Despite the fact that three seats on the Shelburne Selectboard are to be filled on Town Meeting Day, only one race has emerged for voters to decide in the March election.
Monday was the filing deadline for candidates for local office in Vermont to submit petitions to town clerks in order to be on the March 6 ballot. In Shelburne, Town Clerk Diana Vachon said she received four petitions for the three open selectboard seats:
• Jaime Heins is running for the remaining year of the term he was appointed to in November after John Kerr resigned at the end of October. Chris Boyd also filed to run for that seat.
• Vice Chair Jerry Storey is seeking another two-year term unopposed.
• Mary Kehoe has filed for the open three-year seat now held by board Chair Gary von Stange.
Von Stange did not file any paperwork seeking to run for re-election, Vachon said.
First elected in 2009, von Stange has served three terms for a total of nine years. It appears that he has decided to leave the board in March.
Von Stange did not return phone messages or emails from the Shelburne News to comment on his plans.
Town Manager Joe Colangelo Tuesday said von Stange was on vacation in Florida, as has been the case for several weeks. “I think it’s safe to assume he’s not seeking another term,” Colangelo said.
Von Stange last attended at a selectboard meeting in person on Jan. 9. Since then, he has participated via speakerphone. On Jan. 16, von Stange only took part for an hour of a three-hour meeting attended by state representatives and several other guest speakers.
It has been problematic for him to run meetings smoothly without being physically present. Vice Chair Storey has stepped in on several occasions, managing the discussion among board members, guests and audience members in the room.
Kehoe said the lack of competition for the selectboard seat doesn’t change her plans to campaign between now and March 6.
“Though it appears I do not have an opponent in this race, I will be talking with as many folks as possible in the weeks to come about the challenges we face in Shelburne and how best to resolve them,” Kehoe said in an email to the Shelburne News on Tuesday. “A campaign represents an opportunity for engagement with the community – an opportunity I look forward to.”
Kehoe, a lawyer, is currently the chair of the Shelburne Development Review Board. She previously lived in Burlington where she served on the Burlington City Council.
In addition to candidates for selectboard, those seeking other elected offices in the March election filed their petitions by Monday. There are no contests for any of the other positions:
• Town Clerk Vachon is seeking another three-year term.
• Town Moderator Tom Little is running for another one-year term.
• Barbra Marden is seeking a two-year seat on the Champlain Valley School District board.
• Pete Gadue is running for a three-year term on the Champlain Water District board.
• Bob Lake filed for the two-year town constable post.
Candidate forum planned
Plans are coming together to organize a candidate’s forum in Shelburne on Tuesday, Feb. 20, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the town offices.
Each year, a nonpartisan forum is held to meet and listen to candidates seeking elected in Shelburne.
The event is sponsored by the three main political committees in town, the Shelburne Democrats, Progressives, and Republicans, along with the Shelburne News.
Candidates are formally invited once the deadline for filing has passed and the ballot is finalized, said Nancy Baker, who is helping to organize. Town Meeting Moderator Tom Little serves as forum moderator.
Additional details will be announced in the next couple of weeks, Baker said.