HARVARD -- The annual Town Caucus to nominate candidates for open elective offices will be held Feb. 9, at 7 p.m., sharp, in the Town Hall meeting room.
Open positions listed on the warrant are as follows.
Moderator -- One position for one year.
Selectman -- Two positions for three years.
Cemetery Commission -- One position for three years.
Community Preservation Committee -- One position for three years; one position for one year.
Harvard Board of Health - One position for three years.
Library Trustee -- Two positions for three years.
Park and Recreation Commission -- One position for three years; one position for two years.
Planning Board - One position for three years; one position for one year.
School Committee -- One position for three years
Tree Warden -- One position for one year.
Warner Free Lecture Society Trustee -- Two positions for three years.
Historically defined, a caucus is a meeting held by a political party to select candidates or plan a campaign. In this instance, usage of the term is somewhat different and "party" membership includes every registered voter in town.
Not many communities hold caucuses, but it's a tradition in Harvard. However, it is not a procedural bypass for the legal process that all residents who want to run for an open seat on an elected town board must follow. To get his or her name on the ballot, a potential candidate for public office must take out nomination papers, collect a certain number of signatures and return the document to the town clerk for verification within a specified time frame.
Although eligibility to run does not hinge on caucus results, the date it is held usually adheres closely to the procedural time frame and Town Clerk Janet Vellante releases the names of those who have taken out nomination papers only after the caucus is over. Typically it takes only a few minutes, she said, and those who want to participate are advised to show up on time.