FARMINGDALE — Town voters will likely fill a Board of Selectmen seat — vacated after Andy Vellani resigned last week — in July.

Andrew Vellani

Town Clerk Rose Webster said Tuesday the Maine Municipal Association told the town they could include an article to fill the remaining two years of Vellani’s term on its annual Town Meeting warrant. That meeting could happen as soon as July, a target month for Town Meetings across central Maine.

Webster said the town’s Board of Selectmen will vote Wednesday to accept Vellani’s resignation and add the article to the town meeting warrant. After that vote, election papers will be available on Thursday. Webster said the papers will be due back June 9, but didn’t anticipate restrictions related to COVID-19 affecting prospective candidate’s ability to collect at least 25 signatures that are required to be on the ballot.

She said two people have told her that they are interested in the position, but declined to name the interested parties until election papers had been returned.

Jen Lancaster, spokesperson for Democracy Maine, said her organization believed requiring signatures despite stay-at-home orders could be “problematic,” but said her organization did not have an official stance on the situation in Farmingdale.

“The combination of stay-at-home and shut down orders, while also requiring in-person signatures to exercise a constitutional right, is deeply problematic,” she said. “Having said that, we are not able to take an official stance on this at this time.”

Eric Conrad, spokesperson for the Maine Municipal Association, said the Board of Selectmen has final call on what date the filing deadline falls on, with some restrictions. He referenced a state statute that allows municipal officers to designate filing deadlines as long as nomination papers are available for at least 10 days before the filing deadline and the final deadline is at least 14 days before the election.

In a May 20 letter addressed to the Farmingdale Board of Selectmen, Vellani submitted his resignation, effective Tuesday. In a statement on May 22, Vellani said he resigned due to health concerns.

“First and foremost, consideration of my health due to an existing condition which has recently worsened, is paramount. I’m currently maintaining a regimen which hopefully, will improve my situation,” he said. “However, at this time, I’m unable to continue my duties as Farmingdale Selectman in the manner deserving of the position.

“Rather than take a hiatus, I felt the best decision was to submit my resignation,” Vellani wrote. “I ask for Farmingdale residents’ understanding and offer my apologies and also appreciation to all that have supported and voted for me.”

There is a second race for a Board of Selectmen position poised for July. Incumbent board chairperson Nancy Frost will run against Tyler Tripp for a three-year term, according to Webster.

Vellani was elected in June 2019, beating longtime incumbent Jim Grant. He said at the time his early focus as a selectman would be studying town finances. Frost said Vellani recently contributed to the town’s draft budget, which will be presented at the upcoming town meeting, and a staff handbook.

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