By Stefanie Jackson – Spencer Murray, the chairman of the Northampton board of supervisors, offered advice to citizens at the May 14 supervisors meeting.
“We are 28 days from the deadline for getting on the ballot in District 4, to replace me, and in District 5, to replace Mr. Duer – although I think he’s totally irreplaceable.”
Both Murray and Supervisor Robert Duer previously announced they will not seek re-election in November.
There is only one candidate on the ballot for the District 4 seat, Roberta Kellam, of Franktown.
Another potential District 4 candidate is still collecting the signatures required to get on the ballot, Murray said. There is no candidate on the ballot for the District 5 seat, although Murray said he is aware of one person interested in running.
“My message to the public is, yes, these positions take time, and there are some citizens with some knowledge but no real understanding of the county who will constantly throw mud from the sidelines,” he said.
“But these are not thankless jobs. The majority of the citizens of this county are truly grateful to those who step up to the challenge.”
“My fear, gentlemen, is that … I see a future where these seats of responsibility are determined by a few write-in votes. That’s not the government I want, and I don’t believe it is the government that we deserve.” Murray encouraged the public to volunteer for Northampton’s boards and commissions, and “by all means, go out and vote.”
He explained Northampton citizens will only vote for District 4 and 5 supervisors this November because Northampton supervisors serve staggered terms.
The last time every Northampton supervisor was elected in the same year was 2007. In 2008, the supervisors decided half of them would serve a two-year term and half would serve a four-year term, resulting in staggered terms.
Today, all supervisors serve four-year terms.
There were six supervisors until the 2010 U.S. Census, when the number was reduced to five to reflect decreased population.