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  • Last modified 1378 days ago (Feb. 12, 2015)

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We know who is running, what's next?

Apparently there is considerable conversation here about the candidates running to fill the seats being vacated in April for Peabody mayor, Peabody city council, and Peabody-Burns board of education. Good for us! Community conversation about such issues as candidates is a good thing.

There have been some surprises related to those who have announced their candidacy. That also is a good thing for the community and the school district. Some folks with very specific ideas about how the city or school district should operate have opted to represent us. Other candidates are unknowns. Voters may recognize them from seeing them in the grocery store or at a community function, but there is little or no name recognition and we voters have no idea where they stand on community or school issues. Some are long-time residents, but that does not necessarily mean we know what position they may take on a given topic.

I would encourage each of you readers to contact the candidates and find out exactly how they feel about issues that will affect our taxes, our communities, and our futures. Ask specific questions and ask how they propose to change the status quo.

If they have complaints, they should also have at least some idea about fixing things. Don’t like the water? How would you pay for a new distribution system? Don’t like the coach? How will you deal with that since all the other school board members think he is terrific? Tired of your tax dollars going for school buses? How will you get all of our students from this district’s vast rural areas into town? Think admission to the pool ought to be free? Wait a minute. The pool already loses thousands of dollars a year just by existing. It never pays its way. And you want it to generate no revenue?

I am hoping that a local group will be willing to sponsor a candidates’ forum between now and the election so candidates can respond to the issues facing the governing bodies in question.

Keep that in mind. If such a forum finds a place on the community calendar, I hope to see my six regular readers and all of the rest of you present for the event. It is important for you to hear the candidates and make your own evaluation of their ability to fill the job requirements.

It is the policy of our newspaper not to endorse candidates, so you are not likely to read my thoughts about any of them. I only mention that because I already have been asked to make my opinion public about several of the individuals who are running. It is not going to happen. You do not need my judgment about those who are running. You need to develop your own.

I have faith in all of you to make smart decisions about the candidates. Just remember to study up. Talk to them, listen to what they tell you, and ask how they would solve the myriad problems with which we struggle. You might be surprised by their answers!

—SUSAN MARSHALL

Last modified Feb. 12, 2015

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