Petition Drive Forces a Recall Election
Special recall election to take place between 60 and 90 days.
Chelmsford Town Manager Paul Cohen announced Friday on the Chelmsford town website that the Board of Registrars certified the necessary 10 percent signatures to force a recall election of four Board of Selectmen members on the recall petition.
The board members to be included in a recall election include George Dixon, Matt Hanson, Jon Kurland, and Pat Wojtas. According to Cohen, 2,363 signatures are necessary to account for 10 percent of the registered Chelmsford voters.
“The Board of Registrars have certified the following respective amounts of recall petition signatures: George Dixon: 2,504; Matt Hanson: 2,537; Jon Kurland: 2,523; and Pat Wojtas: 2,495,” Cohen wrote.
According to the Town Charter, the town clerk has five business days from the date of the recall signature certification to submit notice of the certification to the Board of Selectmen. The Board of Selectmen has five business days from the time it is notified by the town clerk to schedule a recall election, provided members do not decide to resign.
The Board of Selectmen will most likely schedule the recall election at its upcoming meeting to take place on Monday, May 23, according to Cohen. The Town Charter specifies that a recall election must take place between 60 and 90 days from the time that a recall effort has been certified by the town clerk.
“If any other town election is to occur within one hundred days after the date of the certificate, the selectmen shall postpone the holding of the recall election to the date of such other election,” according to the Town Charter.
The Town Charter outlines exactly how the recall ballot will be worded:
“The form of the question to be voted upon shall be substantially as follows: "Shall [here insert the name and title of the elective officer whose recall is sought] be recalled?"”
Town officers are recalled by a simple majority of affirmative votes in the recall election. If a town officer is not recalled, the Town Charter states that no recall petitions can be filed against said officer for at least 90 days.
Town reps recently voted in Town Meeting to amend this provision of the recall effort, so that, if passed by the State, no recall petitions can be filed against an officer for at least one year who is not recalled in a recall election.