YORK, Maine — Mary Andrews insists that this time, she’s retiring from the Board of Selectmen for good.

“I’m old,” said the 78-year-old chair of the board. “It seems like I’ve always been at a dead run, and I probably took more on in life than I should have. I’ve earned a break.”

Andrews is not seeking re-election this May to the board on which she has served for five terms at various times going back more than 20 years. In between, she was York’s state representative and senator in the late 90s and early 2000s. There was even a period when she was a selectman and state representative.

“Dave Ott lied to me,” she said ironically, referring to local attorney and then-state representative David Ott. “I told him I was committed to being a selectman. He said being a state representative only took a couple of days a week…” She paused, looking askance.

“I said something later, and he said, ‘yea, but we got you.’”

Through it all was woven a personal history that has been painful and difficult. Her first husband, Charles Black, was a state trooper killed in the line of duty in 1964. She was elected to the state Senate in 2004 around the same time her son, Bill, committed suicide. And just this past November, her husband Allan Andrews died following an unexpected flare-up of a blood condition.

After her son died and Andrews determined not to run for a second term to the Senate, she said back then that she was going to take time to herself. But she found herself just a few years later in 2009 throwing her hat in the ring for the Board of Selectmen again.

“I think I had to have my head examined,” she said.

As she looks back on her tenure on the board, she said without a doubt the most traumatic period was in just the past few years as problems with the proposed police station began to unfold.

“The board was very contentious,” she said, referring to a board comprised of her, Ron Nowell, Torbert Macdonald, Kinley Gregg and Scott Fiorentino. “There were a good many nights I didn’t sleep. The board was not working together at all, and it became very, very difficult.”

She said she shares part of the responsibility for the beleaguered project, which was shut down for lack of proper state permitting and other issues, and has been dormant for more than two years.

“I probably added to some of the problems with the police station. We all did. There’s enough blame for everyone, from the board, to the building committee to [former town manager] Rob [Yandow],” she said.

In the past six months, the board and Town Manager Steve Burns have been working to get the station project started again. A new building committee has just started meeting.

“I had hoped to see that get off the ground again before I left. We didn’t quite get there, but it’s closer than it was.”

As for moments of pride, she mentions her work to get proper stairways in place from the sidewalk on Long Beach Avenue to Long Sands Beach; the fact that she was instrumental in selling town land on Route 1 to Stonewall Kitchen — a business that is “great for the town of York”; and her work with local attorney James Bartlett to form Casinos No!, to ensure a casino was not built in southern Maine.

Just because she isn’t running again doesn’t mean she will totally fade away. She will remain on the board of the York Ambulance Association, and hopes to remain on the town cemetery committee.

But now, she has visions of sewing and knitting, attending quilt shows, perhaps going shopping with friends and puttering in the garden.

“Maybe I’ll sit around and eat bonbons,” she said with a laugh.