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Weekly Buzz | Write-ins: Candidate Edition
We’re gonna need a bigger coffee
We’ve got a week ahead of us. I don’t know about you, but I’m gonna need an extra cup (or two) of Joe to get through it, especially the end bit. You can always buy me one by clicking the coffee cup right here. ☕️
Why Should You Become a Write-in Candidate
I dreamed of having a comprehensive write-in edition of the Buzz today, but I didn’t get to communicate with all the people I needed to in order for that to happen. So, instead, I’m going to split it across two editions. Today’s edition will provide info for potential candidates; the next one (hopefully tomorrow!) will give voters info on everyone who is hoping to earn your write-in vote.
I don’t think I need to tell you why we need write-in candidates. But I will summarize it a bit, anyway. In order for our town government to work effectively and efficiently, we need a full complement of people on each of the Boards and Commissions. That’s the obvious, immediate part of the answer. Another piece is the fact that if there is an open seat after the election, the Board itself is who votes to fill the position, leaving voters no opportunity to participate directly in the process. And, finally, a competitive government is one that is forced to work harder for our residents. Contested candidates must articulate their positions and record of working for the people.
Now, I know that having a fully-appointed town government won’t affect whether or not certain races are contested this year. But it will create that pressure for the future. I’m encouraged by all the whispers I’ve heard from people who are interested in running a write-in campaign for the April election. If you’ve ever thought about serving your town, now’s your chance.
There are open seats on the ballot for:
Town Meeting Precincts 1 (1 seat), 5 (2 seats) and 7 (4 seats)
You can also run a write-in campaign for a seat that is not open, but if you were going to do that you’d need to put forth a lot of effort right now to get your name out there and known, so voters could learn about you.
Become a Write-in Candidate
You can read about the requirements to run as a write-in or sticker candidate on the Secretary of State website, but I’ll summarize here.
Call Town Clerk Amy Warfield at 781-270-1660 and let her know you plan to run. That way, she’ll have your contact information to let you know on Saturday evening if you won.
Tell everyone you know that you’re running and why. Be sure to also give them your address, because that information is required for a write-in.
Print out a few sheets of return address labels for the day of the election.
Be ready on Election Day to stand in a conspicuous (but approved) place with your stickers, letting voters know about your candidacy and why they should write you in. Amy Warfield can tell you where such a place would be, but know there are state laws preventing campaigning within a certain distance of a polling place.
I will help write-in candidates get the word out by:
Publishing bios in a dedicated write-in article
Helping with materials creation if needed
So, candidates, please reach out to me ASAP and let’s get to it! I’m sure you know where to find me by now, but you can: reply to any Burlington Buzz email; call or text me if you have my number; DM me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
Make a Plan to Vote
Speaking of Election Day, as you start getting your schedule ready for the week, it’s time to make a plan for when and how you’re going to vote. Will you vote at the high school on Saturday, or will you pop over to the Town Clerk’s office to use an Absentee Ballot on your lunch break one day this week? Will you go alone or bring your kids, your sister, or your optometrist? Do you need a ride to the polls? Arrange that now. Shoot a text over to your 10 (or 100) closest Burlington friends to be sure they have a plan too.
And don’t forget to schedule a watch party for BCAT’s post-election coverage on Saturday evening.
This week in Burlington
Alright, that took a minute. But I think it was worth it. On to the week ahead.
Monday, April 4:
10:00 AM - Ways & Means Subcommitee meets to discuss the budget for the Historical Commission for the coming year.
2:00 PM - Ways & Means Subcommittee meets to discuss the departmental budgets for Recreation and DPW and a warrant article for the DPW.
5:30 PM - Zoning Bylaw Review Sign Subcommittee meets to discuss signage guidelines and Bylaw Article XIII Sections 13.3.
6:00 PM - Recreation Commission has their regular meeting, during which they’ll vote to award a Treehouse Contract (What?! That sounds awesome!), among other things.
6:00 PM - Republican Town Committee meets to collect signatures for one candidate and to hear from another.
6:00 PM - School Committee meets for a special joint session with the Select Board to discuss the Debt Service Budget.
6:00 PM - Select Board Special Session to discuss and approve town budgets.
7:00 PM - Capital Budget Committee meets to review the 10-year capital plan and debt service in conjunction with the Select Board.
Tuesday, April 5:
10:00 AM - Ways & Means Subcommittee meets to review next year’s budget for Burlington Youth and Family Services.
6:30 PM - Housing Partnership meets for updates about the Housing Needs Assessment, Roger’s Piano proposed project, and a Coordinator Hiring Update, among other things.
6:30 PM - Special Education Parent Advisory Council meets to discuss the budget, the MSMS schedule, and other items.
7:30 PM - Board of Appeals meets to discuss the Joss & Main signage petition as well as one from Kohl’s to replace the sign with one that says “Kohl’s + Sephora.”
Wednesday, April 6:
6:00 PM - Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee meets to discuss the upcoming presentation to the Select Board and identify executive leaders in Burlington, so they can improve communication and interface directly.
7:00 PM - Ways & Means Committee meets to continue the FY23 budget conversations.
Thursday, April 7:
7:00 PM - Planning Board meets (agenda to come).
Friday, April 8:
Nothing on the agenda quite yet!
Saturday, April 9:
8:00 AM-8:00 PM - ELECTION DAY! Vote at BHS.
Rest & Recycle, from the Burlington Performing Arts Parents Association.
Post-Election coverage, live on BCAT. (Yes, really live this time.)
Sunday, April 10:
Celebrate, rest and recover from election season!
Enjoy the rest of your weekend, neighbors!