SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

January 29, 2013

Hamilton selectman won't run for re-election

By Jonathan Phelps
Staff writer

---- — HAMILTON — Selectman Jeff Stinson will not seek re-election this year. He plans to focus on his professional goal of becoming a licensed attorney.

He will take the Massachusetts bar exam this summer.

“I want to be able to give that my best effort,” he said.

Stinson’s announcement means that there will be at least one open seat in this year’s town election. Selectman Marc Johnson is also up for re-election.

Nomination forms are due to the town clerk’s office on Feb. 21. So far, no one has returned the forms, according to the town clerk’s office.

Stinson, 25, the town’s youngest person to be elected to the board in 2010, said one three-year term is enough time to make an impact and that he wants to give others an opportunity to serve.

“You don’t want the board to become stale,” he said. “You always want new perspectives and fresh faces on the board.”

He said a highlight of being a selectman has been listening to residents and advocating for their needs.

“It has been one of the best experiences of my life,” he said.

Stinson noted that there was a bitter divide in town over school and finance issues when he first joined the board. Now, there is more openness and transparency.

“I really hope my open and pragmatic approach contributed in one way to our community coming together and coming whole,” he said.

Stinson said he will serve as a legislative aide for state Rep. Lenny Mirra, R-West Newbury, who was elected last November. Stinson has also worked with state Rep. Brad Hill, R-Ipswich, and state Sen. Bruce Tarr, R-Gloucester.

He runs Stinson Strategies LLC, a political and business consulting firm.

“I’ll be back,” Stinson said. “It will take a lot to get me out of public service, it’s in my blood.”