FALMOUTH — Five Town Council and School Board seats will be at stake in the June elections.
Chris Murry Jr. and David Snow both said they will not seek re-election to the School Board; Chairwoman Faith Varney is not running for re-election to the council, and Councilors Tony Payne and Bonny Rodden are term limited and cannot seek re-election.
Murry said recent changes in his personal life, including an engagement and his career, have signaled that it is time to move on to new things. But he said he hasn’t ruled out running for local office again in the future.
He said working on the School Board was an excellent way to give back to his community and gave him an opportunity to serve. He said interested people should look at the chance to run for a School Board seat as a unique opportunity to help form what education in Falmouth will look like in the future.
“It’s an opportunity to be impactful and engaged in the process and how we support and engage kids so they are productive citizens,” he said.
Snow agreed, and said his term on the board was an opportunity to give back to a town where he has spent much of his life. At 79 years old, he said, one term “is probably appropriate.”
“I would be 82 by the time I finish and what I told the School Board is that some people might be able to do it, but I don’t think I can,” he said.
Snow said that running for office, even at 76, was important for him because he believes that if you live in a town you should take the chance to improve it in any way you can.
Varney, 78, echoed Snow, saying she doesn’t think anyone her age should be on the council. She also said that now that her husband is retired, she doesn’t want to stand in the way of enjoying their retirement together.
All of the current Falmouth policy makers said it is important for residents to get involved with their town.
“Democracy is like a muscle, when you use it, it serves you well. But if we can’t get people to step up for a period of time to at least be considered by the voters, then we are letting the muscle atrophy,” Payne said. “(Serving) is a way to give back to the community. If you have the inclination, anyone can do it.”
It is critical to have people who want to be engaged in the community, Rodden said, but also to have people with different attributes.
“People come to the council with different talents, like lawyers who can look at documents very carefully and understand the nuances … or other councilors who bring a strong business sense. It takes all kinds,” she said.
All of the outgoing elected officials said that while taking on the responsibility of public office is a time commitment, the sacrifice is worth it.
“It is something you have to be willing to make a priority in your life, but the rewards are vast and numerous,” Murry said. “It’s doing something that has an impact on the common good.”
Nomination papers for candidates in the June elections for School Board and Town Council can be taken out at the town clerk’s office beginning March 18. Papers must be returned by May 1.