Those interested in running for public office in Falmouth can pull papers starting Tuesday, February 23.
Nomination papers for the May 18 annual town election will be available at the town clerk’s office in town hall. Nomination papers will be available until March 26. The last day to return nomination papers is March 30.
“We’re open to the public,” Town Clerk Michael C. Palmer said. “They can come in anytime. Obviously, when they’re in here, there is social distancing and we’re behind Plexiglas.”
Completed nomination papers can be returned to the clerk’s office or dropped off at the town hall dropbox outside the building.
Eleven terms expire this year. Incumbents include select board member Douglas H. Jones; library trustees Kathie C. Mount, Margaret A. Finnell and Jenifer E. Alai; school committee members Kelly A. Welch, John J. Furnari and Natalie T. Kanellopoulos; planning board members Robert J. Leary and Charlotte Harris; Moderator David T. Vieira; and Falmouth Housing Authority Commissioner Patricia Favulli. The housing authority term is for five years; all other positions are for three-year terms.
Whether running as an incumbent or challenging for a seat, those seeking townwide office are required to collect 50 signatures from registered Falmouth voters in order to be on the ballot for the general election in May.
Town Meeting members have a different path to the ballot. In order to be placed on the ballot, incumbent Town Meeting members must return the notice mailed to them by the town clerk indicating their intent to run for reelection. While incumbent Town Meeting members do not need to pull nomination papers, those challenging for a seat must collect 10 signatures from registered voters in their precinct.
Voters will elect nine Town Meeting members to three-year terms in each precinct. In addition, there are two-year terms open in Precincts Four and Nine, as well as one-year terms in Precincts Three, Five and Six.
The annual town ballot will also include five proposed charter changes those approved by Town Meeting in January.
The charter changes seek to better align the town’s strategic and local comprehensive plans, ensure the planning board works with the select board in developing the local comprehensive plan, ensure the town manager consider these plans when making decisions, define how to vacate and appoint a replacement member on a governmental body due to a member’s unexcused absence, define the membership of the community preservation committee, and remove the recreation, beach, waterways and human services committees from the list of committees in the charter.