Daily Buzz | Here's How To Make Your Campaign Official
It's easier than you might think
Good Morning, Burlington and Happy Friday!
Yesterday we talked about why you should run for local office and what offices have open seats to be filled in the upcoming (April 1, and trust me you’re going to have that date memorized) election.
Today I want to answer one of the most common questions I hear about running: “What do I need to do to make my run official?”
There are two kinds of seats—town-wide and precinct-based—and the regulations are a little different for each.
Offices on the ballot that aren’t for Town Meeting seats, such as Planning Board, Library Trustees, School Committee, Select Board, etc., are town-wide offices. Campaigns for these offices are regulated by the Office of Campaign Finance, and if you’re going to be spending money for a campaign for town-wide office, you’ll want to form a committee. The committee doesn’t need to be elaborate—for example, you could make yourself the campaign manager and your partner the treasurer—but a committee and the accompanying paperwork will protect you financially if any questions arise as to how you spent the money your campaign raised. This is especially important if you’re an appointed public employee, because public employees are prohibited from “soliciting or receiving funds for any political purpose.”
The formation of a campaign committee typically requires two things: an EIN and a form from the town. You can talk to the bank you plan to use and see if they have any additional requirements. You’ll also need to file a form 8 days before and 30 days after the election, whether you win or lose. Then, at the end of the year, you’ll have to file a report with the state.
When you visit the Town Clerk’s office, they’ll also give you a booklet from the Office of Campaign Finance; you can find more information here.
So, that’s what you need to know about campaigning for town-wide office. Campaigning for Town Meeting, which is precinct-based, is a little different. Okay, it’s a lot different, because there’s not a whole lot of regulation around campaigning.
Typically, Town Meeting Members don’t do a lot of campaigning. One reason is that often elections for Town Meeting seats aren’t contested. If you’re going to win the seat regardless of the money or effort you put in, it makes sense from a financial and bandwidth standpoint not to spend a lot of resources on a campaign. Hopefully, with the increased awareness the Buzz hopes to bring, that changes.
When TMM candidates do campaign, it is usually with a handful of campaign signs placed just in their precinct. Since only voters in your precinct will be voting on you as a TMM candidate, you only need to cover the territory in your precinct.
I’ll leave it there for now and be back next week with some more information on running for local office. Thanks to Town Clerk Amy Warfield for helping me with the info for yesterday, today, and beyond.
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Today in Burlington
Meetings and Events
10:15 AM - (Library event) Burlington Quilt Club
4:00 PM - (Library event) Tween Mario Kart Tournament. Register here.
5:00 and 6:15 - STRIDE Fitness Member Appreciation DJed workouts (join waitlist here)
Sports and Activities
Girls’ gymnastics was looking good this week, coming in just under Reading.
Boys came out over Wakefield at yesterday’s track meet, finishing with a score of 58-42 and maintaining their undefeated record. Girls, on the other hand, suffered their first loss, falling to Wakefield 52-48.
Freshman Girls’ Basketball meets in Waltham today at 4:00. Otherwise, our basketball teams face Watertown today:
4:00 at home - Girls’ and Boys’ JV
4:00 in Watertown - Boys’ Freshman
5:30 at home: Boys’ Varsity
7:00 at home: Girls’ Varsity
There is also a Varsity Boys’ Gymnastics meet at 7:00 in Braintree.
Anyone else have this dilemma on Friday nights? 🤣
Thanks for reading today! I’ll see you tomorrow!