PROVINCETOWN — Four candidates have filed papers to run for the two select board seats that are up for election this May 9; Erik Borg, Austin Knight, Austin Miller, and Gordon Siegel.
Neither of the currently serving select board members whose terms are up this year chose to run for re-election. Bobby Anthony announced last year that he had been diagnosed with cancer and would not be running again. Louise Venden took out papers to run this year but chose not to return them by the March 21 deadline.
“I have decided to leave the Provincetown Select Board at the end of this term,” Venden said. “I will continue to work for more and diverse housing, expanded hours and broader medical and mental health services with other community organizations.”
Voters can choose two of the four candidates who will appear on the ballot or reserve their vote for only one. The Independent will publish candidate interviews and host a candidate forum in April, closer to election day.
Borg is a co-owner of the Provincetown Brewing Company, which opened on Bradford Street in 2019, and is also head of sales and marketing there. He moved back to Provincetown in 2019 after having lived here from 2012 to 2014, when he wrote for the Provincetown Banner and worked at the Red Inn. From 2014 to 2019 he lived in New York, where he worked for a small public relations company.
He currently serves on the zoning board of appeals and is vice chair of the visitor services board. Borg is 38, and this is his first run for elected office.
Knight is a self-employed remodeler and contractor, though he is “pretty much retired,” he said. He served for seven years on the Provincetown Select Board, from 2007 to 2014, and was chair of the board for about two and a half years, he said. He resigned in May 2014, one year into his third term, in a year that was tumultuous for town government and also filled with painful deaths in his family.
Knight has also served on the water and sewer board and the historic district commission, and he was the town’s representative to the Cape Cod Commission. He ran for select board in 2020 as well, coming in third in a contest with Anthony and Venden, who were each running for re-election. He is 65.
Miller is a compliance officer for NBT Bank, which is headquartered in New York, and works on home solar panel financing. His background is in mortgage finance, he said, and he has worked for several companies in that arena, mostly headquartered in New York or the San Francisco area, where Miller grew up.
Miller moved to Provincetown in 2020 and joined the Year-Round Market-Rate Rental Housing Trust and the community housing council in 2021. He is the only person to serve on both housing committees, he said, and he is currently the vice chair of both groups.
Miller is 32; this is his first run for elected office.
Siegel has held a number of jobs in town: among them real estate broker, retail store owner, guesthouse owner, and partner in a restaurant. Toys of Eros and Big Daddy’s Burritos still exist, Seigel said, while Pete’s Buoy guesthouse is now the Gaslamp Bed and Breakfast. Siegel also said he has renovated properties throughout the Cape and managed them as year-round, seasonal, and weekly rentals.
Siegel served on the finance committee twice, once in the late 1990s and again in 2012 and 2013, he said. He has also run for select board twice, once in 2014 and once in 2017. He is 58.
Bobby Anthony has served on the select board since 2014, taking office the same month that Austin Knight resigned. He had been a Provincetown police officer for 30 years and was police chief for the last 10 of those.
In his time on the board, he helped shepherd the town through a series of police station votes that culminated just last year, when the station currently being built on Route 6 at Shank Painter Road was authorized by town meeting voters. Anthony had also worked as a Provincetown firefighter and has played a key role in discussions about the future needs of the fire dept.
Louise Venden first ran for select board in 2016, when she lost to incumbents Cheryl Andrews and Tom Donegan. She won an open seat in 2017 and was re-elected in 2020.
Venden is the select board’s appointee to the Year-Round Market-Rate Rental Housing Trust, which is work she has enjoyed, she said.
“I was one of three people on the finance committee who voted against the Harbor Hill purchase, you know, but I’m not someone who loses and just runs away,” she said. “We paid $8.4 million for that, something just outrageous when you look at the other bids that came in, and that property was in terrible condition.”
Nonetheless, making sure the property was cared for was important, Venden said.
“You try to make some contribution to the greater good,” she added. Harbor Hill has been challenging, “but the people who are living there are happy, and they’re by and large safe, and that’s the good news.”