Local Election Should be an Opportunity for True Engagement


To the Editor,

I write this letter to focus voters on the Town Election taking place on Tuesday, May 16, 2023, at the Memorial School.

As voters, we have residents who have taken out papers, gathered signatures and now their names will appear on the ballot.  In my opinion, the task of finding out what these candidates will do if re-elected or elected falls to the voters.  Two positions on the Planning Board and two positions on the Select Board are open and have candidates who wish to be elected at the 2023 town election.  The outcome of these contested races can be affected by your votes.

After serving for five years on the Planning Board and then 12 years on the Board of Selectman (now Select Board), I have some insight into what it takes to serve on these boards. The candidates need to realize that they are running to be a public servant for the residents of Manchester-by-the-Sea.  The candidates are not politicians, but they are applying for a part-time job in the town.

I would ask the candidates to communicate with the voters in the Meet the Candidates section of the Cricket and the Candidates Forum to be held in early May.  Get out and talk to voters and let them know why they should vote for you.  Meet the residents and let them know why you are running.  I want to know the following information.

If re-elected or elected to a position, what training and/or life skills or experiences do you have that shows you are ready to handle the position you are running for?  What previous town government volunteer or elected positions have you held?  What would be your goals when you are elected to the position?  And, have you been a regular attendee at the Annual Town Meetings where you can discuss and participate in the governing of the town?

I do want to say “Thanks” to those people who have stepped-up to run for elected positions. It is not an easy step to take. I look forward to seeing you as you campaign for office/public service in the town.

I urge all voters to take your civic responsibility seriously and vote in the May 16th election.

Thanks for considering my thoughts,

Tom Kehoe


memorial school, selectman, manchester, planning board, tom kehoe, board of selectman, select board