At a special meeting Saturday morning, the Select Board voted unanimously to have the two new School Committee vacancies placed on the ballot for the May 16 Annual Town Election.
Joe Markey and Meg Tyler submitted letters of resignation to the town clerk on Tuesday, effective immediately. Neither seat was slated to be available this year.
Because nomination forms for all town positions are due at the close of the business day on March 28 — with an exception for those who are nominated at the Democratic or Republican town caucuses, which take place the week after the deadline — there was a question of if there was enough time to notify residents and allow candidates to draw papers and gather 50 signatures from registered Hopkinton voters in time.
However, the Select Board was in agreement that it would make more sense to get the seats on the ballot this spring rather than appoint individuals to fill the seat until next year.
“I do think the general public would like to have a vote,” Select Board Member Amy Ritterbusch said.
Concurred Chair Irfan Nasrullah: “I think it’s up to the people to decide and not really something for us to appoint if we have that option for a vote.”
The Select Board also addressed the possibility of appointing one or two people to fill the seats until the May election, but Town Clerk Connor Degan expressed concern that an appointment could favor a potential candidate.
There now are three School Committee seats available on this year’s ballot. The first is the seat belonging to Chair Nancy Cavanaugh, who has pulled papers to run for reelection. Christopher Melton also has pulled papers for the seat.
All School Committee seats are for three years. However, Tyler’s seat has two years remaining, while Markey’s seat has one year left. Individuals elected to fill the two new seats only would serve for the remainder of the existing term and then could run for reelection.
An individual must be a registered voter and a resident of Hopkinton in order to be on the ballot.