DERBY – A special election will be held Nov. 27 to elect the Derby Town Clerk and Town Treasurer.
Those wishing to run for the position need to circulate a petition and receive enough signatures from registered voters by October 22. The select board Monday evening did not know if 30 or 35 votes are required, but assistant clerk Nancy Gosselin said Tuesday that 30 signatures are needed.
Generally, the clerk and treasurer positions are held by the same person, but they could be separated into two. And according to state statutes, the town treasurer is the school treasurer as well by default unless a town elects to have the positions separated.
Former Town Clerk and Treasurer Nicole Daigle resigned at the end of September, but before she left she brought in Faye Morin as her replacement and trained her for the position. Some residents stated openly that they did not approve of the move by Daigle. Some thought the position should have been advertised. A petition calling for a special election was circulated and more than enough signatures were collected.
But three members of the select board decided to appoint Morin to the position in order to a have town clerk and treasurer until the election.
A special meeting was held Monday to set the election date and decide how much time to give interested individuals to collect signatures on a petition. The signatures have to be turned in about six weeks prior to the election so ballots can be printed.
Select board chairman Brian Smith said he wished the election could happen during the Nov. 6th general election, saying it will cost the town about $1,500, and all that time and energy.
Select person Laura Dolgin added, “And they’re going to have to do this again in March.”
“Well, that’s neither here nor there, I guess,” Smith stated.
“There’s no guessing. You have a petition before you,” board member Beula Jean Shattuck said.
The meeting was quiet compared to the last several meetings, but the board was again divided. Select board members Karen Jenne and Shattuck wanted to give candidates two weeks to collect the signatures with an election in early December, but member Laura Dolgin thought one week was plenty of time.
“It seems to me the sooner we can do this the better service we're providing the town,” Dolgin stated.
Jenne and Shattuck pointed out that November 27 is the Tuesday following the Thanksgiving Holiday and people may be travelling. Resident Maureen Fountain agreed and added that it would give the town time to prepare following the general election in early November. She said giving the extra week would keep everything “fair and square.”
But Dolgin moved to have it earlier and board member Steve Gendreau seconded the motion. Smith broke the tie to pass the motion. “Well I’m in favor of getting it over with. So the motion carries,” Smith declared.
Gendreau asked about the pay following the election, and the board said those in the office will have to use the budget already approved until next Town Meeting.