Harvard Town Clerk Janet Vellante opened the 2012 Town Caucus on March 10, 2012.  Now, she ll trek to Town Hall on Saturday night to technically open the
Harvard Town Clerk Janet Vellante opened the 2012 Town Caucus on March 10, 2012. Now, she ll trek to Town Hall on Saturday night to technically open the caucus, then postpone it to March 2 due to the expected blizzard conditions. (Nashoba Publishing file photo/Mary Arata)

HARVARD - Due to the blizzard conditions predicted, Harvard's Town Caucus scheduled for Saturday night at 7 p.m. at Harvard Town Hall has been postponed. Town Clerk Janet Vellante confirmed the postponement on Friday afternoon.

Originally, it was hoped that Harvard town counsel would be able to obtain a court order granting the town relief to continue the caucus warrant due to the emergency weather situation. However, Vellante said that the attorney was unable to get to the Worcester County Superior courthouse before it closed on Friday. The courts were all ordered closed as of noontime on Friday due to the weather.

"There is no provision in the law to change the date," said Vellante.

Town Moderator Bob Eubank signed to accept his nomination as a candidate for re-election at the 2012 Town Caucus. Eubank was unopposed and secured the seat
Town Moderator Bob Eubank signed to accept his nomination as a candidate for re-election at the 2012 Town Caucus. Eubank was unopposed and secured the seat at the Town Election. (Nashoba Publishing file photo/Mary Arata)
Vellante said she and Town Administrator Tim Bragan had been in touch with both the Secretary of State's Elections Division and with Harvard's town counsel as the storm approached.

"The only options are to either get a court order to change the date or to open the caucus and adjourn it to a date and time specific," said Vellante. Vellante will now execute on the later course of action.

"I will be going to the Town Hall Saturday evening, opening the caucus and immediately adjourning it to another day," said Vellante.

At least at this point in time, only essential vehicles are permitted on the roadways during the State of Emergency declared by Governor Deval Patrick. Non-emergency personnel are to be off the roadways as of 4 p.m.


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today (Friday). It's not immediately known how long the State of Emergency will be in effect.

So, Vellante will have a special ride - a Harvard DPW truck - to make the trek to Town Hall. Vellante said Bragan arranged the lift for her and her husband Gabe Vellante, who is the town's Building Inspector. Vellante said one other registered voter must accompany her to bear witness to the continuation of the caucus. Vellante said she also believes the DPW plow driver assigned to transport her is also a Harvard voter for a second witness to the event.

Generally, the caucus lasts all of ten minutes, yet attracts town politicos by the dozens. The opportunity is ceremonial in part because candidates for town wide office may pick up nomination papers at the Clerk's Office during regular office hours before the Caucus is convened.

But with dozens crowded in the room, neighbors generally sign one another's papers and hand them back in to Vellante that same evening, securing themselves a place on the warrant. Candidates also have 10 added days to turn in their completed nomination papers or if they did not attend the caucus itself.

With the Town Caucus rescheduled until Saturday, March 2 at 7 p.m., the nomination paper deadline will likewise follow ten days later - March 12 at 5 p.

Then-candidate for (and present Chair of) the Harvard Board of Selectmen Lucy Wallace, left, was nominated for election at the Town Caucus in March 2012.
Then-candidate for (and present Chair of) the Harvard Board of Selectmen Lucy Wallace, left, was nominated for election at the Town Caucus in March 2012. Seated aside her that night was then-selectmen Chair Marie Sobalvarro. (Nashoba Publishing file photo/Mary Arata)
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The selectmen voted on Tuesday night to make the Harvard Annual Town Election co-incide with the state primary to replace former Senator John Kerry on Tuesday, April 30.

Follow Mary Arata at twitter.com/maryearata.