By Carol Britton Meyer
The deadline for submitting completed nomination papers for the Saturday, April 29, Town Election is less than two weeks away — March 10.
In addition to voting for candidates listed on the ballot, there will also be a potential operating override question to cover a deficit in the proposed school and municipal budgets.
“A decision has not been made yet,” Select Board Chair William Ramsey told the Hingham Anchor. “I anticipate the Select Board voting on it the week of March 6.”
In order for an override to pass, it must earn a majority vote at both the April 24 Town Meeting and at the subsequent Town Election. (More details to come.)
As of Friday, Feb. 24, five of the 12 incumbents with terms expiring this year had not taken out nomination papers — Planning Board Chair Judith Sneath, Sewer Commissioner Stephen Harold, Randall Winters of the Board of Assessors, and School Committee Chair Michelle Ayer. (The fifth incumbent with an expiring term, Ruth Bennett, is in a Select Board-appointed position on the Housing Authority so will not be on the ballot.)
Ten citizens have taken out nomination papers so far, including seven incumbents — Town Moderator Michael Puzo; Select Board Chair William Ramsey; School Committee member Jennifer Benham; Municipal Light Board member Tyler Herrald; Recreation Commissioners Vicki Donlan and Matthew LeBretton; and Board of Health member Elizabeth Eldredge.
In addition, Thomas Patch and Tracy Shriver have pulled papers for the Planning Board seat currently occupied by Sneath, and James Byrne has taken out papers for Harold’s Sewer Commission seat.
Puzo, Ramsey, Herrald, Benham, and Donlan have returned their papers.
Nomination papers are available in the Town Clerk’s Office. Potential candidates are asked to call or email ahead to schedule an appointment at (781) 741-1410. Nomination papers are due back on or before March 10. The last day to register to vote is April 14.
While 50 certified signatures of voters registered in the Town of Hingham are required to be placed on the ballot, it’s recommended that those submitting papers obtain a minimum of 75 signatures.
Those who return their completed nomination papers become official candidates once the required number of signatures is certified. Having more candidates than the number of available seats on a particular committee, commission, or board, constitutes a race.
Here’s the full list of the 12 incumbents with terms expiring in 2023:
* Town Moderator (one-year term) — Michael J. Puzo
* Select Board (three-year term) — William C. Ramsey
* Board of Assessors (three-year term) — Randall M. Winters
* Board of Health (three-year term) — Elizabeth A. Eldredge
* Municipal Light Board (three-year term) — Tyler R. Herrald
* Housing Authority (five-year term) — Ruth T. Bennett (Select Board-appointed position, so will not be on the ballot)
* School Committee (three-year term) — Michelle Ayer; Jennifer A. Benham
* Planning Board (five-year term) — Judith S. Sneath
* Sewer Commission (three-year term) — Stephen G. Harold
* Recreation Commission — Vicki Donlan (five-year term); (three-year term) — Matthew B. LeBretton (appointed to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Dwight Hartman, term ending in 2026, until the next town election).