Well, it’s paper pulling time! That’s right – as of Tuesday, January 22, the Town Clerk is providing nomination papers to anyone who would like to run for local office this year. This year’s town election, to be held on Tuesday, May 7, is likely to be a time of significant transition for North Reading.
Several long-term fixtures of local government have announced they will not be seeking re-election, leaving the races open for fresh faces of any age or experience. Each of these distinguished public servants have encouraged their fellow townspeople to run for office and for the chance to serve and guide this town.
Multiple positions are available on four different boards, in addition to the Town Moderator position. This year there are 8 elected positions open, so there are many opportunities available to participate in our Town Government, summarized below. For each of the official requirements, a link is provided to the relevant governmental website.
DISCLAIMER: The North Reading Town Clerk, Town Hall and Town Government are not affiliated with NRVotes in any way. The final, exhaustive requirements and deadlines for everything related to running for office should be taken from the official governmental websites linked below, not this NRVotes site. However, NRVotes hopes the following information can assist candidates and voters by providing many details and links in one place.
What does it take to run for office in North Reading? Check out this summary guide:
- Check that you meet the requirements:
- Must be at least 18 years of age
- Must be a registered voter of the Town
- Check out the positions open for this year’s town election:
- Selectmen: 3-year term, 2 positions available (neither incumbent seeking re-election)
- Moderator: 1-year term, 1 position available
- School Committee: 3-year term, 2 positions available (one incumbent not seeking re-election)
- Community Planning Commission: 3-year term, 2 positions available
- Housing Authority: 5-year term, 1 position available
- Learn about the responsibilities of your position of interest
- Click on the position above to read more about it, its members, and its meeting schedule
- Attend that position’s public meetings
- Contact current or past people who have held that position and see if they’ll do an ‘informational interview’ with you
- Prepare the nomination papers and submit by March 19, 2019 to get on the ballot:
- Obtain the papers from the Town Clerk’s Office (available now)
- Get at least 50 signatures (please get many more than 50, as illegible, duplicate, or out-of-town signatures will not count). See MA’s general candidates guide for info about legitimate signatures and other helpful info
- Turn in to the Town Clerk’s Office by 5:00 pm on Tuesday, March 19, 2019
- Learn about and conduct your campaign funding legally:
- Learn about the Office for Campaign and Political Finance (OCPF): attend one of OCPF’s weekly seminars (Wednesdays at 2 pm in Boston) or their many workshops
- Decide whether to form a campaign committee. This is optional at the local office level and depends on whether/how you want to fund your campaign. But if you are a public employee who wants to raise campaign funds, you must do it through a campaign committee.
- If forming a campaign committee, you must register with OCPF
- If not forming a campaign committee, as a “local filer” you still have the option to submit your forms to the Town Clerk via their online tool (Reporter 7). Submit this form and watch this video about using Reporter 7 to manage all campaign finance reporting requirements
- Look through this guide for running your campaign and fundraisers legally
- Keep track of all campaign finances and submit them to the Town Clerk on time (usually at least 10 days before the election)
- Be aware of additional campaign reporting requirements after this first deadline (early June)
- Campaign tips (all optional):
- Look for an email from nrvotes.org on March 25, 2019 and fill out your candidate information by April 7, 2019 to be featured on the nrvotes.org online Voters’ Guide (not affiliated with our Town Hall or government in any way)
- Participate in North Reading Community Connection‘s online Candidate Q&A. Join their facebook group and nrvotes.org will be in contact with all candidates starting March 25 to arrange your Q&A sessions (held between April 22 and May 5)
- Review past elections to learn about voter patterns in North Reading