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January 23, 2013

Cushing to end tenure as selectman

WEST NEWBURY — Dick Cushing won’t seek a fifth term on the Board of Selectmen.

He announced his decision over the weekend, but did not comment further on his reasons for deciding to step down at the end of his current term.

Selectmen Chairman Bert Knowles said yesterday he was unaware of Cushing’s decision, but that he suspected the longtime selectman “might have been getting a little tired” — especially in light of the fairly contentious nature of the board over the past couple years.

Knowles described Cushing as a selectman who always “did his homework and made thoughtful decisions.”

“It’s been a pleasure to work with him,” Knowles said. “It’s not often these days that you get someone willing to step up to the plate and make that kind of commitment to the community.”

Selectman Glenn Kemper added, “The town should thank him for his service.”

Cushing has lived in West Newbury for 22 years and worked as a rural mail carrier in town for 28 years. He attended Suffolk University and is a decorated war veteran, having earned three Bronze Stars and a Purple Heart.

Knowles said he did not know of anyone who might be interested in running for the post.

In 2010, Cushing’s last election, the veteran selectman staved off a challenge from newcomer Anna Marie Beech, who now serves on the Finance Committee and leads the nonprofit Pentucket Education Foundation.

Town Clerk Michael McCarron reported this week that incumbent constables Stephen Alvino, Glenn Coffin and Brian Richard have all taken out nomination papers to seek re-election.

Kim Cole is also circulating papers for another three-year term on the Board of Health. Cole was appointed in 2005 to fill a vacancy on the health board. This will be her third election.

Chris Wile, Pentucket Regional School Committee, who is up for re-election this spring, said yesterday that he would be deciding “in a week or so” whether to run.

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