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The candidate coffee held in Shirley last Saturday was well attended by voters interested in meeting and talking with their candidates.

While voters certainly have good candidates to choose from, we came away with some clear feelings on the races for selectman and School Committee.

For selectman, we endorse Andy Deveau. He came across as passionate about Shirley with ideas he had clearly thought about in detail. He’s willing to think outside the box, a good trait in a time when customary solutions have been exhausted and new ideas should be the order of the day. He also has the experience, expertise and willingness to get things done.

We endorse Dan Meehan for School Committee. His opponent, David Baumritter, is a school teacher, a profession well represented on the committee by school principal Don Parker.

What would be particularly helpful to the committee at this juncture is the business and finance skills Dan brings to the table. Experience and new skill sets can go a long way toward finding new solutions for old problems. And the business of education will only grow in complexity as the realities of regionalization begin to emerge.

Voters say no

It’s not often that a request by the conservative Peter Shattuck is turned down by Pepperell Town Meeting. But this year he was.

Voters said no to a Board of Fire Engineers request for a $110,000 override to fund two new full-time firefighters.

Voters were told that the number of available daytime on-call firefighters has fallen and those remaining aren’t sufficient to answer calls. But voters also knew that funding would have to come from a Proposition Two and a half override.

Our local towns differ in the number of full-time firefighters they have and to what degree they rely on on-call firefighters. But though there is no question that the number of available daytime firefighters is down, the number of fire calls is not sufficient to warrant many full-timers. Pepperell has four now. That, and Mutual Aid, will have to do.

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