Two selectboard and two school board seats are among the eight elected positions up for grabs this Town Meeting Day – and longtime selectman Marc Landry says he won’t run for re-election after nearly two decades on the board.
Landry made the same proclamation just two years ago. He later changed course after it seemed no one else would throw their hat into the ring. Though another candidate did emerge at the last minute, Landry stayed in the race. He was re-elected by a comfortable margin.
The motivations Landry cited in 2015 mirror the ones he provided this year.
The 66-year-old has spent the past 40 years in Colchester, owning Landry Insurance for the last 35. He’s involved with six boards but said the selectboard is typically the most time consuming.
“People expect [selectboard] members to know what is happening, to anticipate what needs to happen, to work for them and to always watch the dollars coming in and those going out,” Landry said in an email. “It can be demanding.”
Despite this, Landry said Colchester is a town built on volunteers.
“It’s a way to give back, it is a way to do our share and, perhaps, it is a way to make a difference,” he wrote.
Landry recalled Claussen’s owner Chris Conant’s pitch when there was a selectboard vacancy almost 20 years ago: “Landry, only two meetings a month!”
Hundreds of meetings later, Landry is ready to pass the torch.
“It is a good time to move on. I still will have five other boards, kids, a business and a wife to keep things from being boring,” Landry wrote. “Life is good.”
Town manager Dawn Francis said Landry’s shoes will be tough to fill. She noted his commitment and contribution to boards in the town, region and state.
“It will be difficult to find a person who has the historic and intimate knowledge of all things Colchester,” Francis wrote in an email. “Marc looks out for our taxpayers, offers creative ideas, thinks long term and with great vision.
“I personally, will miss his advice and insight,” she continued.
Petitions to run for all of the open offices are due to the town clerk’s office by 5 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 30. Voting will take place on Tuesday, March 7.
Candidates must submit signatures of 30 registered voters and specify the length of the term for which they are running, town clerk Karen Richard said.
Richard’s own two-year seat will appear on the ballot this March. She confirmed she plans to seek re-election.
Selectboard vice-chairman Herb Downing also said he plans to run for another three-year term.
On the school board, newly-elected Colchester Rep. Curt Taylor said he’s again putting his name into the ring for a two-year slot. School board vice-chairman Lincoln White, who holds a three-year seat, could not be reached for comment by press time Tuesday.
Voters will also elect a Burnham Memorial Library trustee. Betsy Ferry, who currently holds the five-year position, did not respond to requests for comment.
Less familiar ballot items might be the lister (a three-year term) and moderator (a one-year term). According to the town’s website, the former hears assessment grievance appeals and is part of the boards of abatement and assessment. The latter serves once a year on Town Meeting Day, keeping the proceedings civil and orderly.
Hugh Bemis, who currently holds the lister position, said he did not plan to seek re-election in March. Scott Barrett, the current moderator, confirmed he would run for a second term.
For more information about these posts, contact the town clerk’s office at 264-5520 or visit http://bit.ly/2jtKRbP.