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Races begin for town, school board seats

By Stephanie Choate

Observer staff

Willistonians will have plenty of candidates to choose from when they go to the polls in March. 

“It’s the first time in a long time there are actually some races,” Town Clerk Deb Beckett said. “There’s a good resurgence of people that want to get active and involved.”

This year, there are multiple candidates vying for three positions—two Selectboard seats and one Williston School Board position.

Monday was the filing deadline for candidates. 

SELECTBOARD

Candidates for three positions on the Williston Selectboard will come before the town this March.

Selectboard Chairman Terry Macaig, who is completing his 13th year on the board, is running uncontested for another three-year term. 

Jeff Fehrs, who has been on the board for 15 years, is running for another two-year term. Newcomer Anthony O’Rourke is also running for the two-year term on the board.

Selectboard member Jay Michaud resigned last year and moved to North Carolina, leaving the remaining year of his term open. 

Three Williston residents are hoping to fill his seat—Melissa Ham-Ellis, Ted Kenney and Joy Limoge.

SCHOOL BOARDS

Terms for two positions on the Williston School Board are expiring in March. 

Chairman Kevin Mara, who has been on the board for five years, is running uncontested for another two-year term. 

Deb Baker-Moody, who served for nine years on the board, is not seeking reelection. 

Two Williston residents are running to fill the position—Karen F. Maklad and Michael Wayman. Both served as budget buddies this year, providing input to the board on its fiscal year 2015-16 budget proposal. 

Two positions for Williston residents are also available on the Champlain Valley Union High School Board. 

Gene McCue is running for a two-year term, uncontested. McCue joined the board last May, completing the remainder of former board member David Rath’s term. Rath resigned from the board and moved to Dubai last year. 

CVU Board member Jonathan Milne is not seeking reelection to his three-year term. No one came forward to fill his seat on the board. 

Beckett said residents could still run as write-in candidates, which has happened in the past. A write-in candidate would need at least 30 votes to be elected.

If a resident wants to join the board after elections, Beckett said the CVU Board can opt to appoint a candidate to fill the vacancy, but only until the next March election.

OTHER POSITIONS

Several other candidates will be on the March 3 ballot, none of them with opposition. Jude S. Hersey is running for another five-year term as library trustee, Charles S. Coney and Linda Levitt for positions on the board of listers. 

A one-year term on the board of listers and the perennially empty position of first constable are vacant.