PEPPERELL -- One selectman seat, three School Committee at-large positions and the town clerk are among the positions up for election in Pepperell this spring.
Nomination papers are now available for registered voters interested in running for any of the elected positions.
Papers can be picked up from the town clerk's office, and must be submitted to the board of registrars for certification by March 10.
Other open positions include terms with the assessors, board of health, library trustees, planning board, board of public works, and recreation commission, as well as the town moderator and treasurer/tax collector.
Town Clerk Jeffrey Sauer, who will be resigning the position after the election to relocate to New York with his family, encouraged residents to run for elected office.
"It's critical that more townspeople get involved with the process. That's how our town functions, on the actions of volunteers who make us a community. The alternative to volunteer boards and committees is paying professionals to do the work for us. Of course, that means more salaries and higher taxes, and budgets are already a serious concern," Sauer said.
Beyond just helping the town, Sauer said that his work both inside and outside of Town Hall has also helped him personally.
"I showed up and helped in the ways that I could, but what really happened was that the community ended up giving back to me through the friendships I gained and the feeling of being part of a community. It made me a better person," he said.
Selectmen Chairman Stephen Themelis is up for re-election, and is so far the only candidate to have pulled and returned nomination papers for the position.
Anna MacDonald, a member of the planning board, and Debra Durno had both pulled papers for town clerk as of Jan. 21.
Sauer said that he would be happy to speak with anyone interested in running for the town clerk position, and offered some advice for those considering the position.
"I've made several changes during my time here, as has the state, and would offer that the next town clerk should be an organized record-keeper and able to plan and run all of the town's elections. Yet, the incoming town clerk should also be very familiar with spreadsheets and databases, comfortable updating a CMS-driven website, and unintimidated by working with the state's multiple online database system," he said.
"There's a lot to know in this office, much of which can be learned. But it would be impracticable to learn those technological skills at the same time. More than anything, though, I think a genuine interest in the process -- Town Meeting, town elections, town history, our community, etc. -- is what will make the next town clerk successful."
Several incumbents have already pulled papers for re-election, including assessor Susan Smith, John Dee from the board of public works, Fred Kobs of the library board of trustees, Town Moderator Scott Blackburn, Board of Health member Phil Durno, Recreation Commissioner Alise Herrera, and Treasurer/Tax Collector Debbie Nutter.
The election will be held April 28 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Varnum Brook Elementary School gymnasium.
Dates for two Town Meetings have also been set.
On Feb. 3, a Special Town meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. at Nissitissit Middle School. The warrant will feature a request to appropriate $150,000 for mold removal at the public safety complex.
The Annual Town Meeting will be held Monday, May 5, at 7:30 p.m. at Nissitissit Middle School. Warrant articles are due to selectmen by March 3 at 2 p.m.
-- Chelsea Feinstein