Filing deadline for candidates extended until 5 p.m. Friday

By Jason Arndt

Staff Writer

Ralph Rice carries the distinction of being one of, if not the longest, tenured elected official in the Town of Burlington.

Rice, town chairman since 2009, has served the Town of Burlington in multiple capacities dating back at least 50 years.

But the long-time chairman opted not to seek a sixth term and filed for non-candidacy, according to Burlington Town Clerk Jeannie Rennie, who noted nobody else sought the seat.

“Because the non-candidacy paperwork was filed late, the deadline for filing candidacy paperwork will be extended until 5 p.m. on Friday,” she said. “I anticipate paperwork to be filed for this seat before then.”

If nobody steps forward, however, Rennie said the ballot would only have a write-in option.

Town Supervisor No. 4 Jeff Lang, who has worked with Rice for 15 years, said on Tuesday Rice will be known as an advocate for low taxes, limited spending and not passing any budget items causing debt for the township.

“I think Ralph probably has the virtue of being the longest serving board member in (Town of) Burlington history,” he said. “He has been a dedicated watchdog for citizens being a strong advocate for low taxes and low spending. He will certainly be missed.”

Rice, owner of Rice Family Farm, began his tenure as a volunteer firefighter with the Town of Burlington when the department was its infancy.

Since then, he moved to the Planning and Zoning Committee before taking on a supervisory post in about 30 years ago.

Rice simply said age, as well as general health concerns, were factors in his decision.

“I have really enjoyed what I have been doing and we will see what happens,” said Rice. “I had the opportunity to do a lot of things and had an opportunity to work with a lot of nice people.”

Candidates, including incumbents, could start circulating nomination papers on Dec. 1 with a 5 p.m. Tuesday deadline for submission.

Newcomer Chad Novasic has filed for candidacy to fill Isaacson’s seat, according to Rennie.

Supervisor No. 1 Steven Swantz will seek re-election. Swantz assumed the supervisory post in 2020 to fill the final of year of the term vacated by Tyson Fettes.

All positions, including chairman, carry two-year terms.

To read the full version of this story and see the full list of candidates for local office – including Burlington City Council and Burlington Area School District Board of Education – see the Jan. 7 edition of the Burlington Standard Press.