3 contests emerge in Marblehead’s 2023 election

All five incumbent Select Board members have pulled nomination papers to seek reelection, setting the stage for a third contested race in the municipal election on Tuesday, June 20.

Jim Nye pulled papers on Wednesday afternoon, becoming the sixth potential Select Board candidate in a race that would include Moses Grader, Alexa Singer, Jackie Belf-Becker and Erin Noonan. Former Select Board member Bret Murray of Abbot Street has also pulled papers.

The contest would not be official until Town Clerk Robin Michaud certifies nomination papers, which are due Monday, May 1, at 5 p.m. The other contests that could materialize include the Board of Health and the Municipal Light Commission.

Board of Health

Incumbent Todd Belfbecker’s three-year term expires in 2023. He has not taken out papers and tells the Current that he indeed has decided to give up his seat after 15 years on the board, which he called “very bittersweet.” However, three non-incumbents have taken out papers— Thomas McMahon of Gregory Street, Thomas Massaro of Lafayette Street and David Becker of Nonantum Road. McMahon ran unsuccessfully against Helaine Hazlett in 2022. If David Becker (Todd Belfbecker’s father) were to emerge victorious in June, it would be a return to a board on which he previously served.

Municipal Light Commission

The other contested race taking shape would be between incumbent Lisa Wolf and former light commissioner Walter Homan of Haley Road for a three-year term. Homan lost to Light Commissioners Jean-Jacques Yarmoff and Michael Hull in a close race among the three candidates in 2022. Meanwhile, interim Light Commissioner Adam Smith pulled papers to run for the remaining year on an unexpired term. Last year, the Select Board and Light Commission selected Smith to fill the vacancy created when Karl A. Johnson resigned his seat following the June election, citing health reasons.

Marblehead Housing Authority

Theresa Tauro, an interim member of the Marblehead Housing Authority Board of Trustees, is running for the remaining two years on an unexpired term. The Select Board and the Housing Authority’s commissioners unanimously appointed the former 8th Essex District state representative candidate to fill the vacancy created after former commissioner Joan Cutler resigned in September.

School Committee

A pair of School Committee seats open in June, and incumbent Sarah Gold has not yet pulled papers, but two residents have: former Glover School Principal Brian Ota and Karen Tal-Makhlof.

Rec and Parks

Four of the five members of the Recreation and Parks Commission, Linda Rice Collins, Matthew Martin, Karen Ernst, and Rossana Ferrante, are running for re-election. Newcomer Shelly Bedrossian of Jersey Street, meanwhile, pulled papers. Recreation and Parks Commissioner Derek Norcross pulled papers but won’t seek re-election.

“Though I took out papers for re-election, I will not be turning them in,” said Norcross, who served 18 years on the commission. “I’m hopeful that by letting people know that maybe some other — hopefully younger – person will be interested in running and joining the commission.”

Library Board of Trustees

Incumbent Gary Amberik pulled papers to run for the Abbot Public Library Board of Trustees, as has newcomer Katherine Barker of Locust Street.

Other incumbents who have taken out papers include Moderator Jack Attridge, Planning Board member Robert Schaeffner, Assessor John Kelley, Cemetery Commissioner Pam Peterson and Water and Sewer Commissioners Thomas Carroll and Barton Hyte.

Town Clerk Robin Michaud reminds prospective candidates of the Office of Campaign and Political Finance’s filing requirements. All candidates must file three campaign finance reports, notwithstanding the election’s outcome or the amount of personal money spent.

Critical dates to file campaign finance reports are as follows:

— Eight days before the election or June 8.

— Thirty days after the election or July 30.

— End-of-year report, Jan. 20, 2024.

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