Alan McClennen Jr.McClennen

Arlington's former planning director left Town Hall a decade ago, but he can't seem to retire: Alan McClennen Jr. is running for selectmen in Orleans.

"I have worked for and with great boards of selectmen over my entire professional career (almost 48 years)," he wrote. "I know what the job entails."

McClennen, who will turn 74 in April, served Arlington from 1974 to 2003. An area along Summer Street that was once a dump but was turned into a park is named after him. He is probably best known for his work in helping to convert a former rail bed to become the Minuteman Bikeway, which opened in 1992, and for helping to start Vision 2020, the volunteer organization that helps shape Arlington's future.

Asked why he is running, McClennen wrote: "I had always felt that I could be more effective in my 'outside' positions. In my retirement here in Orleans, I have found that I truly love local government."

Two weeks ago, he had a conversation with a close friend who was up for reelection, he wrote. A local news report said that was Selectman Sue Christie. She indicated that if McClennen were to run, she would be relieved and would not.

"My heart and head said, 'Alan, you owe it to the residents to see if they would like my kind of leadership and commitment.' Now for the hard work between now and May 21," the date of the election.

In Orleans, where his family goes back five generations, McClennen has been on the Open Space/Land Bank Committee for more than eight years, serving as its chair for six. In addition, he has been "actively involved in preserving fragile Cape lands for future generations."

On the Community Preservation Committee since its creation in 2006, he serves as its current vice chair. "Here, I have been able to promote my lifelong passions for affordable housing, historic preservation, open space and recreation."

The effort funded a townwide bicycle plan.

Uses Arlington experince 'almost daily'

"I use my Arlington experiences almost daily," he wrote. "It is a very special town and very dear to me. Many of the issues we dealt with then are just arriving on the Cape and history is a great teacher."

He is among the founding members of the Orleans Pond Coalition and Pleasant Bay Community Boating. He is also involved in the Association to Preserve Cape Cod, Friends of Pleasant Bay and the Cape Cod Business Roundtable.

In Arlington, he has served on the board of the Cambridge Savings Bank for 32 years and has been chairman for the last four years.

Jon Fuller, the current Orleans Board of Selectmen chairman, is running for his fourth term.

Potential candidates have until March 29 to take out papers.


This story was published Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013.