While all of our local towns hold annual town elections, they don't always generate significant interest. Such is not the case this year in Groton.
Of the five seats on the Board of Selectmen, two of the terms are expiring. As it happens, both of these seats are held by long-term selectmen. If reelected, Anna Eliot would undertake her third term, Peter Cunningham, his seventh. There are four candidates for the two seats.
It's often not possible to say that one candidate for election is right and the other is wrong. Also, is a long-term selectmen with the knowledge of history under his or her belt preferable to a well qualified newcomer? Or is a belief in term limits more conducive to assuring that a key office has representatives of many backgrounds and interests.
Meaning no disrespect to any office-holder who has volunteered time and effort in service to a community, we tend to think the latter. There are both new and long-standing issues that come before a board and in each case, a new set of intelligent eyes to evaluate and deliberate seems advisable.
In terms of controversy, the position of water commissioner is generating interest, largely because of the view of incumbent James Gmeiner, and fellow commissioners, against chemical treatment of weeds in Baddacook Pond. Selectman Josh Degen is seeking to replace Gmeiner who he feels has used faulty facts in making the decision.
The data supporting safe use of the chemical under consideration to kill the weeds seems persuasive. In any event, injecting into the debate a new member of Degen's caliber seems advisable.
While we recognize that this commission deals with issues far beyond weed treatment in area ponds, we also think Baddacook is too important to allow it to become little more than a swamp.