Town Elections on Tuesday
By Gregory T. Federspiel
Our annual local elections take place on Tuesday, May 18th. Balloting takes place at the Middle-High School, in the cafeteria, from 7AM until 8PM. Please take ten minutes out of your day to cast your votes for 9 different elected positions. Your fellow citizens have stepped up to volunteer to serve the Town. Your part of the bargain is to show up to vote to decide who will serve in the various positions. Write in candidates are also a possibility.
A sample ballot can be viewed on the Town’s web site. The ballot contains the following offices:
Manchester Housing Authority: The five-member Authority is part of the state’s housing program and is responsible for running the two senior/disabled housing complexes in town – The Plains and Newport Park - along with 4 units of family housing on Loading Place Road. Two positions are on the ballot. Elaine Persons is up for re-election for a four-year term and Gretchen Wood is running for re-election for a five-year term.
Library Trustees: Our local public library is overseen by a three-member Board of Trustees. Normally we have one vacancy a year to fill but due to a vacancy of an unexpired term there are two positions to fill. David Lumsden is running to fill this 2-year unexpired term and Richard Rogers is up for re-election for a three-year term.
Town Moderator: Each year voters select a Moderator to run our Town Meetings. Alan Wilson is running for re-election.
Planning Board: The Planning Board has a range of responsibilities. The Board advises the Selectmen on matters related to overall growth and development in town, crafts the Town’s Master Plan, recommends zoning regulations to the voters, and is responsible for site plan reviews for certain projects and subdivisions proposed in town among other duties. The 7-person board meets twice a month. There are two 3-year positions to fill with four individuals on the ballot. The Cricket published statements by each of the candidates. Cricket publisher and editor Erika Brown hosted and recorded a discussion amongst 3 of the 4 candidates. (Both can be found at the Cricket’s web site.) Voters are to pick two individuals. Running for the two positions are Sarah Creighton, Christine Delisio (seeking re-election), Garlan Morse, and Laura Tenny.
School Committee: The Manchester Essex Regional School District is guided by a 7-person school committee. Four members are from Manchester and 3 are from Essex. Each town has one vacancy to fill as the two incumbents (Anne Cameron from Essex and Shannan Edmond from Manchester) have chosen not to seek re-election. For the Manchester seat, Christopher Reed is on the ballot.
Board of Selectmen: The five-member Board of Selectmen serve as the main policy setting and budget management body for the Town. They are the Town’s licensing body and hold hearings on a host of other requests including road cuts, public trees, and dog disputes. Running for re-election for a three-year term is Rebecca Jaques.
I applaud all of these citizens for being willing to serve the Town. Between elected and appointed boards and commissions, we rely on a couple of hundred citizens to help run local affairs. Citizens are at the heart of local governance. This is why local elections are so important. Please take time on Tuesday to vote.