Candidate questionnaire: Claire Wright

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Claire WrightPosition being sought: Cemetery Commissioner (candidate for re-election)

Party affiliation: Republican

Occupation: Retired from Verizon Communications

Education: B.A. from Wheaton College, MBA from Northeastern University

Years lived in Hopkinton: 40

Governmental experience: Board of Selectmen (three years), Planning Board (15 years), Cemetery Commission (15 years), Historic District Commission (30 years), Historical Commission (22 years), Design Review Board (19 years), Downtown Revitalization (eight years)

Additional volunteer/service experience: Hopkinton Humane Society/Baypath Humane Society (11 years)

General statement: Principal responsibilities of the Cemetery Commission are to provide adequate space to meet present and future needs, to ensure that the grounds, markers and monuments are properly cared for, and to conduct periodic financial review to keep both income and expenses in line with current costs and surrounding communities.

I am proud of the commission’s many accomplishments in the time I have been serving. When space was critically low, two new sections were opened at Mt. Auburn, and an extensive drainage system was installed, to provide over 1,000 new lots. Additional land has been purchased to meet future demand. With Community Preservation Act funding, almost 150 at-risk historic headstones have been repaired and reinstalled, and several dangerous monuments were straightened and stabilized. The 100-year old Comey Chapel was repaired and reopened for public use. The commission has recently completed a multi-phased project to protect the town’s more than 200 years of cemetery records by digitizing them and making them available to the public online. This unique public records program not only protects the town’s irreplaceable records but opens them up for historical and genealogical research and is consistent with the town’s goal of transparency and access.

In the coming term, I wish to take steps towards the development of the Mt. Auburn extension parcel, continue with the repair and restoration of the many historic stones, and continue to find ways to meet and improve delivery of this important municipal service.