SHIRLEY -- Selectmen have reviewed and approved the annual town election process Town Clerk Amy McDougall presented last week, including the date she had penciled in: Tuesday, May 13. Following the prescription set by state law, the election must be held on the first Tuesday after the second Monday in May, she explained.

McDougall also presented an event schedule leading up to that date and open positions to be listed on the ballot, including two add-ins she asked the board to approve: a four-year unexpired Planning Board position (full term, five years) and a two-year unexpired seat on the Recreation Commission.

Because voters failed to elect anyone to fill the Planning Board slot last year, Heather Hampson was seated by a joint vote with selectmen to serve until the 2014 election, McDougall said, and the Recreation Commission is looking to appoint a member to fill an opening due to a recent resignation.

Nomination papers will be available in the town clerk's office on Tuesday, Feb. 21.

All registered voters in Shirley are eligible to run for office, McDougall said, and even incumbents must take out papers.

Citing another annual event townspeople should be alerted to, McDougall said resident census forms were mailed out the previous week to all households and include reminders for dog owners to license their pets, which must be done by the end of January.


-- M.E. Jones