Village voters will have a choice in next month’s school and village elections, with petitions filed at the clerk’s office showing contested races for both the school board and board of trustees.

On the municipal side, Raj Chawla and Amber Thibeault will seek to replace trustee Lori Houghton, who’s decided to not seek re-election. Both candidates cited the ongoing efforts to consolidate town and village departments and said they believe they could contribute to the conversation.

“I’d like to have a voice in it,” said Thibeault, who’s been on the planning commission for about the last four years.

Chawla, who’s been on the bike and walk advisory committee for the last few years, said he also believes the community is in need of some “creative ideas” on improving the village’s livability.

“We’re to get a more diverse population and I think we need to continue working on that,” he said. “I like where we’re going. I think we need to continue being a welcoming community for all.”

For the Essex Westford School Board, meanwhile, three positions are up for grabs, two of which fall in the town of Essex. Those races will be uncontested as incumbents Kim Gleason and Al Bombardier are running unopposed for their three-year seats.

The village’s open three-year seat, meanwhile, shows a contested election as Joanne Jewell and Todd Odit look to fill a seat left by current board member Marla Durham, who’s not seeking re-election.

The Reporter will do a full story on all candidates before April 9 election. This story had additional reporting by Amanda Brooks.