The winds of change are blowing. And the forecast is calling for Nashoba Valley residents to batten down their hatches.
Consider the last year in local politics -- Shirley successfully launched a recall of two selectmen, Kendra Dumont and Robert Prescott. In Pepperell, incumbent Stephen Themelis, running unopposed, was replaced on the Board of Selectmen by a write-in candidate, former Town Clerk Lisa Ferolito. Groton this week bid goodbye to longtime Selectman Anna Eliot and, with incumbent Peter Cunningham not running, elected two new selectmen.
And Townsend, of course, has been in turmoil for a year and a half, with one recall effort stillborn and a second, a recall of Selectmen Cindy King and Gordy Clark, heading for the ballot box in June. Sue Lisio claimed the seat held by incumbent Carolyn Smart in the recent election, which could be the start of a complete reset of the Townsend board.
Is this a time of change or a time of discontent?
The forecast may also call for a small flurry of administrator resumes. Townsend residents are outright adversarial with Town Administrator Jim Kreidler. Shirley Town Administrator Patrice Garvin was denied a raise -- twice -- on the Town Meeting floor. Ferolito emerged as a candidate just after Pepperell Town Administrator Mark Andrews endorsed a regional dispatch center with Tewksbury.
After all of this shakeup, the same issues are still perculating. Some of the issues facing the towns may be easily resolved with cooperation and open discussion.
Once the nuclear option of a complete recall has worked in one town, restive neighbors may begin eyeing the figurative red button in their own communities.