Voters will decide two contested races in the annual town election Tuesday — one for a seat on the Board of Selectmen, the other for two seats on the Planning Board.
And at least for the selectmen's race, the campaign signs are out in full force.
In that race, voters will choose between longtime selectman and current Chairman Tom Kehoe and challenger Karen Smith-Crawley, a former chairwoman of the Harbor Advisory Committee.
The town's polls Tuesday will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Memorial Elementary School.
Both selectmen's candidates have drawn support.
Kehoe, Selectwoman Susan Thorne wrote in a letter to the Times, is involved in the community. He's been involved in the Boy Scouts of America for 45 years, and has served as a call firefighter for 40 years. Thorne served with Kehoe for six years on the board, and said he keeps a level head in his decisions on the board, and commits his time to serving residents.
"He commits a considerable amount of time to help people with their concerns, he is a listener, an arbitrator, he is open to and encourages ideas from others," she said.
Kehoe, former School Committee member Susan Beckmann wrote in another letter to the Times, has the good judgement needed for the Board of Selectmen.
"Having the character, good judgement and ability to listen and take action are the cornerstones for delivering results (in municipal government)," she stated.
Smith-Crawley, who lives on Ashland Avenue, was chairwoman of the Harbor Advisory Committee. She pushed for and carried out the latest audit of the town's moorings with an ad-hoc committee.
She took office in 2010 and left when the board quit en-masse in 2011 over frustrations regarding access to records from the harbormaster's office. After her board left office, Smith-Crawley and former board members formed an ad-hoc committee and finished the latest harbor mooring audit.
"Before her resignation, Manchester benefited from the committee's involvement in rewriting harbor regulations, preforming a harbor safety audit and re-engaging engineers for a dredging process," wrote Carol McCourt in a letter to the Times.
As a longtime Manchester resident, said former Selectman Lee Spence, Smith-Crawley understands what the town needs and how to fill those needs. He said she would put the town in better shape to tackle needed infrastructure investments and unfunded liabilities, and bring town government back on the track voters intended.
"I believe that Karen Smith-Crawley can be a real voice of change on the board to help return us to the form of government town meeting approved long ago," he said.
On the Planning Board, Rebecca Jaques and Kurt Melden are running for re-election this year, challenged by newcomer Ralph Smith. Voters will be asked to choose two of the three candidates for the seats.
The other races in this election aren't contested. Longtime moderator Alan Wilson is up for re-election. John Kenney is running for a seat on the Housing Committee, and Anton Geidt is running for re-election to the School Committee.
Also Timothy Browne is running for Library Trustee, Timothy Girian is running for one of two spots on the Assessors. The other spot on the Board of Assessors is open.
Steven Fletcher may be contacted at 1-978-283-7000 x3455, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @stevengdt.