With drive-through voting at the town garage, casting a ballot will be unorthodox, to say the least. Please be patient if there are delays or snafus. In the midst of a once-in-lifetime pandemic, let’s not lose sight of the importance of our most fundamental responsibility and privilege as Conway citizens, and be respectful to the town officials and volunteers who are overseeing the balloting.
And hats off to those seeking elected office. Except for the school board, which has no contested races, there are many qualified candidates for selectmen, planning board, budget committee and police commission.
Here are our endorsements:
Conway Selectmen. Give credit to Bob Nelson for trying to win one of two open seats for selectmen against two seasoned incumbents, but without a strong message or a single issue to hang his hat on, his road today at the polls will be difficult. Longtime Selectmen Mary Seavey and Chairman David Weathers have decades of experience, sit or have sat on numerous volunteer boards and enjoy wide support. They have served Conway well, and we can’t think of a reason to replace them.
Municipal Budget Committee. The budget committee often lacks enough candidates to fill all the seats but this year is refreshingly different with six people running for four, three-year seats. Again, we see no reason to remove incumbents David Jensen and Chairman Jim Lefebvre. We also endorse Peter Donohoe and Bob Drinkhall. The budget committee has been something of a paper tiger in recent years. Maybe Donohue, with decades of business experience, and Drinkhall, whom veteran observers of Conway politics remember as a numbers guy, will put some teeth in it.
Conway Planning Board. For planning board, we endorse incumbent Ray Shakir and newcomer Earl Sires IV for two three-year terms. Although it happened when an active short-term rental property started up near his home, Shakir is generally credited with first raising the issue of Airbnb-type rentals disrupting neighborhoods. Sires has experience in the real estate industry and was on the board of the housing commission. He has the potential to be an important voice when the board tackles changes to residential zoning to address affordable housing.
Conway Police Commission. Challenger Ted Phillips is challenging longtime incumbent Rodney King and, again, we see no reason to oust the incumbent, and we endorse King.
Conway School Board. Running unopposed for three three-year terms are incumbents Michelle Capozzoli, Joe Mosca and Jessica Whitelaw.