Bristol sets election for selectboard

BRISTOL — The Bristol selectboard has scheduled a special election for Tuesday, Dec. 3, so that voters can decide who will replace Selectman Ted Lylis, who resigned suddenly last month.

The selectboard had originally planned to appoint someone to the seat at a meeting this past Monday night, but after considerable deliberation, they decided to let the voters choose instead.

Eight citizens had originally expressed an interest in being appointed to the seat. Two of them subsequently withdrew.

At Monday’s meeting the remaining six interviewed for the position. They were Ian Albinson, Eric Carter, Andrea Denny, Brian Fox, Kevin Hanson and William Mount.

“The Selectboard was impressed by the quality and candor of your presentations and what each of you would bring to the Selectboard,” wrote Bristol Town Administrator Valerie Capels in a memo to those six candidates the following morning. “They also appreciated the time and effort each of you made to step forward and meet with the board.”

With such a strong field of candidates, selectboard members found it too difficult to choose one over the others, said selectboard chair Joel Bouvier.

“These were committed citizens with no pet peeves or agendas who wanted to serve,” he explained. “Any one of them would have made a great replacement for Ted.”

The selectboard briefly considered leaving the seat open until Town Meeting Day in March but decided that developing the town budget this winter would work better with a full board.

Because an elected board member will serve the remainder of Lylis’s term, until March 2022, scheduling a vote in December offers a distinct advantage over appointing someone, Bouvier pointed out. According to state law, an appointee would have had to run for election in March 2020.

Candidates for the seat will need to submit a petition with at least 30 qualifying signatures or 1 percent of the legal voters — whichever is less. As it happens, 1 percent of Bristol's voters is also 30.

The deadline for submitting petitions to be on the Australian ballot is Monday, Oct. 28, at 5 p.m.

Christopher Ross is at christopherr@addisonindependent.com.

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