By Bruce Amaro
---- — GROVELAND – With an 18-year selectman leaving his post, voters will choose a new member of the board next week.
The town’s annual election is Monday. Polls for the town’s two precincts will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Town Hall, 183 Main St.
The ballot has two contested races.
Jay Collins is challenging Housing Authority incumbent Linda Anderson.
Selectman William Darke’s decision not to seek reelection has generated a three-candidate race for that seat. Darke announced his retirement from the board earlier this year, and within days three residents said they were running — Anthony Dalton, Joseph D’Amore and Kathleen Greaney.
D’Amore, a six-year Pentucket School Committee veteran who lost his bid for selectman last year, has returned for another attempt. He said his experience as a member of the School Committee are assets that will help the board as it faces the challenges of a growing town.
“I will bring six years of negotiation and policy development skills from the School Committee experience to solve several complex issues regarding ethics and improving permitting procedures for businesses and homeowners,” he said.
Asked if he thought a debt exclusion or tax increase makes sense as voters face deciding whether to spend $3.7 million to buy 61 acres, D’Amore said he is concerned about residents’ ability to pay.
“For many homeowners, taxes have doubled in the last seven years caused by the normal (Proposition) 2½ increase in taxes but other debt exclusion and override issues,’’ he said. “This has to be curbed.’’
Dalton, a Groveland resident for more than 10 years, said he decided to run for selectman because he wants to address issues the town has struggled with, among them ways to improve the workings of town government.
He said he wants to “work with the existing members of the Board of Selectmen, town heads, boards and commissions to implement proper educational training and certification programs for its members to make sure they understand the implications of the decisions they make on behalf of the town.’’
“I understand most of the people volunteer for these boards and commissions,’’ he said. “However, the town should provide the necessary training for unqualified volunteers.’’
About the $3.7 million land purchase before voters, “If the question passes at the polls on May 6, I think the debt exclusion makes sense and believe it’s the correct way to obtain the funds needed for the land purchase. The debt exclusion goes away in 20 years when the bond is paid off. Once the bond is paid off, the increase to the levy limit is revoked.”
A Groveland resident for 30 years, Greaney is running for office for the first time. She said the town is not the same place where she grew up and that for Groveland to prosper it will take “team work to help the town through the changes it wants to make and prepare for the future.’’
“We need to be proactive in the town government, not reactive,” she said.
Greaney said as a selectman, she would bring the same standards of communication, responsibility and accountability that she did in her 30-year career at Verizon, where she retired as a manager.
The following candidates will also be on Monday’s ballot, but are unopposed:
Tree warden, incumbent Mark McCabe.
Light commissioner, incumbent Kermit Cross.
Road commissioner, incumbent Robert Arakelian.
Water and sewer commissioner, incumbent John Willett.
Town clerk, incumbent Anne Brodie.
Board of Health, no candidates on the ballot.
Assessor, William Darke.
Three library trustee positions, incumbents Barbara Gauvin and Kathleen Prunier, and challenger Carlos DelCastillo.
Cemetery commissioner, incumbent Richard Sciacca.
School Committee, incumbent Lisa O’Connor.
Planning Board, incumbents Robert Arakelian and Walter Sorenson Jr.