Selectmen To Meet Next Week To Decide How School Committee Vacancy Will Be Filled

Below is a press release from the Wilmington Town Clerk’s Office:

WILMINGTON, MA — The Board of Selectmen have scheduled a special meeting on Wednesday, February 17, 2021 at 6:00 pm via Zoom, to consider its course of action relative to a vacancy on the School Committee that has been created as a result of the February 9, 2021 resignation of member Stephen Bjork. This resignation was announced at the February 10, 2021 School Committee meeting. Because the timing of the occurrence of this vacancy is extremely close to statutory deadlines for determining how to fill it, this document is intended to explain possible path(s) forward.

There are numerous possibilities:

1. The seat can be temporarily filled by appointment from amongst interested registered voters at a joint Board of Selectmen/remaining School Committee members meeting. This temporary appointment could run through either the 2021 or 2022 Annual Town Election, depending on the ability of the Board of Selectmen to take a series of required actions within the tight statutory deadlines under which they are operating in order to place the vacancy on the 2021 ballot.

2. If the Board of Selectmen are able to complete all necessary steps by the statutory deadline in order to place the vacancy on the 2021 ballot, they might decide not to fill the seat temporarily and instead leave it vacant until the April 24, 2021 election.

3. And finally, if the vacancy cannot be placed on the 2021 ballot, it may be placed on the 2022 ballot and the seat may be temporarily filled by the joint Board of Selectmen/remaining School Committee members’ appointment.

4. The ultimate result will be election to the vacant seat through the end of that seat’s term, which is April 30, 2023.

It is important to note that even if the vacant seat is placed on the ballot for the 2021 local election, it will be completely separate from the two school committee terms that are coming to an end this year. Those seats are already on the ballot for the 2021 Annual Town Election and nomination papers for those seats have been available since January 4, 2021.

Nomination papers for the vacant seat will specifically state that the seat will be for a term to expire on April 30, 2023, and those who have already taken papers out for the seats expiring this year would not be eligible to run for the vacant seat unless they came back and took papers for that particular seat.

A decision will be made within the next week as to how the Town will proceed, and that decision will be publicized in order that anyone interested in filling the seat, be it by appointment or by election, are provided with the necessary information and procedures to express that interest.

Please feel free to call the Office of Town Clerk at 978-658-2030 with any questions.

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