IPSWICH — As a selectman, Pat McNally said he loves to debate town issues.
“The best part for me is we can argue and fight about issues,” he said, “but at the end of the day we can walk out of the meeting and talk about our families and other issues in town and still be friends.”
But this week, after 24 years on the board, McNally announced he will not be seeking re-election for what would be his ninth three-year term.
McNally, 66, of Little Neck Road, said he didn’t make the decision lightly.
“My term is up in May,” he said. “I look back at the accomplishments in the last 24 years, and most of the big issues have been dealt with and decided.”
McNally said he will continue his work as a lawyer and spend more time with his family. He has three grown daughters and three grandchildren.
Interested candidates have until April 1 to return 50 valid signatures to run for the open seat. So far, no one has returned papers, according to Town Clerk Pam Carakatsane.
Selectman Bill Craft, who has been on the board for two terms, said McNally has been an outspoken advocate for many issues in town, including development and open space.
“He is a lawyer, and frequently, that body of knowledge was helpful for making decisions,” Craft said. He said McNally also offered an institutional memory throughout the years.
“He has been there for the town,” Craft said. “When we are looking at how we got where we are, more than often, Pat was there.”
Town Manager Robin Crosbie said McNally has been effective in communicating his ideas and opinions at meetings. “I find him to have a wealth of history and perspective on the town and many of the projects and initiatives the town has undertaken,” she said.