Our View -- Orleans Selectmen: A Close Call


At a time that requires so much of our leaders and ourselves, it seems wasteful to say to one of the three committed citizens running for selectman, “Thanks, but no thanks.”

Yet, that’s the arithmetic. Incumbents Dave Currier and Meff Runyon want to stay, and Andrea Shaw Reed wants to join. When the music stops June 23, there will be only two seats available.

Each hopeful has a good case to make. Currier, who owns a business, has been a lance for that community, poking into areas where town procedures and assumptions regarding permitting and planning need to be challenged, first on the board of health and now as a selectman. He’s also the only representative of his generation on the board, sometimes giving his elders a valuable window into the thinking of residents who may be living with decisions made today for the next 40 or 50 years.

The process of change can frustrate Currier, which makes him an interesting contrast to Reed. As a member and then chair of the planning board, she’s helped lead the long march to revamping zoning to allow new and better uses of downtown and business district properties. She understands how taking care of the small things (a new walkway, a cultural district designation) can reap benefits in increased tourism and business investment. Reed would also be the first woman to serve on the board in many years.

As do all the candidates, Runyon cares deeply about the town’s environment, both for its intrinsic value and for how it defines Orleans. He spent years contributing to planning efforts regarding economic development and open space and now serves on the affordable housing trust fund board.

A newspaper’s endorsement is one voice in a debate, not the final word. What’s said here can be helpful to voters who are wrestling with a difficult decision, but it is in no way definitive.

If this newspaper could vote, it would mark its ballot for Reed and Runyon. Now it’s up to you.