Considering Running for Elected Office in Belmont? No Time Like the Present

Photo: It’s getting close to the deadline for nomination papers to be submitted.

Ellen Cushman, Belmont’s Town Clerk, announced this week that nomination papers for Town Offices are available for those running for office.

All candidates must be registered voters of Belmont.

Belmont’s form of government is a representative Town Meeting and we have seven elected boards, commissions and committees. Town Meeting makes all of the decisions about the Town’s budgets, local bylaws and town-wide initiatives. As a representative Town Meeting, only elected Town Meeting Members can debate and vote, unlike the Open Town Meeting some smaller towns use. Annual Town Meeting takes place in the spring, and typically is held for four evenings, (customarily Monday and Wednesday) in early May then early June for another two to four evenings. All sessions start at 7 p.m.

Each voting precinct in Belmont has 36 Town Meeting Members, elected by voters of that precinct at the April Town Election. Twelve Representative Town Meeting Members for each precinct are elected annually for a three year term. In 2019 there are also a few partial-term openings for Town Meeting; vacancies are created by Members moving or resigning. Serving in Town Meeting is a great way to represent your neighbors and neighborhood concerns, get to know other residents and become informed about issues and opportunities ahead of Town.

Stop by the Town Clerk’s office to pick up nomination papers; have your neighbors and friends, who are voters of your precinct, sign your papers and submit the signed forms to the Town Clerk by the deadline, Feb. 12, at 5 p.m. The Town Clerk’s web pages contain quite a bit of information to help make a decision to seek office at www.belmont-ma.gov  select Town Clerk, then select Running for Elected Office and Campaigning or feel free to call us at 617-993-2600, or email at townclerk@belmont-ma.gov

Running for election is simple:

  • To be nominated for Town-wide office – signatures of at least 50 registered voters of the Town are required on the nomination papers. The Town Clerk must certify these signatures so we always suggest obtaining about 20% more just to be safe.
  • To be nominated for Town Meeting – signatures of at least 25 registered voters of your precinct are required on the nomination papers. The Town Clerk must certify these signatures so we always suggest obtaining about 20% more just to be safe.  Some current Town Meeting Members will be asking the voters for re-election but all twelve seats are available in each precinct.

Here’s the list of offices that will be filled by the April 2 annual Town Election as of Jan. 24:

Town Meeting Members for Each of the Eight Precincts: Vote for 12 (three year terms)

Partial-Term Town Meeting  Members:

For Precinct 1: Vote for one, two-year term.

For Precinct 1: Vote for one, one-year term.

For Precinct 5: Vote for one, two-year term.

For Precinct 7: Vote for one, one-year term.

Town-wide Offices Number of Seats Term of Office
Moderator Vote for One 1 year
Board of Selectmen Vote for One 3 years
Town Clerk Vote for One 3 years
Board of Assessors Vote for One 3 years
Board of Cemetery Commissioners Vote for One 3 years
Board of Health Vote for One 3 years
Members of the Housing Authority Vote for One 5 years
Trustees of the Public Library Vote for Two 3 years
Members of the School Committee Vote for One 1 year
Members of the School Committee Vote for Two 3 years

 

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