The League of Women Voters of Wellesley will hold an information session about how to run for town office, particularly Town Meeting, on Wednesday, January 11, at 7pm in Room 216 of the Warren Recreation Building. Town Clerk Kathy Nagle and Town Moderator Peg Metzger will be on hand to provide a brief overview of how Wellesley town government works and will supply detailed information on how to become a candidate.
Completed papers for town-wide office are due Friday, January 13, and for Town Meeting Members on Friday, January 27. There will be a “Meet the Candidates” night on Thursday, March 2, at 7pm in the Wellesley Free Library.
And once and for all, let’s squelch the following rumors that crop up ever year, which claim:
• Wellesley is run by an “inner circle.”
• Retiring board members choose their successors.
• It is impolite to run against an incumbent.
• One needs to have served as a Town Meeting member (or on Advisory) in order to run for a Board position.
The facts are:
• There is no weird little inner circle of elected Wellesley officials holding the strings of the town, puppeteer-like.
• Retiring board members choose only their vacation spot to celebrate their time served on the board (this vacation is not financed by Wellesley tax payers).
• Etiquette does not demand that incumbents be deferred to as royalty. We’ve been told that incumbents put on their pants one leg at a time, although The Swellesley Report was not able to substantiate this with 100% certainty.
• One most definitely may run for a Board position without having served as a Town Meeting member (or on Advisory).
Susan Clapham, president of the League of Women Voters of Wellesley points out that “It hurts Wellesley when interested residents are dissuaded from getting involved because of these rumors. Wellesley’s future relies on continually broadening the group of dedicated citizens who serve. The League of Women Voters supports contested races because they foster open discussion of issues and engage voters. We understand that competition is not always comfortable. However, people participate in elections when they feel that their vote matters.”
So go ahead and throw your hat in the ring. In the interest of a healthy democratic process, Wellesley can use all the challengers it can get.