AYER — Saying that the schedules for two full-time jobs didn’t mesh as he’d hoped they would, Ayer Selectman and Ayer Postmaster Gary Luca said Tuesday night that he’s bowing out of the four-way town treasurer’s race.
Luca originally believed that he’d be able to structure his full-time postal duties in such a way as to still be able to hold down the full-time treasurer’s post if elected later this month. But it’s not to be.
Instead of resigning from the Board of Selectmen in the middle of his second term, Luca said he’ll continue with the selectmen, which is loosing its chairman at month’s end, and will soon have a new face board.
“It has become apparent that if elected, the conflict that will be created would hinder my abilities as postmaster of Ayer and that is my first priority,” said Luca, a 22-year employee of the U.S. Postal service. “I will continue to enthusiastically serve as selectman and proceed to ensure that the taxpayers and business owners are represented in a positive manner.”
The Board of Selectmen is undergoing its own change with the departure this month of Chairman Cornelius “Connie” Sullivan and the two-way race to succeed him. If elected to the treasurer’s office, Luca had previously stated that he’d resign the selectmen, leaving the five-person board with the prospects of a 2-2 tie until a special election could be held to fill the vacancy.
Luca addressed negative commentary posted on Topix, the Internet blog spot for articles that are published online from the Public Spirit and other publications, but denied they influenced his decision to withdraw.
“Those comments bother me. I was disheartened in what I read, obviously,” said Luca, but said the issue was more that “my job as postmaster is 8 to 5. You can vary your schedule from time to time. I thought I could do it long term, but I can’t.”
Face to face, “the only question some would have for me is “how you going to swing both jobs?” Luca said. He said he didn’t want that to become an issue at work, and so he’s out of the running. “I still think that if I could structure it at work, I could have done both positions,” he added.
Luca also said, “I would also like to thank my family and supporters and assure them that I am here for their best interest.”
Luca’s name will still appear on the ballot, as it’s already gone to be printed. If elected, Luca said he’d decline.
The news leaves effectively the three other named candidates on the ballot — Glen LaPierre, Martin Poutry and Stephanie Gintner — as well as any write-in candidates that could arise.
Luca is not throwing his support to any of the three remaining in the race, but he wished them good luck and that “hopefully they have the town’s best interest at heart.” Election day is April 26.
Luca says he’s looking forward to the challenges before the selectmen ahead. “Keeping the town in good financial standing, being a watchdog for the citizens of Ayer, and making sure that the town administrator that we pick is a good fit for the town,” are among the challenges ahead, Luca said, “and ensuring that the board’s future makeup is in the best (interest) of the town and not for the betterment of personal agendas.”