, Newburyport, MA

March 6, 2013

Six vie for seat on Seabrook Board of Selectmen

By Angeljean Chiaramida

---- — SEABROOK — Next Tuesday, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Community Center, voters will go to the polls for spring elections to decide on many local issues, including the person to sit on the Board of Selectmen.

This year, voters have a large field of six people from which to chose. A brief profile of each candidate is below, listed in alphabetical order.

Maria Y. Brown

Age: 46

Address: Worthley Avenue


Education: Graduate WHS, also took courses in field of medical administration.

Occupation: Administrative position at hospital maternity ward; previously worked for Visiting Nurses Association, Hospice and Seabrook Middle School.

Political offices held: Winnacunnet School Board member, eight years; Recreation Commission member.

Improving transparency in government: The time is now to bring back accountability, leadership with a vision, fairness and equality to all. I am a firm believer that open government works and anything less than 100 percent transparency is not an option.

Reason for running: I feel that my proven leadership, experience, and knowledge would be an asset to the town and its people. You have elected me for the past eight years to advocate for the most precious gift of all, our children, and with your support it would be an honor to serve as your next selectman.

Brendan Kelly, incumbent

Age: 72

Address: Ayer Circle


Education: Graduate of Bishop William High School in Braintree, attended two years at Bentley College.

Occupation: Retired; previously, a mill worker and dispatcher.

Political offices held: six years on the Board of Selectmen.

Improving transparency in town government: “I personally don’t think we need to improve transparency in town government. I feel I’ve always been open and honest about any issue that’s come up.”

Reason for running: “After six years, I like the job of selectmen and I think I’ve done a good job. The people will decide if they want me back again for another three years.

Paul Knowles

Age: 43

Address: Bigs Lane


Education: GED

Occupation: Retired as custodian due to disability

Political offices held: Appointed member of the Budget Committee for a year.

Improving transparency in town government: “I would keep government open by discussing things in a public meeting format whenever possible and go from there. I watched my father when he was selectman and I’ll be honest and open with the people.

Reason for running: “I’m a life-long resident of the town and want to help the town, as my father did when he was selectman.”

Eric Small

Age: 63

Address: Walton Road


Education: Graduate WHS, bachelor’s degree from Union College; master’s degree from Eastern Kentucky University

Occupation: Retired 26-year veteran as Hampton Falls town administrator; previously, administrator in Seabrook for three years.

Political offices held: Seabrook Library Board of Trustees for 28 years; Seabrook selectmen, three years; Budget Committee, six years; Planning Board, three years.

Improving transparency in town government: “I would enforce the state’s Right-to-Know law, and when we do that, everything falls into place and there will be transparency. It’s as easy as that.”

Reason for running: “I’ve been a town administrator for more than 20 years, and I’d like to give that experience back to the town. I’d like to make that contribution to the town, as I have with my other volunteer work, like being president of the Seabrook Historical Society.”

Ray Smith

Age: 67

Address: Norman Road


Education: Graduate WHS; bachelor’s degree, University of New Hampshire; master’s degree, Cambridge University

Occupation: Retired after 34 years teaching math and social studies in Seabrook School District..

Political offices held: No previous elected political offices.

Improving transparency in town government: “I would use a straight-forward approach to government. I’d listen to all parties, and then explain to the people why decisions are made.”

Reason for running: “ Seabrook has been good to me and given me a lot and I’d like to give some of that back. I think I’m the person who can do exactly that.”

Paula J. Wood

Age: 59

Address: A Street


Education: Graduate of Needham High School; additional college-level courses in finance and banking.

Occupation: Brown’s Lobster Pound staff; previously, school aide in Seabrook School District.

Political offices held: Budget Committee, 15 years, currently chairwoman; appointed alternate to Planning Board, one year.

Improving transparency in town government: “I would relocate the selectmen’s desks so they aren’t all in one room to lessen the incidence of chance meetings. I would also get citizens more involved in town committees and subcommittees, as was done in the past.

Reason for running: “I’m running because I can see the town moving forward, and I would like to help guide it on its way.”