Grafton – Three candidates – incumbent Craig Dauphinais, Sargon Hanna and Edward Prisby – are vying for two seats on the Grafton Board of Selectmen in the Annual Town Election which will be held Tuesday, May 17.
Here, in their own words, the candidates introduce themselves.
Education: Grafton High School and Assumption College.
Municipal Experience: Grafton Board of Selectmen 2004-2010; 2013-present; Grafton Planning Board – three years; Capital Improvement Planning Committee – four years; School Building Committee (Millbury St. Elementary School); Shared Services Committee – four years; Zoning By-Law Review Committee; Town Administrator Search Committee; Union Negotiations – Town Representative
Work Experience: Executive Director- Massachusetts Concrete & Aggregate Producers Association; 28 Years in the Ready Mix Concrete Industry, 20 years as a General Manager; President and Board Member of Concrete Industry Association; four years as V.P of Operations for Heavy Equipment Dealership; four year committee member of National Equipment Dealer Council
If elected: Work in conjunction with town staff and committees to improve town services to our residents; continue to be an approachable board member for the community; Focus on the development of the Mill Village District in South Grafton and Discovery Drive in North Grafton; Collaborate with town boards to bring potential zone changes to town meeting that will help create economic development opportunities; Improve services and facilities for our seniors; keep us on a path of financial strength and security; and continue to strengthen our schools and town infrastructure
I was born, raised, and continue to live in North Grafton. It is my home. I run a successful, family-owned commercial real estate development business that was started by my father, Elias. I am a licensed broker with over seven years of sales experience. I have been a member of the Grafton Planning Board for four years and am currently the chairman. In 2013, I joined both the Capital Improvement Planning Committee, of which I am the chairman, and the Community Preservation Committee. I am a consensus builder, active listener and possess strong leadership skills
I am running for the Board of Selectmen for one major reason: I love Grafton and want to see it remain a vibrant community for future generations. There are many challenges facing the town and I want to play an active role in resolving them. For example, we need to increase and improve economic development in Grafton. Too many times, I hear of people being priced out of Grafton, and I want to put an end to that. By the end of my term I want to be able to say that we have brought new industry to town and have lowered the tax burden to the residents.
I want to increase Economic Development in the town, by attracting new business and industry. I will use what I learned on the Planning Board coupled with my professional business experience to create viable, healthy business districts. We need to improve the infrastructure in areas along Worcester Street, South Main Street, and Routes 140 and 30. This will make Grafton attractive to new business. The Grafton Science Park at Tufts and Centech Park are not at full occupancy. I will work to fill those complexes. This will all help the town grow the commercial tax base, lessening the residential tax burden.
My wife Nicole and I found our ideal home when we moved to Grafton five years ago, with our three children, Madison (7), Jackson (5) and Aiden (2). I am a trial lawyer by trade, and a community advocate at heart.
Since moving to Grafton, I have fought for transparency, honesty and financial stability in Grafton town government. I have served on the Planning Board, as co-chair of YESGrafton, and also served on the Affordable Housing Trust. I am presently serving on the town’s Finance Committee.
I have the skill set necessary to ensure that Grafton continues to thrive. The Board of Selectman needs an advocate unafraid to ask questions, make hard decisions, but also act collegially and always with the town’s best interests at heart.
Grafton is presently facing a looming financial crisis that will threaten our cores services, from education to infrastructure to community safety. We cannot afford to pretend that we are in great financial shape. The first step toward solving a problem is recognizing that you have one. I will implement data-driven government reform to ensure your tax dollars are spent efficiently.
I’m interested in tackling Grafton’s most pressing crisis, our current structural deficit. Right now, Grafton’s ordinary expenses are outpacing our income. By fiscal year 2020, right about the time the proposed DPW facility, the proposed library expansion, and the Super Park are all in various stages of completion, we will have run out of the 2014 override money, which threatens to cripple our core services.
Grafton must identify our cost drivers and elect leaders who are willing to ask hard questions about how we allocate our resources, and who are willing to implement best practices to solve this issue once and for all.