Incumbent Robert Cox and three challengers are chasing two, three-year spots on the Dracut Board of Selectmen.
Ted Kosiavelon, Alison Hughes and Tami Dristiliaris are also vying to unseat Cox and fill the position left by John Zimini, who opted not to run.
Cox said he believes his experience will be a key asset for incoming Town Manager Jim Duggan, as he transitions into his new position. As a business owner in town, Cox says he also understands the challenges of economic development.
Both Hughes and Dristiliaris have cited their public and private experience.
Hughes, who served for six years on the Finance Committee, says the financial discipline acquired during her time in private industry will be an asset on the board.
Dristiliaris believes her background as an attorney, registered nurse, and mother of children who went through the school system gives her an insight into how Dracut ticks.
Dracut needs Cox's experienced hand with a new manager coming on board, and while either Hughes or Dristiliaris has what it takes, we feel Hughes' business background sets her slightly apart.
The Sun endorses Robert Cox and Alison Hughes for selectmen.
The race for one, three-year seat on the Dracut School Committee presents voters with two distinct choices.
Incumbent Matthew Sheehan, seeking his third term, faces a challenge from political novice Michelle McCarthy, a mother with children in the Dracut schools.
Both agree the school system is underfunded, that Superintendent Steven Stone is doing a fine job, and that last year's failed $2.9 million override wasn't the right way to address the schools' shortcomings.
In fact, Sheehan showed his courage and independence on the override issue by parting ways with the other four school-board members. He offered his own solution to the funding problem -- eliminating the town's Community Preservation Tax and diverting $750,000 annually to the schools -- that was rejected by Town Meeting.
As a parent of schoolchildren, McCarthy believes she would add a new perspective on the School Committee. She also doesn't feel having never voted during her time in town should be held against her.
While we're glad to see her belated interest in town politics and the electoral process, The Sun believes Dracut would be better served with the professionalism and independence shown by Matthew Sheehan, and endorses him for another term.
The race for an open, five-year commissioner's seat on the Dracut Housing Authority pits Brian Bond, the current governor's designated board member, against Planning Board Chairman Jessie Forcier.
Incumbent Ken Cunha is not seeking re-election. The Dracut Housing Authority oversees 221 public-housing units and issues 68 housing vouchers known as Section 8.
Bond's Housing Authority position technically expires with the departure of Gov. Deval Patrick in mid-January. Thus he wants to assure himself a seat by running for this elected position.
Bond, a lifelong town resident, and Forcier, a relative newcomer, have a history of volunteerism and board membership, having both served as planners.
While agreeing in general with the need for more senior housing, Forcier would like the town to review all available options, while Bond wants to fast-track the construction of housing on the 17-acre Richardson parcel off Bridge Street, eventually adding 60 units over time.
Both candidates say they are strong supporters of Housing Authority Director Mary Karabatsos, and The Sun believes both are more than up to the task.
However, Brian Bond earns The Sun's endorsement due to his knowledge of the system and attention to detail.