DRACUT — The field of candidates for the Dracut Board of Selectmen is beginning to look crowded.
At least three residents have announced their candidacy so far: local financial services professional Alison Genest; Dracut Planning Board Chairman Mark Pease; and Zoning Board of Appeals member Heather Santiago Hutchings.
Two seats on the board — those currently held by Selectmen Tami Dristiliaris and Alison Hughes — are coming up for re-election this year. Hughes has previously said she will not seek re-election.
Genest made her announcement in a news release Sunday, saying she will “work to keep Dracut affordable for everyone, strengthen planning and oversight, and support the town’s police officers and firefighters.”
Genest promised to be “a strong, independent and results-focused leader.”
“I’m running for selectman because I love Dracut,” Genest said in the release. “Like so many of us, I was born and raised here and I care about our townspeople, our community and our future. I want to be sure Dracut is strong and successful for our children, our families, our seniors — for all of us.”
In a Facebook post Saturday, Santiago Hutchings touted her past experience in local government and her involvement in the schools through the Dracut Scholarship Foundation and the School Site Council, as well as being a Girl Scouts leader, classroom mom and field trip chaperone.
“Having spent the past several years serving multiple roles in local town government as a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals, By-Law Committee, and Finance Committee, I feel it is the right time to put my knowledge and experience to use on a broader scale,” Santiago Hutchings wrote in the post.
She went on to say, “I bring a unique set of budgeting, analytical, and problem solving skills, along with a thoughtful and rational approach to discussions, that position me to be a Selectman who works for the town and taxpayer.”
Pease is the town’s planning board chairman and also serves on the Community Preservation Committee and Master Planning Committee. He said he announced his candidacy Saturday on 980 WCAP Saturday Morning Live.
He said in an email that some of his priorities are promoting and supporting the Community Preservation Program, keeping Dracut affordable, changing the town’s form of government to a “representative” Town Meeting, and making planning board seats elected positions.
“I’m running because I feel that everyone should try to make their community a better place,” he wrote. “I have the necessary governmental experience and personality to work with others to accomplish great things for Dracut.”
Town elections are scheduled for May 4.