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May 10, 2013

Selectmen fill slot with FinCom member

DANVERS — Newly elected Selectman David Mills’ run as the newest member of the board lasted about 50 minutes last night when he and his colleagues selected Finance Committee member and accountant Diane Langlais to fill a vacancy on the board.

It’s the first time in six years, since Selectman Dan Bennett was elected in 2007, that the Danvers Board of Selectmen has had a fresh face, never mind two.

“Thank you for entrusting me to this seat,” Langlais said during closing comments last night. Langlais will fill out the remainder of the term, which is one year.

Langlais is the first woman to serve as a Danvers selectman since Martha Swindell lost her seat in 2004. Former Selectman Ellen Graham also declined to run that year.

A bit of history: 2004 was also the year that newly appointed selectmen Chairman Gardner Trask lost in his second-straight bid to be selectman. That year, Swindell lost in her re-election bid in a five-way race that propelled now-former Selectman Keith Lucy to a nine-year run and former Selectman Stan Svensson to the board.

“I’m very happy for her, and she is an astute member of the” Finance Committee, said Swindell, who attended last night’s meeting.

“It happened so fast,” Langlais said about her appointment, “but it’s not something I haven’t thought about in the past.”

Langlais; former Selectman Randall Sparkas, who served from 2000 to 2006; and former police Chief Christ Bouras, who had a 44-year career as a police officer in Danvers, had submitted letters of interest to fill a vacancy on the board created by Selectman Mike Powers’ resignation in April. Powers earned praise for his work from other members last night.

Powers had been the most-senior member on the board, but his resignation came too late in the election cycle to get the extra vacancy on the ballot for Tuesday’s election.

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