City yet to find a taker for panel

NASHUA – Doesn’t anyone out there want to be on the board of education?

With only one day remaining to file, no one has filed as a candidate for the Sept. 9 special election to fill a vacant seat on the board of education, according to City Clerk Paul Bergeron.

“It is a bit surprising,” Bergeron said.

The filing period opened July 31 and concludes today at 5 p.m.

There have been a few people who have picked up the required nominating petitions, so there has been some interest, Bergeron said.

And it’s not unusual for people to file at the last minute, he said, but those who do run the risk of not being able to run. Each candidate must collect petitions signed by at least 50 registered voters in order to appear on the ballot.

Bergeron said that each election year, there is typically at least one candidate who gets disqualified because they submit the minimum number of signatures, but some of those are deemed unusable.

“They may have been signed by people aren’t who registered voters or maybe the signatures are illegible,” Bergeron said.

Candidates only have until the 5 p.m. deadline today to file the necessary paperwork, leaving little time if there is any issue with the petitions, he said.

The seat on the nine-member school board became vacant after Edwina Kwan, the longest-tenured member of the board, resigned July 1.

In the past, the school board has appointed replacements to fill vacant seats. But in 2005, voters approved a change to city charter requiring that a special election be held if there is more than six months remaining on the term.

Kwan’s term was set to expire Dec. 31, 2009.

The board has been operating with only eight members since Kwan resigned.

The person elected would be sworn in after the period for a recount had expired, or a recount has been held and would fill Kwan’s seat until the expiration of the term.

If the deadline passes and no one has filed, the election would still be held, but would essentially become a write-in race, Bergeron said.