The Petersburg Borough municipal election will be held October 6 but the chance to run for an elected seat of the borough, hospital or school district comes way before that. The first day to file for candidacy is July 28.
And there are many, many seats in which to choose.
“This year’s ballot will provide for the election of 20 positions,” said borough clerk, Debbie Thompson. “Two assembly members for three year terms, three school board members, two three-year terms; one one-year term; four hospital board members, two three-year terms, one two-year term and one one-year term; five planning commissioners, two three-year terms, one two-year term, and two one-year terms; two library board members, two three-year terms; two harbor board members, two three-year terms; and two public safety board members, one three-year term and one one-year term.”
All of these volunteer positions will be voted on during the October municipal election. Some of them require candidates to fill out public official financial disclosure documents. That includes anyone running for assembly, school board, or the borough’s planning commission.
The clerk is available to help candidates fill out those forms.
But this could be the last election that some candidates have to do that if voters support a proposition in the election. The proposition would allow candidates to opt out of the paperwork. An ordinance placing the question on the ballot gained support from the borough assembly at their last meeting.
Assembly member Bob Lynn called the paper work “daunting”.
“I feel strongly that we have at least four or five different procedures in place that really meets the needs of this,” Lynn said, “and even if at the point that the public decides that we can opt out of it, it still allows the public to go forward if they feel that some official in this borough is inappropriately using their funds or their position to gain funds.”
Assembly member John Havrilek said he supported the ordinance because he thinks that more people would likely run for offices if they didn’t have to go through the paperwork.
“Because of the difficulty going through the process, people, some really like their privacy,” Havrilek said, “so it’s keeping very, very high quality people away from getting involved in the assembly and some of these other committees that we would really benefit to have their involvement and their expertise and their knowledge in.”
Exempting candidates from reporting their finances has come before voters before. Last year the question failed by just 29 votes.
The last day to file for candidacy is August 25 at 5 p.m.
The last day to register to vote in the election is September 6.