To the editor:
I have been a selectman for the town of Newcastle for the past 10 years and this is the first time in my tenure that we have needed to fill two coming vacancies. Ben Frey and Caroline Hatch have both decided to step down.
I personally want to thank them for their unselfish service to our town. Being a selectman takes a lot of time and patience. We are doing what we believe is best for the town. We field a lot of questions from residents and sometimes make unpopular decisions.
With the help of Ben and Carolyn and the other members of the board, I feel that we have done our best to move the town forward. When I started on the board, we were borrowing money to pay our bills. We now have over $1.6 million in the general fund, have cleared out most of the old debt and have started to rebuild our roads, something that has not been done in the 30 years I have lived in Newcastle.
With the aftereffects of COVID-19, we will be living in a different world. Never before have we gone through such an ordeal that immobilized our town, county, state, and country. The market has crashed and unemployment is at an all-time high, but we will recover. We always do, as we are Americans and our best comes out when the chips are down.
As we look to new members of the board, I want to urge you to pay attention to who is running. We need to keep the town moving forward. This requires forward thinkers and people with vision. We cannot afford to have anyone who will hold the town back and believes the way of our fathers and grandfathers is still viable. Though we would like to believe this, we all know that is not so.
We also need to elect people who are running to better our community and who do not have an ax to grind. I have found that once they have settled their issue, they are lost amid town politics and continue to work against the other members of the board.
So, I urge you even more so this year to pay attention to those running for selectman. Call them; talk to them when you see them at the grocery store or gas station. Of course, keep your social distancing during the conversation.
If you have any questions, always feel free to reach out to any of us.
Brian S. Foote