, Salem, MA

Local News

April 19, 2013

Despite resignation, selectman race still on

DANVERS — The race is still on for two selectmen’s seats in the May 7 Town Election, with incumbents Keith Lucy and Dan Bennett locked in a three-way contest with retired judge David Mills.

Selectman Gardner Trask said he is concerned about the perception among some voters following the resignation last week of former Selectman Mike Powers. Some people seem to think that the candidate who is not voted in at Town Election will be appointed to fill the new vacancy, meaning there’s not much point in voting. But Trask says there’s no guarantee that will happen, and residents still need to vote for the candidates of their choice.

“There is still a selectman’s race,” Trask said.

Powers resigned his selectman’s seat because of a conflict of interest with his job as a full-time special education teacher at Danvers High School.

His resignation created a third vacancy on the board at a time when three candidates are vying for two three-year terms. There is not enough time before the election to get the third seat on the ballot, so the remaining four selectmen can nominate someone to fill out the post until next year’s Town Election.

Bill Clark, the board chairman, said he would bring a motion shortly after the election to nominate whoever loses.

“I believe that in principle,” he said, noting that these candidates have been willing to put their names on the ballot and run campaigns.

But it’s not certain the board would go along with his suggestion, so a lot may depend on the outcome of the election.

“All three are very well-qualified,” Clark said, predicting the race will be a close one. He said he considers all of them friends and has not endorsed anyone.

“I think every one would make an excellent selectman,” he said.

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