Rockport selectmen chairman not seeking re-election | Election

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ROCKPORT — After serving two terms a selectman, Don Campbell will not seek re-election this May. and a former selectwoman is seeking his seat.

“It was a personal decision,” he told the Times. “I’m a firm believer in term limits, so I term-limited myself in order to create new opportunities for the town.”

Campbell, selectmen’s current chairman, said he supported this year’s Town Meeting article that sought to instate term limits for selectmen. The article failed by a 67-143 vote.

Moving forward, Campbell said he and his wife will focus on a property management company they founded recently that specializes in vacation rentals.

“It’s been a great six years to be able to serve town,” Campbell said. “I’m very appreciative to the voters for giving me time they did. We made some great accomplishments and I have faith that my current colleges will make the best decisions for the town.”

Denise Donnelly, a former selectwoman and current Planning Board member, is running uncontested for Campbell’s seat. She was elected as a selectman in 2017 before being elected to a three-year term on the Planning Board in 2020.

Barring a victory by a write-in candidate, Donnelly as a selectwoman will be leaving the Planning Board with one year left to serve. It is unclear if the Planning Board will appoint someone to finish her term. Donnelly could not be reached for comment at press time.

In this year’s only contested race, Assistant Town Clerk Melanie Waddell will face off against former Rockport Housing Authority Chairman Jonathan Ring for the role of town clerk. Current Town Clerk Pat Brown will be retiring this year after working in various positions in Town Hall since 2000.

Tom Mikus is seeking re-election to the Planning Board. Peter Kuttne, brought on serve out the remainder of Herman Lilja’s term, is running for a second open seat on the board.

Library Trustee Robert Audano Jr. and School Committee member Cathleen Reilly are running uncontested for re-election as well.

At this year’s election, voters will be asked to approve an increase of the Proposition 2 1/2 debt exclusion to fund the construction of a new Public Works building. This would allow the town to fully fund the projected $17.5 million project. Town Meeting in 2019 overwhelmingly approved of the temporary property tax hike, 162-15.

Polls will open Tuesday, May 10, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. The last day to register to vote in this year’s election is Wednesday, April 20, at 8 p.m.

Michael Cronin may be contacted at 978-675-2708, or

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