Town Election Update: Final Day to Submit Nomination Papers, Who’s On the Ballot, Scientist Seek Schools Seat,

Photo: Andrea Prestwich submitting her papers.

It’s Deadline Day

Today, Tuesday, Feb. 16, at 5 p.m. is the deadline for residents seeking to be on the Town Election Ballot for town-wide elected office or Town Meeting member. No ifs, and’s, or buts.

Who’s on the Ballot for Town-Wide Office as of Tuesday morning

Below are the candidates certified by the Town Clerk’s Office for the elected town-wide races, so what you’re looking at is the draft ballot for the April 5 Town Election unless others who took out nomination papers submit them today.

Moderator (vote for one)

  • Mike Widmer, candidate for re-election, for one year.

Board of Selectmen (vote for one)

  • Mark Paolillo, candidate for re-election, for three years.

Town Clerk (vote for one)

  • Ellen O’Brien Cushman, candidate for re-election, for three years.

Board of Assessors (vote for one)

  • Charles R. Laverty, III, candidate for re-election, for three years.

Board of Cemetery Commissioners (vote for one)

  • William Chemelli, candidate for re-election, for three years.

Board of Health (vote for one)

  • Julie LeMay, for three years.

Members of the Housing Authority (vote for one, five years; vote for one, three years)

  • Anne Barrington Mahon, for five years.
  • Matthew Sullivan, for five years.
  • Tommasina Anne Olson, for three years.

Trustees of the Public Library (vote for two for three years)

  • Mark Carthy, candidate for re-election, for three years.
  • Mary Donahue Stearns, for three years.

Members of the School Committee (vote for two for three years, vote one for one year)

  • Sabri Murat Bicer, for three years.
  • Andrea Prestwich, for three years.

To discover who has qualified to run for Town Meeting, head to the Town Clerk’s website.

The Science of Running for School Committee

On one of the coldest days of the year, Andrea Prestwich walked from her home on Alexander Avenue to Town Hall to submit her nomination papers for a run to fill one of the two three-year seats on the School Committee.

But for Prestwich, the single-digit temperatures is nothing compared to where she’s employed where the “outside” temperature is a constant -270.45 Celsius. Prestwich is an astrophysicist at the Smithsonian Observatory at Harvard and works in the environs of deep space.

Prestwich, who has 13-year-old twins, Christopher and Katie, attending the Chenery Middle School, is best known outside the observatory as a champion of starting the school day later to provide students more time to sleep.

In addition to bringing what she calls a major health issue of sleep deprivation to the forefront, Prestwich has other issues on her agenda. As a scientist, Prestwich would also like to have input on the district’s STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) curriculum as well as emphasizing special education and supporting the district’s music program (she is a POMS member).

“Belmont schools face a great number of challenges such as the need for a new High School and dealing with spiraling enrollment. We have a world-class education system, and I want it to stay that way,” she said.

A political neophyte, Prestwich – who has lived for nearly 20 years in Belmont with her husband, who is an astronomer – admits seeking elected office is “terrifying” especially since until the previous week she “never once thought about running for anything.”

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