Curran, LaCourt take out papers for 1-year-seat
For the first time since 1974, the annual town election will offer voters a ballot that includes three seats for the Board of Selectmen. On Monday, Jan. 24, selectmen voted, 3-0, to add a special election for the one-year seat that opened up with the resignation of Jack Hurd.
Hurd, who has taken out papers for town clerk, submitted a letter that says he is resigning as a selectman April 1. The annual town election is the next day. The move avoids having to appoint an interim selectman or having a separate election.
Meanwhile, Joseph E. Curran, a School Committee member whose term ends in April, has taken out papers for the one-year seat for selectman on Tuesday, Jan. 25. Annie LaCourt did so the next day.
Kurt Fusaris's blog (opinion), Jan. 27: LaCourt vs. Curran is new vs. old Arlington
"It's important that all will be by the book," said Selectman Clarissa Rowe before voting. "I want to avoid the mistakes made last year." Joining her in the vote were Selectman Chair Diane Mahon and Kevin Greeley, who made an appearance though recuperating from surgery.
"What they have done is extraordinary, and I’m here to honor them," Greeley said. Just as Greeley was to leave the meeting, the cable screen featured a notice of the selectmen's meeting instead of recording the event.
Out of the room for the vote were Hurd and LaCourt, who made good on her promise to take out papers to run for the one-year seat, the time left on Hurd's term. LaCourt had been up for reelection in April, but announced Jan. 11 she would not seek that post.
Curran has been asked to comment about why he may seek a one-year selectmen seat. He has also been asked why he wants to leave the School Committee. He has not yet responded.
WickedLocal reports that he spoke to an Advocate reporter Jan. 25 by phone and said that he did not feel his efforts were worthwhile on the committee and that he believed his contributions would be more valuable to the Board of Selectmen.
Others who took out papers for two three-year selectmen seats are Mahon, who is seeking reelection; Maria A. Romano, an Arlington businesswoman who lost in a run for the board last year; and Daniel J. Dunn, a Town Meeting member who had been active on the Finance Committee.
Others who have taken out papers for the three-year town clerk position are Stephanie L. Lucarelli, the assistant town clerk; and Sheri A. Baron, who has been active in the East Arlington Concerned Citizens Committee.
The town clerk's office reported that 1974 the last time three selectmen seats were on the ballot with the same profile as this year (one year to fill a vacancy and two seats for three years).
At that time, the candidates for the one-year term were Arthur J. Loud, Robert B. Walsh, Ronald A. Nigro, William W. Doe and Joseph Buckley. Walsh won. The vacancy was created by the resignation of William S. Abbott.
Hurd's Jan. 20 letter to the Board of Selectmen reads in full:
"Dear Chairwomen Mahon:
"I am writing to inform the Board of my decision to run for the office of Town Clerk in the upcoming town elections on April 2, 2011.
"Furthermore, because of my desire to allow the citizens of Arlington the opportunity to elect a successor to fill the remaining year of my term in the event I am successful, I am hereby notifying the Board through this correspondence of my resignation from the Arlington Board of Selectmen effective at the close of business on April 1, 2011.
"Serving the people of Arlington on the Board for the past 14 years has been a great honor that I will always cherish and be proud of."
Residents who are interested in running for office must return nomination papers by 5 p.m., Monday, Feb. 14, for the April 2 election.
The "mistakes" Rowe refers to are the events beginning last January, when Clerk Corinne Rainville announced her retirement. Not long after her announcement, the selectmen decided against a special election, which would cost $32,000, and backed an appointment.
The person they appointed, Hurd, in a 3-1 vote, spurred controversy. Among the five candidates was Lucarelli.
In March, Rainville took back her retirement and is serving out her term, which ends in April, and Hurd remained on the board.
What changes in School Committee race?
Now that Curran has taken out papers for the one-year seat on the Board of Selectmen, how might the dynamics of the School Committee race shift?
Curran is one of a trio of incumbents whose three-year terms are up in April. The other two are Joseph A. Curro Jr., the current committee chairman, and Leba Heigham, the current vice chair. Both have taken out papers to seek reelection.
With Curran headed toward town business and away from the schools, that leaves two newcomers to vie for the remaining seat or try to oust an incumbent. They are James L. Dolan, who chairs the Republican Town Committee, and William Hayner, a Town Meeting member.
Further, others may take out nomination papers. Here are the deadlines:
-- 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 10: to obtain blank nomination papers
-- 5 p.m. Monday, Feb. 14: to submit all nomination papers to the registrar of voters for certification of signatures.
This story was first published at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 25, and updated the next day.
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