Harwich Needs A Candidate For The Monomoy School Committee

by William F. Galvin
Longtime Monomoy Regional School Committee member Terry Russell will not run for re-election. FILE PHOTO Longtime Monomoy Regional School Committee member Terry Russell will not run for re-election. FILE PHOTO

HARWICH – With the deadline for taking out nomination papers for positions on the annual election ballots just over a week away, there are no candidates vying for a three-year term on the Monomoy Regional School Committee.

Longtime regional school committee member Terry Russell confirmed this week that he will not be seeking re-election in May. Town Clerk Emily Mitchell said on Monday that no candidates have come forward to take out papers for the school committee seat.

“It’s time,” Russell said, “once my colleagues on the committee started calling me grandpa.”

Russell, who was an educator in Barnstable for 40 years, served Harwich and the regional school district for the past 14 years. He served on the Harwich High School Building Committee charged with looking into the needs of the aging structure. The decision came quickly, he said, that the building was in too poor a condition to restore and a new facility was needed.

Since the regional school district was formalized, Russell has served on the joint Harwich-Chatham committee for a dozen years. Russell said his family has been active in the schools in Harwich for the past 24 years. His son, Mark Russell, served on the Harwich School Committee for a decade, and he followed with another 14 years.

“I felt the number of years of service was enough,” Russell said. “It’s time to find somebody else to do the work. I have no negatives, it’s just well beyond time and there is a need for fresh ideas.

“During that time I’ve met some good people and we’ve done some good things for the Monomoy Regional School District,” he added.

Russell said he has been passing the word around that he is not running, but has not heard of any potential candidates. He hoped publicizing the decision will get the word out.

To date, only former selectman Peter Piekarski has taken out nomination papers for the one three-year seat on the select board. There are candidates for every position other than the regional school committee. Mitchell said that no new candidates have come forward for other offices. The last day to take out nomination papers for the annual election ballot is Friday, March 29 at 5 p.m. Signed papers should be returned to the town clerk’s office for certification by Tuesday, April 2 at 5 p.m.

As of now the only potential contested race could be for the three three-year terms on the Brooks Free Library Trustees. Incumbents Joan McCarty and Jeannie Wheeler have filed their nomination papers, and Lynn Budell has also filed nomination papers for the trust positions. In addition, Patricia Murray has taken out nomination papers, but as of earlier this week had not returned them.

Incumbent Water Wastewater Commissions Gary Carreiro and Noreen Donahue have taken out papers for re-election to three-year terms; Moderator Michael Ford has taken out his papers for another three-year term; and Housing Authority member Arthur Bodin is running for a five-year term on the authority.

The annual election will be held on Tuesday, May 21. The polls at the community center will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

There is also a special election April 9 to fill the interim seat on the select board created by the resignation of member Mary Anderson last fall. Former selectman Piekarski is the only candidate on the ballot. The interim seat will b

The last day to register to vote for the special election is Friday, March 29 at 5 p.m. The last day to register for the annual election is Friday, April 26 at 5 p.m.