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BREAKING NEWS & DAILY NEWSLETTER



Meet the candidates for town positions

by | May 15, 2019 | News

The Town Election is scheduled for May 20. There are five contested races: Board of Selectmen, town moderator, commissioners of parks and recreation, commissioners of trust funds and Planning Board, two-year term.

Below is a list of all positions on the ballot and four questions that will be on the ballot. 

The Hopkinton Independent invited all candidates to answer some basic questions about their background and provide a general statement. Below the list of positions and ballot questions are the candidates’ responses. 

BOARD OF SELECTMEN

(2 seats, 3 years)

Brendan Tedstone, unenrolled (candidate for re-election)

Claire B. Wright, Republican (candidate for re-election)

Mary Jo LaFreniere, Democrat

Shahidul Hassan Mannan, Democrat

 

TOWN MODERATOR

(1 seat, 3 years)

Thomas J. Garabedian, Republican (candidate for re-election)

Ellen D. Rutter, Democrat

 

TOWN CLERK

(1 seat, 3 years)

Connor B. Degan, unenrolled (candidate for re-election)

 

BOARD OF ASSESSORS

(1 seat, 3 years)

Gunajit Medhi, unenrolled

 

BOARD OF HEALTH

(1 seat, 3 years)

Richard Peter Jacobs, unenrolled

 

BOARD OF LIBRARY TRUSTEES

(2 seats, 3 years)

Susan E. Porter, Democrat (candidate for re-election)

Janice LP Barry, Democrat

 

CEMETERY COMMISSIONER

(1 seat, 3 years)

John L. Palmer, unenrolled (candidate for re-election)

 

COMMISSIONERS OF PARKS AND RECREATION

(1 seat, 3 years)

Robert Evan Davis, Republican

Peter M. Edwards, unenrolled

Cynthia S. Esthimer, Democrat

 

COMMISSIONERS OF TRUST FUNDS

(1 seat, 3 years)

Susan M. Kurys, Democrat

Gerald E. Tuite, Republican

 

CONSTABLE

(1 seat, 3 years)

Michael A. Hayes, Democrat (candidate for re-election)

 

HOUSING AUTHORITY

(1 seat, 5 years)

Warren E. Johnson, unenrolled (candidate for re-election)

 

PLANNING BOARD, 5-YEAR TERM

(1 seat, 5 years)

Gary B. Trendel, unenrolled

 

PLANNING BOARD, 2-YEAR TERM

(1 seat, 2-year unexpired term)

Robert C. Benson Jr., unenrolled

Michael J. McNamara, unenrolled

 

PLANNING BOARD, 1-YEAR TERM

(1 seat, 1-year unexpired term)

Patrick Atwell, Democrat

 

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

(1 Seat, 3 years)

Nancy M. Richards-Cavanaugh, unenrolled (candidate for re-election)

 

BALLOT QUESTIONS

 

Question 1: Shall the Town of Hopkinton be required to reduce the amount of real estate and personal property taxes to be assessed for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2019, by an amount equal to $1,180,568?

Question 2: Shall the Town of Hopkinton be allowed to exempt from the provisions of Proposition 2 1/2, so-called, the amounts required to pay for the bond issued in order to purchase a ladder truck for the Fire Department?

Question 3: Shall the Town of Hopkinton be allowed to exempt from the provisions of 2 1/2, so-called, the amounts required to pay for the bond issued in order to purchase an interest in land contiguous with the Town Hall property for the purpose of providing Town Hall parking?

Question 4: Shall the Town of Hopkinton be allowed to exempt from the provisions of 2 1/2, so-called, the amounts required to pay for the bond issued in order to purchase an interest in one or more parcels of land for the purpose of providing municipal parking in the downtown area?

 

Brendan Tedstone

Position being sought: Board of Selectmen

Party affiliation: None

Occupation: Licensed nurse

Years lived in Hopkinton: 49

Governmental experience: Board of Selectmen, three years

Additional volunteer/service experience: Hopkinton Fire Department volunteer, Elementary School Building Committee, Open Space Preservation Committee, Veterans Celebration Committee

General statement: My name is Brendan Tedstone, and I’m seeking to continue my service as a Hopkinton selectman, a position in which I’ve served since 2016. As a sixth-generation Hopkintonian, I’ve lived in our town for over 49 years, and I’m now proudly raising my children here. I am eager to continue to serve you. Professionally, I am a licensed nurse, specializing in dementia care. Currently, I’m the nurse manager of a dementia unit in a nearby nursing home. I’ve also been a volunteer member of the Hopkinton Fire Department, joining in 1989.

I am running for selectman because I want to continue to serve all members of the Hopkinton community, with my special focus on our public safety, seniors and veterans. As a strong advocate of fiscal responsibility, I want to work hard to maintain our strong existing levels of town services all within the tight budgetary constraints that we are facing. I am politically unenrolled; I believe strongly that all our community members deserve my best efforts. I look forward to continuing to serve every resident of our great town and humbly ask for your vote on May 20th.

 

CLAIRE WRIGHT

Position being sought: Board of Selectmen

Party affiliation: Republican

Occupation: Former editor and higher education administrator

Education: Wheaton College (Norton), M.A./B.A.; Northeastern University, MBA

Years lived in Hopkinton: 39

Governmental experience: Board of Selectmen (three years), Planning Board (15 years), Design Review Board, Historical Commission, Historic District Commission, Cemetery Commission, Downtown Revitalization Committee, Fruit Street Master Plan Committee

Additional volunteer/service experience: Hopkinton Historical Society Board of Directors,  Hopkinton Humane Society Board of Directors

General statement: Serving you on the Board of Selectmen, and this year as chairman, I hope that I have earned your trust and respect. I am running for re-election because in these times of rapid growth and change, Hopkinton needs continued, experienced leadership — someone who has demonstrated their commitment to our town, and a selectman who will work for fiscal responsibility and balanced growth and services. I offer leadership focused on keeping Hopkinton a prosperous and well-managed town and maintaining our strong schools, our community character, and our quality of life.

I believe in a “One Hopkinton” approach to issues and problem-solving. We can neither dwell on old Hopkinton nor disregard its value to focus solely on the new. We appreciate that we are a community of varied ages, varied incomes and varied cultures, and we are enriched by that diversity. We must recognize the financial and community strength that is brought by new growth, while we seek to develop in ways that support rather than sacrifice our town character.

As the citizens’ representative, I will listen to you, work to understand the many factors, and seek answers that address the public’s concerns. The “win-win” is always my objective. Through collaboration rather than conflict, I believe we can find balanced solutions that are reasonable, practical, and effective. This is the “One Hopkinton” ideal: to promote a Hopkinton that serves all of its citizens well. I hope to have your vote on May 20 and the honor to continue to serve you.

 

MARY JO LAFRENIERE

Position being sought: Board of Selectmen

Party affiliation: Democrat

Occupation: Professional assessor (recently retired)

Education: Massachusetts Accredited Assessor (MAA)

Years lived in Hopkinton: 40-plus

Governmental experience: Board of Assessors (current), Tax Relief Committee, Commissioners of Trust Funds (founding member), former professional assessor for Holliston and Plainville, former district director for State Senator David Magnani

Additional volunteer/service experience: Marathon Committee volunteer (current), Hopkinton Senior Center (current); former treasurer for Boy Scout Troop 1

General statement: My name is Mary Jo LaFreniere and I am running for Board of Selectmen.

In Hopkinton, we face many challenges as we struggle to accommodate our town’s growth. That’s why I believe that a strong financial and municipal background is critical for a selectman candidate. I have served for many years on the Board of Assessors and the Marathon Committee. I am a Massachusetts accredited assessor and have served as a professional assessor for the towns of Holliston and Plainville. Here in Hopkinton, I have served as a Commissioner of Trust Funds and on the Tax Relief Committee. At the state level, I was district director for Senator David Magnani.

As a selectman, I will encourage business and industry in order to increase town revenue, pursue infrastructure improvements including a smart parking plan, promote affordable housing options for those who need them, help keep our school rankings high, and focus on long-term preservation of Hopkinton’s natural resources.

Our family moved to Hopkinton when our boys were 3 years old and 3 months old. Over the years I came to love our friendly town with its strong school system and beautiful natural environment. Now as the town grows, I want to grow my service to the town. I hope to serve old and new residents alike, and foster a sense of community so that we can all share the same wonderful Hopkinton experience that my family and I have enjoyed.

I respectfully ask for your vote on May 20.

 

SHAHIDUL MANNAN

Position being sought: Board of Selectmen

Party affiliation: Democrat

Occupation: IT/software executive

Education: MBA in finance, Baruch College; Innovation Acceleration Executive Program, Tuck School of Business: B.S., Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology

Years lived in Hopkinton: 6

Governmental experience: Appropriation Committee member since January 2015

Additional volunteer/service experience: Chief analytics officer, Human Health Project, 2017-18; vice president, American Association of Bangladeshi Engineers and Architects, 2017-18; president-elect, American Association of Bangladeshi Engineers and Architects, January 2019; volunteer, Habitat for Humanity

General statement: My name is Shahidul Mannan, and I am proud to announce that I am running for the Board of Selectmen.

I am currently a member of the Appropriation Committee and have been serving for over four years. During this time, I learned to provide fiscal oversight while ensuring success of our community priorities. Through budget meetings with every service area of the town, I honed my skills in listening, understanding and supporting our community. My goal is to preserve and improve our resources, while ensuring due diligence and fiscal responsibility.

I have decades of professional experience as a corporate and technology leader — leading departments of over 300 people and managing software product lines and large enterprise programs. Combining this with my community experience, I will bring a new strategic perspective with focus on problem-solving through creativity and collaboration.

My wife, Nasiba, and I, along with our two kids, moved to Hopkinton in 2012 — to raise our kids in a peaceful, friendly and beautiful town with great schools. As we enjoy the community resources, we believe in giving back.

As your next selectman, I will work towards a prosperous Hopkinton that grows in harmony, keeping focus on our great schools — while maintaining affordability, building diverse community and ensuring quality of lives. I will focus on revenue growth while preserving the cozy, green and peaceful town character that we all love and care about.

Please vote for me, Shahidul Mannan for selectman on May 20.

Thank you!

 

TOM GARABEDIAN

Position: Town moderator

Party affiliation: Republican

Occupation: Retired consulting actuary

Education: A.B., Bowdoin College; Fellow of the Society of Actuaries (retired)

Years lived in Hopkinton: 31

Governmental experience: Hopkinton School Committee, six years; Commissioner of Trust Funds, nine years; Zoning Board of Appeals, 15 years

Additional volunteer/service experience: Board member, Armenia Tree Project, Armenian Church Endowment Fund

General statement: I have been privileged to serve as Hopkinton town moderator for the past three years. As a candidate three years ago, I committed to conducting Town Meeting in an impartial, nonpartisan and informed fashion. I believe that Town Meetings over the past three years have been run in an efficient and effective manner and that I have lived up to my commitment to Hopkinton, its voters, and, most importantly, Town Meeting participants.

In order to develop my skills as a moderator, I have been an active participant in the Mass. Moderators Association and its subcommittee on keeping town meetings relevant. I repeat my commitment to being informed about all of the articles on the town warrant so that the meetings will run smoothly and so that participants can make informed decisions that affect the future of our town. I respectfully request your vote on May 20.

 

ELLEN RUTTER

Position being sought: Town moderator

Party affiliation: Democrat

Occupation: Marketing operations

Education: M.B.A. from Fairfield University, B.A. from Princeton University

Years lived in Hopkinton: ~16

Governmental experience: I am the secretary of the Hopkinton Democratic Town Committee. I’ve represented Hopkinton at a number of local and state meetings.

Additional volunteer/service experience: See statement below

General statement: I’m Ellen Rutter. I’m running for Hopkinton town moderator. As your moderator, I’ll bring a fresh perspective to Town Meeting. Moderator responsibilities include making sure that the meeting is run according to our laws and town charter.

Hopkinton residents make key decisions at Town Meeting — including ratifying our annual ~$100M budget. It is an important forum for residents, committees and employees to help govern Hopkinton!

At Town Meeting in May 2018, I was the deputy town moderator, and in February 2019 I served as acting town moderator for our Special Town Meeting. I’ve gotten good feedback on my approach at both meetings.

Throughout my career in marketing, meeting facilitation has been one of my primary responsibilities. In my current job, I facilitate complex meetings for a pharma company. I’ve been regularly recognized for effectively engaging all stakeholders, navigating complex discussions and getting to fair outcomes efficiently. I’m excited to bringing my experience and skills to the town moderator role.

I’ve raised my two kids in Hopkinton, where since 2000 we’ve appreciated the fabulous education our schools offer and enjoyed many town programs. My community engagement has included volunteering on my neighborhood board, serving on the board at my church and participating in local politics.

As Hopkinton grows, we need to ensure that all Hopkinton voices are heard. We need to manage our meetings effectively and efficiently. We need to keep Hopkinton moving forward.

Thank you in advance for your consideration and support.

 

CONNOR B. DEGAN

Position being sought: Town clerk

Party affiliation: None

Occupation: Hopkinton town clerk

Education: B.A. from Roger Williams University, major in political science, minor in psychology

Years lived in Hopkinton: 23

Governmental experience: Hopkinton Town Clerk since May of 2016, commissioner on the Hopkinton Housing Authority since May of 2015, member of the Board of Registrars and the Appropriation Committee Appointing Committee (coinciding with term as town clerk)

Additional volunteer/service experience: Volunteer lector at St. John the Evangelist parish in Hopkinton

General statement: I have had the privilege to serve as the Town Clerk in Hopkinton for the past three years. In this time, I have strived to improve the functions of my office, the quality of the town, and the experience of the residents who also call this wonderful community their home. To achieve this, I have adopted four pillars as a method to ensure these goals can be met.  These pillars consist of skilled professionalism, engaged community building, fostering civic engagement, and delivering excellent customer service to my fellow residents.

The professionalism of the office continues to improve opportunities for professional growth; just this year I graduated from the New England Municipal Clerks Institute, and I will be eligible for certification later this year upon reelection. To build community, I have worked with local nonprofits and our faith community to ensure that our residents are connected with services as well as joining together to ensure that we all thrive. We have increased civic engagement through voter registration drives, running a mock election in Hopkins School with students, and working closely with groups in town to increase familiarity with local governance. Our customer service is augmented through the wonderful staff that are always eager to assist in anyway that they can, ensuring that the “face of Town Hall“ always provides expedient and friendly service to our residents.

I humbly request your vote on May 20th, to show that these values are just as important to you as they are to me.

 

GUNAJIT MEDHI

Position being sought: Board of Assessors

Party affiliation: None

Occupation: Senior director, software engineering at Dell EMC

Education: B.E. in aeronautical engineering from the University of London; M.S. in mechanical engineering from Boston University; MBA from Babson College

Years lived in Hopkinton: 6

Governmental experience: None

Additional volunteer/service experience: Hopkinton Little League, board member

General statement: My name is Gunajit Medhi. Some folks in town know me as Guna. I am running as a candidate for the Board of Assessors.

I live on Hayden Rowe Street with my wife, Tanya, and our three children, Neel, Kunaal and Alisha. Hopkinton has been a safe, friendly and welcoming town for me and my family. It is a place where our children have found a foundation to establish roots and flourish.

I am running for this position since I am always looking for new ways to give back to the community. Over the last two years, I have been a member of the Hopkinton Little League Basketball board and this spring I will also be assisting as a coach on my son’s 11U team.

Like many others in town, I have attended several town meetings and eHop events. I have also met with several others who are currently active on elected positions in town or have served in the past. Having those interactions and with support from friends and family, I have decided to actively participate in the dialogue towards creating sustainable solutions to the property tax challenge. My candidacy for this position is a start on that journey.

If elected to office on May 20th, I will patiently listen to both longterm and new residents of our wonderful town. I will work cooperatively with fellow board members and other elected officials to find new and innovative solutions to our town’s many opportunities.

 

SUSAN E. PORTER

Position being sought: Board of Library Trustees

Party affiliation: Democrat

Occupation: Registered nurse (retired)

Education: Boston University B.S.N.

Years lived in Hopkinton: 43

Governmental experience: Six years on Library Trustees, three years as chair

Additional volunteer/service experience: Library volunteer

General statement: I have always been passionate about libraries. Growing up in Natick, I would disappear for hours into my local library.

When we moved to Hopkinton, one of my first actions was to apply for a library card. I like to say that I raised my daughter in the Hopkinton Library.

When I retired, I was naturally drawn to the library as a volunteer, and I was soon encouraged to run for trustee by then Director Rownak Hussain (and my family!). I have been the chair for the last three years.

During my time on the Board of Trustees, in addition to our legislated role of administrative oversight for the library and its director, we have been leading the board in a newer, more accessible role. The board is participating actively in events held by the Friends [of the Hopkinton Public Library] and [Hopkinton Public Library] Foundation, hosting events ourselves, and educating community members about the role of the trustees

My tenure has been through exciting times for our library. I, and the board, have worked with three directors during the buildup to the Town Meeting vote, planning and execution for our new library. I have been involved in implementing two strategic plans, multiple policy decisions, oversight of the library directors, and planning and hosting many events at the library, including the October 2017 grand opening.

I can’t wait to continue on the Board to support our director and to implement the many changes to come as our new library matures and grows.

 

JANICE BARRY

Position being sought: Library Board of Trustees

Party affiliation: Democrat

Occupation: Music teacher for Dover-Sherborn Public Schools (11 years)

Education: B.S. in music education from Penn State, Master of Music in music education from Boston University

Years lived in Hopkinton: 10 years

Governmental experience: None

Additional volunteer/service experience: Active member and volunteer for the Hopkinton Running Club, Hopkinton Moms Group and Faith Community Church

General statement: A love for reading and our beautiful library inspired me to run for the Library Board of Trustees. I am an avid reader and regular patron of the library. I believe the library is the cornerstone of our community and I feel called to serve after 10 years of making Hopkinton my home.

I’ve been a music educator for 11 years, teaching elementary through high school students at the Dover-Sherborn Public Schools. I enjoy spending time with my husband, Mike, and son, Nate (2). I am an active member of the Hopkinton Running Club, Hopkinton Moms Group and Faith Community Church.

As a trustee, I would place special emphasis on governance/policymaking and strategic planning. I would work with the library director and board members to create and evaluate policies for building and material use to ensure that we protect and maintain our beautiful library. A new strategic plan will be published shortly, and I look forward to the opportunity to carry out its implementation to increase and maintain foot traffic and to advocate for support from residents and elected officials.

The tagline of the library is, “Explore, discover, connect.” If I have the opportunity to serve as a library trustee, I promise to help my fellow residents explore the many services available to them, discover and learn new things through reading, and connect with fellow neighbors in the beautiful library we are privileged to call our own.

Please visit fb.com/janiceforlibrary and vote on May 20!

 

ROBERT EVAN DAVIS

Position being sought: Parks and Recreation Commission

Party affiliation: Republican

Occupation: Self-employed, commercial real estate management

Education: B.A. in business management/marketing, Gettysburg College; Master’s in organizational management, University of Phoenix

Years lived in Hopkinton: 2
Governmental experience: Town of Framingham Community Development

Committee, 2016-17

Additional volunteer/service experience: Boston Scholar Athlete Program, executive athletic director — working directly with Boston Public Schools and Parks and Rec to improve athletic facilities and access in the City of Boston

General statement: My wife and I moved here with our two daughters in 2017. We picked Hopkinton because of the amazing town and wonderful school system. To say that we have been happy with our decision would be an understatement. My family and I have been overwhelmed with the welcoming nature of our town and strong sense of community. Because of that, I felt it was my duty to get involved and give back.

Having been involved with both of my daughters’ town athletic teams, I see the great programs that we provide at our Fruit Street fields, EMC Park, Center School gym/field, high school facilities and other auxiliary facilities. I believe that I can be helpful in ensuring the future quality of those programs and our facilities. I also believe there are areas where we can benefit even more our residents, young and old, through strategic partnerships that will enhance our existing programs and bring exciting new ones to our town. These new and innovative partnerships will also help to generate new forms of revenue that will allow us to meet the needs of our growing community though improvements to our existing facilities and the identification of new opportunities.

 

PETER EDWARDS

Position being sought: Parks and Recreation Commission

Party affiliation: None

Occupation: Real estate broker

Education: Hopkinton High School, B.A. in marketing from Salve Regina University

Years lived in Hopkinton: 23

Governmental experience: None

Additional volunteer/service experience: Special Olympics, Friends Of Hopkinton board member and Hopkinton Family Day organizer

General statement: Parks and Recreation to me is about experiences. By providing the community with space, facilities and programs, it gives the townspeople the opportunity to create memorable experiences. Whether it be your first soccer game, a big win on the cricket field, a great swim at Sandy Beach or learning how to babysit, these are all experiences that Parks and Recreation help create and become your Hopkinton experience.

Throughout my life I have always been an organizer. As a seventh-grader I helped start a petition to bring ice hockey to Hopkinton, in college I was board member and MC to run a local Special Olympics event, and today I am a board member for the Friends of Hopkinton, helping run Hopkinton Family Day. In addition to my volunteer experience, my professional life in the real estate industry gives me a unique skill set to be able to identify and visualize how to improve property and enhance value.

My goal if elected is to use both my local and professional knowledge to help enhance and maintain the use of our assets in a responsible way to continue providing memorable experiences for all of Hopkinton to enjoy!

I humbly ask for your vote on May 20th.

 

CYNTHIA ESTHIMER

Position being sought: Parks and Recreation Commission

Party affiliation: Democrat

Occupation: Business owner, Empty It Out home downsizing and clean-out services

Education: M.A, media and performing arts

Years lived in Hopkinton: 33

General statement: I am excited to participate in the May 20th election as a candidate for commissioner of Parks and Recreation. As a resident of Hopkinton for over 30 years, I have seen our Parks and Rec Department rise to the challenges of our rapidly growing town. It would be my honor to support and provide oversight as programming expands and new projects are undertaken.

My goals as commissioner are to encourage programming for all ages and interests and to ensure that our parks and fields are well maintained. As a City of Newton after school program director, I have proven to be an excellent communicator with city departments of parks and rec, planning and development, police and fire and buildings and maintenance. Using this experience, I will work to collaborate with all our town boards and commissions.

Thank you for considering to vote for Cynthia Esthimer!

 

SUE KURYS

Position being sought: Commissioner of Trust Funds

Party affiliation: Democrat

Occupation: Business strategy consultant to private and nonprofit organizations

Education: MBA with a certificate in public and nonprofit management, Stanford; B.S. in engineering, Princeton; fundraising, estate planning and grants studies, Boston University

Years lived in Hopkinton: 20

Governmental experience: Hopkinton Tax Relief Committee for senior and disabled residents

Additional volunteer/service experience: Pro bono consulting to nonprofits in the arts, environment and healthcare; Friends of the Hopkinton Public Library, board member and director of membership and development; Preserve at Hopkinton Community Association, officer and board member; Community Consulting Teams, Inc., annual appeal manager; Sudbury Valley Trustees, marketing, benefit committee; Brown Dog Coalition and Rescue, foster home for rescue dogs

General statement: My name is Sue Kurys and I’m running for Commissioner of Trust Funds.

The Commissioners of Trust Funds is a three-member board that has oversight over five trust funds bequeathed to the town for various betterment and beautification projects. The commissioners have fiduciary responsibility for the trusts, follow the strict legal terms governing each trust, and ensure expenditures are aligned with the wishes of the benefactors.

My service to the town and community makes me well-qualified for this role. For example, as the clerk of the Tax Relief Committee, I ensure that all town policies are adhered to and that the decision-making process is objective and equitable. As a board member for several nonprofits, I have fiduciary responsibilities and ensure expenditures are made in accordance with each organization’s mission and values. It would be my great privilege to carry forth the values of the benefactors who so loved our town.

I believe the deep roots and heritage of our town makes Hopkinton a wonderful place to live and raise a family. These trusts are a lasting part of that heritage. I would be honored to serve as their steward. Please vote for me for Commissioner of Trust Funds on May 20th.

 

JERRY TUITTE

Position being sought: Commissioner of Trust Funds

Party affiliation: Republican

Occupation: Retired

Education: B.A., economics, Fairfield University

Years lived in Hopkinton: 35

Governmental experience: Currently serving on Hopkinton Board of Appeals (four years), formerly financial manager in Department of Defense (40 years)

Additional volunteer/service experience: Hopkinton Youth Soccer Board of Directors;  coached girls and boys youth baseball, soccer and basketball; served on boards of several civic and social organizations including Toastmasters, Jaycees and a counseling agency; Boy Scout assistant scoutmaster, merit badge counselor, led weeklong wilderness canoe trips; volunteered in programs mentoring Roxbury youth and Massachusetts prison inmates; St. John’s CCD eighth-grade teacher (10 years)

General statement: I don’t see myself as running for office. I’m volunteering. It’s what I have always done when I saw a need and had the time.

As a civilian in the federal government, my job was to manage defense budgets, taxpayers’ money, and advise senior civilian and military managers on appropriation law. On a smaller scale this position involves a similar responsibility. Commissioners must understand the laws governing their own positions, the rules for the trust funds, and apply those faithfully. It requires a little homework and enthusiasm for working with a team. Sounds like fun. I’ll take your vote as a trust.

 

GARY TRENDEL

Position being sought: Planning Board, 5-year term

Party affiliation: None

Occupation: Corporate marketing strategy

Education: B.S. in civil engineering and MBA with healthcare focus

Years lived in Hopkinton: 12

Governmental experience: Planning board, one year (current); CPC, one year (current); ZAC, one year; Upper Charles Trail Committee, two years

Additional volunteer/service experience: Youth soccer, softball and basketball coach

General statement: As a Hopkinton resident for 12 years, I have seen our town face many challenges, most recently being the explosive growth that concerns nearly all of us. I don’t think there is a simple solution, but I do believe that through creativity and a progressive mindset we can make the best of the situation we have been dealt. I have served on the Planning Board for almost one year and have gained a great appreciation for the complexities associated with it. The learning curve is long, and while I truly value new and different perspectives, I also think it is important to maintain some stability. I have distinguished my service on the board with an open ear, appreciation for what is in the best interest of our community, and an unbiased mindset.

I grew up with a strong interest in urban planning and architecture, and considered studying it in college, but I opted for a more traditional civil engineering degree. Then in business school I worked for a small consultancy that advocated for “new urbanism,” which really sparked my interest in new ways of building community. To me, good planning is an art — it combines a willingness to engage with the community, a strong technical background, a forward-looking vision, and a deep appreciation for what builds strong, sustainable communities.

Thanks for your engagement in our community, and I greatly appreciate your support of my candidacy.

 

ROBERT BENSON

Position being sought: Planning Board, 2-year term

Party affiliation: None

Occupation: Director of product management

Education: MBA, Babson College; B.S. in electrical engineering from UMass-Amherst; Hopkinton High School graduate

Years lived in Hopkinton: 33

Governmental experience: None

Additional volunteer/service experience: Youth soccer, youth basketball and Little League Baseball coach

General statement: Hello Hopkinton! My name is Rob Benson, candidate for Planning Board, and I’d really appreciate your vote in the May 20th election!

I will bring a balanced view to the Planning Board to proactively manage residential and commercial growth in town to be in line with the best interests of all of the residents, whether they are longtime multi-generational townies or newcomers. I will work hard to find the common ground on land-use issues that are often contentious and rage-invoking to be in the best interests of the town.

Hopkinton is a great place to live, with great schools and community activities. I want to listen to the people of the town to preserve the character, charm and vitality of the town as we collectively shape the future.

I am appreciative that I’ve been able to live in Hopkinton for most of my life, having gone to Elmwood School and graduated from Hopkinton High School. My wife and I have lived in our current home for almost 15 years and are proud to be raising our two boys in Hopkinton.

Outside of town government I coach youth soccer, youth basketball and Little League.

In my professional life I’m in a leadership position at a software company in Westborough, where I listen to customers’ needs and create a balanced go-forward product and solution plan to meet their needs.

Thank you!

 

MIKE McNAMARA

Position being sought: Planning Board, 2-year term

Party affiliation: None

Occupation: Marketing

Education: B.S., Fairfield University; MBA, Clark University

Years lived in Hopkinton: 22

Governmental experience: Three terms as a library trustee

Additional volunteer/service experience: Coach for Hopkinton boys and girls youth soccer, Coach for Hopkinton youth baseball and softball, coach for Hopkinton boys and girls youth basketball, St. John the Evangelist of Hopkinton Parish Council, religious education teacher at St. John the Evangelist of Hopkinton, Worcester Mustard Seed volunteer, Worcester County Food Bank volunteer

General statement: I enjoyed my time as a library trustee, but after eight years I want to do something different. I have been volunteering in town every year in different capacities since 2001. I have always been interested in running for the Planning Board and want to help with the different issues facing the town. The town continues to grow and there is a lot of building and development in process or planned and I can provide a fresh perspective and new ideas.

 

PATRICK ATWELL

 

Position being sought: Planning Board, 1-year term

Party affiliation: Democrat

Education: J.D., June 2019; B.S., Northeastern University

Years lived in Hopkinton: 7

Additional volunteer/service experience: Veterans Celebration Committee, Citizen Planner Training Collaborative 2019

General statement: My name is Patrick Atwell and I am running for the one-year term Planning Board seat.

I have been a resident of Hopkinton since 2012, My wife and I really enjoy the small-town charm and the wonderful school system for our kids that Hopkinton has to offer. During this time I have seen this town grow at a rapid pace where one starts to question are we growing too fast and are we putting a strain on our town services.

The Planning Board plays an important role in ensuring that we as residents can help maintain and grow the town in an orderly way. We must preserve the charm and character of our town which is what attracted so many residents here to live. I believe in working together as a team, in doing so if elected I will work with the board in shaping our town for the future as well as preserving the history and culture we all have grown to love.

I currently serve on the Veterans Celebration Committee. To further my education for the Planning Board, I have attended the Citizen Planner Training Collaborative Conference 2019. Professionally I am studying for my Juris Doctorate and I am a certified negotiator/mediator. My experience in understanding and applying the law will be a great addition to the Planning Board.

I respectfully ask for your vote on May 20th at Town Election.

 

NANCY RICHARDS-CAVANAUGH

Position being sought: School Committee

Party affiliation: None

Occupation: Social worker/emergency services mental health clinician

Education: B.A., Colby College, 1993; Master’s degree in social work, Boston University, 1997

Years lived in Hopkinton: 21

Governmental experience: Hopkinton School Committee, 2016-19

Additional volunteer/service experience: Former HPTA executive board member, former eHop board member, former Girl Scout leader, former Hopkinton Youth Soccer coach, classroom-based and school-based volunteer, religious education teacher

General statement: I am seeking re-election to the Hopkinton School Committee to continue to work on behalf of the Hopkinton students, staff and community in providing for the educational welfare of all of our students while meeting the fiduciary responsibility we hold to our town. Our schools are at a critical juncture with rapidly rising enrollments and shifting demographics, and I will continue to work proactively to ensure our programming, staffing and facilities meet the needs of our entire student body.

I will work with our state agencies and legislators to help facilitate the Elmwood School’s acceptance into the Massachusetts School Building Authority’s school construction and renovation program, as state funding will be vital in this process. I will continue to work with our district to find solutions to capacity issues created by enrollment increases in all of our buildings.

During my first term, I have worked to improve transparency and communication on the School Committee by instituting School Committee office hours and maintaining a Facebook page (Nancy Cavanaugh, School Committee) dedicated to sharing relevant School Committee information, but I would like to continue to grow communication within the community and between town elected leaders and boards. I look forward to growing town-wide collaborations to maximize our resources, both human and financial, while promoting inclusivity and meeting the needs of all of our learners. I would welcome the opportunity to continue to serve our community and respectfully ask for your support at our May 20 Town Election.

 

 

 

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