Nomination papers are available again in Jefferson for one select board, two school committee, and four budget committee positions following a deadline extension recommended by lawyers at the Maine Municipal Association.
The annual town meeting by referendum, typically held in the Jefferson Village School on the last Tuesday of March, was moved to Tuesday, April 18 this year, when students will be on vacation.
Town Administrator Lynne Barnikow said in early January that the change was made to address concerns from the Jefferson School Committee about safety when the public is in the school building.
However, Barnikow said that the town learned from the Maine Municipal Association that it is legally required to accept nomination papers through a certain window of time before the annual town meeting.
She said Jefferson had given out the nomination papers and set the original deadline before the meeting was moved.
Barnikow consulted with three attorneys at the Maine Municipal Association, who recommended that the deadline be extended for legal compliance.
Papers are now due to the town office by 4 p.m. on Feb. 17.
One seat on the Jefferson Select Board is up for election this year. Robert E. “Jigger” Clark Jr., who has served on the board continuously since 2006, has already submitted papers for reelection for the three-year term.
Two seats on the school committee are up for election this year. Danielle Bernier, who was elected in 2021 to fill a two-year vacancy, is seeking reelection for one of the seats.
Allison Brooks is not seeking reelection to the school committee for a second term. In a phone interview on Tuesday, Jan. 31, Brooks said both of her children will soon be in high school and her work as chair of the Jefferson Area Community Food Pantry has required more time this year.
“It became apparent this year that I had to choose” between the two commitments, Brooks said. She is working to build a food pantry for the town as need has increased.
Brooks said she learned from and appreciated the committee members, and each of them brings something to the table.
“I can’t say I wouldn’t run again,” she said.
Four three-year terms are open on the Jefferson Budget Committee.
Nomination papers are available at the town office during regular business hours, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday and Wednesday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday. Papers need at least 25 but no more than 100 signatures to qualify for the ballot.
Residents will vote for candidates at the annual town meeting by referendum from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 18 in the JVS gymnasium.