Carolyn Smart won the four-way race for selectman in Townsend. Carolyn has had a variety of experiences in town government as an employee and appointed official and will bring some interesting perspectives to that board.

During her time employed in the selectmen's office, Smart made no secret of her disagreement with behind-closed-doors politics. Adding her to the current two-person board, that appeared to agree on just about everything, should be interesting to watch.

Any newspaper would prefer to see a myriad of views represented on a town board, a reflection of the community it represents. Board members that agree too often are viewed with suspicion, especially by those journalists who have observed town politics for many years.

We hope for transparent government, a fair airing of many opinions and to see an end to the nastiness that has greeted many a visitor to that esteemed chamber who did not agree with the board position.

Townsend is a growing town steeped in history and built on the backs of a great many who were not shy about expressing their views.

We hope to see that continue but with a bit more respect for all viewpoints. Often, there is not one right answer to decisions needing to be made.

Rather, the best course results from not just talking but listening and compromising. And agree or not, respect is at the core of a healthy community.