By Jennifer Solis
---- — 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.
Other incumbents whose three-year terms are up this spring are: Alexandra Guralnick, Marcia Sellos-Moura and Lucile Waehling, Board of Library Trustees; Cheryl Hoenemeyer, Board of Assessors; Greg Pope, park and recreation commissioner; and Albert Knowles Jr., water commissioner.
A five-year term on the Planning Board, currently held by Ann Bardeen, also expires this spring.
Nomination papers for any resident wishing to run for office on the annual ballot are available in the town clerk’s office. The last day to obtain papers is March 7 at 5 p.m. Nomination papers signed by at least 23 voters registered in West Newbury must be returned to the clerk’s office by March 12 at 5 p.m.
The last day to register to vote is April 9. Registrars will be taking registrations in the town clerk’s office from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. that final day. Voters may also register with the town clerk at other times as well as at the Registry of Motor Vehicles and certain other state agencies.
The Annual Town Meeting is April 29 and the town election is on May 6 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the Town Annex.