Chad Hanna, a Bristol selectman from 2001-2013, hopes
to return to the board after a year’s absence. (J.W. Oliver photo, LCN file)
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By J.W. Oliver
Bristol Board of Selectmen Chairman Bill Benner will not run for re-election
this year, and former Chairman Chad Hanna plans to run for his seat.
Benner’s term ends in March. Bristol residents will elect his successor March
Hanna was a selectman for four consecutive terms, from 2001 to 2013, and was
the chairman of the board from 2011 to 2013. He did not run for re-election
“I took a year off because I felt like I needed to after a 12-year run,”
Hanna said. “Looking back, I realized I enjoyed doing the job.”
Hanna, of Round Pond, is a self-employed contractor. He works primarily for
Masters Machine Company, also of Round Pond, where he designs, builds and
maintains equipment. He currently serves as a member of the Bristol Budget
Benner, the outgoing chairman, also has a long history of service to the
Bristol Board of Selectmen Chairman Bill Benner will
not run for re-election. His three-year term expires in March. (J.W. Oliver
photo, LCN file)
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He was a selectman from 1971 to 1978 and 1994 to 1997. He ran again in 2011,
winning a three-way race against the incumbent, Chairman and two-term
Selectman Robert Tibbetts, and Steve Nichols, a businessman and former school
committee member. Benner was elected chairman of the board in March 2013.
“I just thank the town for their support over the years and for the privilege
and the opportunity to serve,” Benner said.
Benner, 77, of New Harbor, spends time in the town office every morning and
often attends out-of-town conferences and committee meetings. He is
particularly active in the supervision of the highway department and the
maintenance and repair of town roads and bridges.
“I just did what I felt I had to do, that’s all,” Benner said. “Any job I’ve
had, I’ve always tried to do my best.”
Benner is also a former chairman or member of the budget committee,
comprehensive planning committee, planning board and school committee. He has
been active in the leadership of various community organizations, including
the Bristol Congregational Church, the grange and the Masonic lodge.
A native of Bristol and veteran of the U.S. Army, he went to work as a
laborer for a local telephone company after leaving the service in 1956. He
eventually became a state manager for ConTel, retiring in 1991 after a 35-
year career with the company.
The deadline to file as a candidate for the March 17 election is Friday, Jan.
31. The town will elect a selectman, a Bristol School Committee member, a
Bristol Parks and Recreation Commission member and two Bristol Planning Board
members. All terms are for three years.
Bristol School Committee member Darin Carlucci plans to run for another term.
The Bristol Parks and Recreation Commission seat has been vacant since the
September resignation of Judith Lowd. George Sawtelle is running for the
The terms of Bristol Planning Board members Earle Cooper and George Masters
Jr. expire this year. Pat Jennings is the only candidate to file as of Jan.