The board of selectmen will have at least one new member in May. Its current chairman, Brent V.W. Putnam, announced last night he will not be running for reelection.
And that new member could be his wife, Rebecca A. Putnam of John Parker Road, East Falmouth, who pulled papers yesterday, the first day they were available to candidates.
“She told me that if he’s not running she will,” Town Clerk Michael C. Palmer said this morning. “I guess we’re just passing the baton here.”
Mr. Putnam did not go into details last night as to why he is not running, but this morning he explained that it was due to limited time and work obligations. He is currently employed at TJX in Framingham. “At this point in my life I’m stretched thin and I don’t have the time to devote to everything on my plate and something had to give,” he said.
Although he still has nearly three months remaining on the board, Mr. Putnam said, he will miss working with the public as an elected official. “I’m not going to end up crawling into a cave,” he promised, and he did not rule out a possibility of running in the future.
Mr. Putnam failed to garner a seat on the board the first time he ran in 2007, but his fortunes changed in 2008 when he unseated incumbent Catherine O’Brien Bumpus of Millfield Street, Woods Hole.
During that second campaign, he pushed hard for an audit of the controversial $86 million Falmouth High School renovation. In November of the year he was elected, he convinced Town Meeting to pass a petitioners article that would review the high school project once it was completed. That audit has yet to happen, facing resistance from other selectmen, although Mr. Putnam has lobbied for it several times in recent years.
Mr. Putnam returned to his seat in 2011 as the lead vote-getter in an election that required a recount to determine the second board member, Kevin E. Murphy of Dale Drive, North Falmouth, who narrowly bested Paul D. Brodeur of Bacon Farm Road, East Falmouth, by four votes.
Mr. Murphy has said he intends to run and will pull papers in March.
Also announcing his intentions yesterday to run for the selectman’s race is Marc P. Finneran of Trotting Park Road, Teaticket. Mr. Finneran finished third in last year’s race, falling short in his first bid to serve on the town’s top board.
The last day to pull papers, which are available in Mr. Palmer’s office at Town Hall, is Friday, March 28, at 4:30 PM.