Three people will vie for the two open seats on the Essex Selectboard this Town Meeting Day, petitions filed with the town clerk’s office show.

Patrick Murray and Annie Cooper join incumbent Irene Wrenner in seeking a pair of three-year seats on the town governing board.

Murray now serves on the Essex Westford School Board. He said he’s found more free time thanks to his work life slowing down and saw the selectboard – and its Monday meetings, which don’t conflict with the school board – as a good place to get more involved.

Explaining what he could bring to the table, Murray said his role on the school board uniquely positions him as someone who could help the district and the town work better together.

As for how he would juggle two potentially competing interests, Murray believes it would be difficult to find a decision in which the school and town are at odds because they both have common goals to do what’s best for taxpayers. But if such a scenario did come up, he said, he would “look at the information and decide what I think is best for the majority of people.”

“In most cases,” he said, “I think there’s usually a way where any sort of conflict would be well resolved.”

For Cooper, the decision to run follows years of consideration – seven, to be exact. It almost became eight after she thought she had missed the deadline, but after learning last week that she still had time to file her petition, Cooper picked one up Monday morning and bounced around town, getting the 30 signatures needed before the 5 p.m. deadline.

“My goal is to respectfully and kindly listen and represent Essex as well as it has been to me,” she said.

The Reporter will feature a written Q&A with the three candidates prior to Town Meeting Day and would like to hear what questions you might want answered. Send any questions to