Ayer special election Dec. 3; candidate’s forum Nov. 18

AYER – The three-member Board of Selectmen has been one member short since August, when Christopher Hillman resigned.

Now, the board is about to have a full complement again, with a special election set for December 3.

There are four candidates on the ballot: David Bodurtha, former selectman Pauline Conley, Shaun Copeland and Ruth Maxant-Schultz. The winner serves until 2020, completing the three-year term.

On Tuesday, Dec. 3, polls at Town Hall will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

According to Town Clerk Susan Copeland, the deadline to register to vote in the special election is Wednesday, Nov. 13. The town clerk’s office will be open until 8 p.m. that day.

Two of the candidates vying for the single selectman’s seat had pushed for a special election early on.

In September, Bodurtha and Maxant-Schultz came to a selectmen’s meeting seeking the board’s support. With a citizen’s petition in the works, they asked Selectman Jannice Livingston and Chairman Scott Houde to set a date. The board declined.

At the time, the selectmen said they’d wait for the results of the petition instead.

If proponents brought in 200 validated signatures calling for a special election, they’d have no choice.

At a subsequent meeting, however, the selectmen changed their minds.

Livingston, who had initially opposed the idea, said she was still “tossed” about it, citing input from residents. Houde, who had said he was “on the fence” but didn’t press the issuet at the previous session, called for a decisive move, second time around.

This time, the board voted unanimously to hold the special election and set the date: Tuesday, Dec. 3.

Residents can get to know the candidates during a forum scheduled for Monday, Nov. 18 at 7 p.m. at the Ayer Police Station conference room.

A flyer advertising the event reads in part: “This is an opportunity to get to know the candidates…” and help voters make a decision.

It also states that questions may be emailed in advance to ayercandidates2019@gmail.com, with a notation that “some questions may be edited as needed” for clarity or to avoid duplicates.