LETTER: Shift the Select Board’s balance of power

To the editor:

There’s a tremendous opportunity to shift the current balance of power on our Select Board by voting for incumbents Erin Noonan and Alexa Singer (in addition to Bret Murray). After a string of 3-2 decisions over the past many months, Noonan and Singer remain in the minority on virtually every vote that long-term incumbents perceive as too great a change or not “how we do it” here in Marblehead.

The most recent majority decision of the board is indicative of this 3-2 conflict, with Noonan and Singer the only two members favoring granting the sole remaining liquor license to an established brewpub looking to expand into Marblehead, arguably bringing increased traffic, variety, and vitality to the downtown. Their fresh, well-articulated arguments favoring the taproom were in stark contrast to the rigid majority. But this is no surprise.

Meeting after meeting, Noonan and Singer continue to try to encourage full board discussion, bring alternate viewpoints and new revenue streams to the table for consideration, and look to understand the rationale behind processes to properly evaluate board initiatives. Unfortunately, they have been met with a spectrum of opposition ranging from outright dismissiveness to awkward silence.

We appreciate that they soldier on, committed to asking why and questioning the status quo, not simply for sport or due to a lack of respect for the tenured service of their fellow board members, but because they have eyes wide open about the current challenges facing our town and are trying to spark conversation and public deliberation on creative problem-solving. Murray attempted the same when he held a board seat years ago, but having also been in the minority, was unable to move the needle on change.

Yet together, these three, smart, informed, and passionate candidates are willing to be more agile, more open, more communicative, and more responsive to the myriad viewpoints and experiences of this community in their decision-making, not to guarantee a “new” majority voting bloc, but to facilitate and encourage real dialogue about what this community values and how to support and sustain those priorities.

We have much respect for the many years of service represented on the board, but it’s time to see what newer, more forward-thinking candidates can achieve by working together.

Vote Noonan, Singer, and Murray on June 20.

Jamie and Meredith Tedford, Harvard Street
John and Heather Danforth, Gregory Street
Dave and Lauren Kennedy, Goldthwait Road
Kathy Hempel, Palmer Avenue
Mark and Kelly Keaney, Roosevelt Avenue
Darcy Mayers, Neptune Road
Mike and Alexia Kearney, Gregory Street
Bill and Renee Keaney, Beverly Avenue
Suzanne Atwood, Casino Road
Carolyn Ryan, Casino Road
Lynn Nadeau, Surf Street
Linda McGlaughlin, Casino Road
Jeanne Lamkin, Devereux Street
Steve Levy, Sagamore Road

Letter to the editor
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