commitment to renewable energy; and countless others. Stay tuned, in the coming weeks leading up to the March election Sustainable Wellesley plans to be asking candidates their opinions on these and other issues.

To run for any town position

Start by visiting the Town Clerk’s office in Town Hall. The clerk will provide you with nomination papers to gather signatures of Wellesley residents. For town Boards and offices, you will need to gather 50 signatures by January 17, 2017. For Town Meeting, you will need to gather only 10 signatures from residents of your precinct byJanuary 31, 2017. Elections will be held on Tuesday, March 7, 2017.

Here is a list of the Boards for which there are open seats, with the names of those residents who have obtained papers so far. If no one else is running you may run completely unopposed. If there are more candidates than seats then your joining the race will, at worst, get Sustainability on the agenda and the winner’s approach to conserving the character of our Town on the record. What do you have to lose?

  • Moderator (single office): Thomas Frisardi
  • Board of Assessors (one position)
  • Board of Health (one position): Shepard Cohen (incumbent)
  • Board of Public Works (one position)
  • Board of Recreation (one position)
  • Board of Selectmen (two positions): Beth Sullivan Woods; Thomas Ulfelder
  • Housing Authority (one position): Michelle Chalmers
  • Library Board of Trustees (two positions): Ann-Mara Lanza (incumbent); Ann Rappaport
  • Natural Resources Commission (two positions): Joan Gaughan (incumbent); Regina LaRocque; Lise Olney (incumbent)
  • Planning Board (one position): Catherine Johnson (incumbent)
  • School Committee (two positions)

Will you step up and be the change you want to see?

About Author

Phyllis Theermann
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COPYRIGHT © 2016 By Sustainable Wellesley

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