EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

February 26, 2014

Four battle for two Salem Planning Board seats

Belanger seeks third term

SALEM — Four candidates are seeking two three-year seats on the Planning Board.

The candidates are six-year incumbent Ronald Belanger, alternate Lawson Brouse, and well-known Salem residents Jane Lang and John Manning Jr. The election is March 11.

They agree the board must be prepared to deal with the possible redevelopment of Rockingham Park as a multimillion-dollar casino if the Legislature approves expanded gambling.

Belanger said he’s ready to return to his seat and is healthy after battling medical problems in the past year. He has been a state representative for 26 years.

The second seat is being vacated by current Chairman Robert Campbell, who is retiring after more than a decade on the board. He first joined the board in the mid-1980s.

Lawson was appointed to a one-year term as an alternate last fall, but wants a three-year post.

Lang, coordinator of the Salem Farmers Market, joined the race after challenging the town’s temporary sign ordinance. She was displeased with restrictions placed on signs used to advertise the farmers market and other events in town.

Manning served four years as a state representative and is an alternate on the Zoning Board of Adjustment.

Name: Ronald Belanger

Age: 74

Occupation: Retired police detective

Incumbent: Yes

Elective office experience: Planning Board, selectman, Zoning Board of Adjustment, state representative

What is the most important issue facing the Planning Board? If the gambling bill passes, it would be the redevelopment of Rockingham Park as a casino.

Name: Lawson Brouse

Age: 63

Occupation: Retired Amtrak employee

Incumbent: No

Elective office experience: Planning Board

What is the most important issue facing the Planning Board? Reviewing the master plan and incorporating any new ordinances appropriately.

Name: Jane Lang

Age: 65

Occupation: Retired Brandeis University program coordinator

Incumbent: No

Elective office experience: None

What is the most important issue facing the Planning Board? Salem’s growth — especially with the possibility of a casino. I look forward to being part of that planning timetable when elected.

Name: John Manning Jr.

Age: 61

Occupation: Restaurant owner, horse trainer

Incumbent: No

Elective office experience: State representative

What is the most important issue facing the Planning Board? We need to streamline the approval process and maybe change impact fees to include future capital needs. We need Rockingham Park to get gaming.

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