A total of three out of seven Town Council seats must be filled when voters go to the ballot boxes in November.
Mayor John Pryor and Mayor Pro Tem Roberta Peterson have declined to run for re-election, and Councilmember Mark Buchsieb’s term is expiring after serving two four-year terms. He is not permitted to run for a third.
The mayor’s race, with the recent announcement by John Pryor that he would not seek re-election, has created a situation where potential candidates are trying to determine if they are the right people to run against the only officially announced candidate, Councilmember Stu Fraser.
That field includes former Councilmember Terry Tice, who has yet to turn his signatures in but is out passing around his petition this week.
“I’m in a place in my life to make a serious commitment to the process,” Tice said Monday.
He said he first considered running for mayor when Pryor made his announcement two weeks ago. Although so far he might be considered to be the alternative to Fraser, Tice wasn’t ready to start campaigning against anyone just yet.
“I’m going to try not getting into that until I understand where Stu is coming from,” he said.
But the likely entry into the race of Tice, who had previously served for nine years on council and most recently was a key player in the fundraising effort for the Valley Floor Preservation Partners, which raised $24.5 million of the $50 million needed for the Valley Floor, presented enough of a buzz in town to cause another pre-petition candidate for mayor, Thom Carnevale, to seek a council seat instead.
“I have filed a petition for Town Council with 47 signatures. More to come,” Carnevale said.
Another potential candidate for mayor, Chance Leoff, chairman of the Historic and Architectural Review Commission, has yet to decide on whether he will also entire the race, but has taken out the paperwork from town hall.
Entering last weekend, Leoff was in the careful consideration mode of his candidacy, not being sure if it was better to run for mayor, to shoot for a council seat, or, just remain as HARC chairman.
“I haven’t made a final decision, but I’m getting closer,” he said last week. “It’s a tough one. You have to open yourself up to a lot of abuse.
“But John Pryor’s decision not to run for mayor really changes things. It’s a bit worrisome about what’s going to happen over the next few years.”
Other potential candidates who have taken out the petitions for their candidacy, but have yet to submit their signatures to town clerk, include: David Oyster, Hugh Menin, Lulu Hunt and Wes Perrin.
Petitions and signatures need to be submitted by Monday, Aug. 27.