Profiles – Candidates for Northborough Board of Selectmen

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Northborough – Four candidates will be on the ballot for two seats on the Board of Selectmen in the Tuesday, May 9, Annual Town Election. The Community Advocate has invited the candidates to share a bit about their backgrounds and why they are running for this position.  Here are their brief bios and answers to two questions.

 

Profiles – Candidates for Northborough Board of Selectmen
Tim Kaelin. Photo/Submitted

Tim Kaelin. I grew up in Northborough, moving here in 1977 when I was 5 years old. I moved away for college and lived in the Boston area for over 15 years. When my wife and I made the decision to start a family, we moved back to Northborough because it is a wonderful community to live, work and raise a family. We now have two boys ages 4 ½ and 1 ½. I am a business owner, I have a bachelor’s degree in political science, a Master of Business Administration, and a Master of Science in business analytics.

What is the main reason you want to run for selectman?

The main reason I‘m running is the board desperately needs a new, fresh perspective. One member has been on the board for over 20 years, three of the remaining four members average over 15 years, and a majority of members do not currently have children in the Northborough school system. I think the board needs to have someone who has new ideas for Northborough, who, as a parent of school aged children, has something in common with a large portion of the residents in town and shares their same concerns, and a board member who will push back when needed.

If you are elected, what is the committee or project that you will be most interested in working and why?

I’m most interested in putting my time and effort into any committee that adds value to the town and makes a difference to residents. One area that I would make an effort to improve is the transparency and access that citizens currently have to committees. If a parent or resident can’t make a committee meeting because they have other obligations, they shouldn’t be shut out of participating. Incorporating simple-to-use internet tools can allow people to watch, ask questions and get involved in decisions that impact their lives instead of finding out secondhand after the fact.

 

Profiles – Candidates for Northborough Board of Selectmen
Brian Strand. Photo/submitted

Brian Strand. I was raised in Uxbridge and spent most of college in Worcester becoming a software engineer. Over years in the field I’ve taken on minor leadership roles at different companies like Zensar Technologies and IBM; now I’m seeking to use that expertise for the benefit of the town. I chose Northborough as my first permanent residence because I wanted a small town with proper amenities and access to major routes. Towns like that are hard to come by, and I want to make sure we don’t lose Northborough as one in the near future.

What is the one main reason you want to run for the Board of Selectman?

The primary motivator, for me, is refreshing communication channels between the town citizens and the board. We need to have a shared vision of what Northborough should be so we can not only work toward a common, organized goal, but also maintain it once we get there.

If you are elected, what is the committee or project that you will be most interested in working on and why?

My first priority is meeting with the Zoning Board for a revision of the regulation on new residential properties. We have too many contractors building multiple expensive homes with practically no yards in what should be only be one or two lots. This is not something that can be taken back in the future; within 10 to 15 years, much of Northborough will not look at all like the environment its people chose, but rather the crowded residential suburbs of Boston.

 

Dawn L. Rand (Incumbent) – I am a lifelong resident of the town of Northborough, a graduate of Algonquin Regional High School and a graduate of Framingham State College. I have been involved in Northborough municipal government since the age of 19, when I was appointed to the Northborough Appropriations Committee and served on it for 22 years, the last four years as the chair. I was elected to the Board of Selectmen in 1993. A as selectmen I have been a member of the recent Staffing Committee, Senior Center Building Committee and the Mitigation Committee for Avalon Bay apartments and Northborough Crossing Shopping Center. I own and operate Dawn’s School of Dance in Northborough and the Dance Education Centre in Clinton.

What is the main reason you want to run for selectmen?

I am running for the Board of Selectmen because I have a commitment to continue the work of keeping Northborough a wonderful community to live in, while at the same time trying to keep it affordable. I want to continue my efforts to keep Northborough free of any operating overrides. I also continue to work toward taking care of existing infrastructure, i.e. roads, municipal buildings, schools as well as parks.

If you are elected, what is the committee or project that you will be most interested in working on and why?

I have been appointed to serve on the Fire Station Feasibility Study Committee and am looking forward to serving on that committee. This is part of the town’s effort to maintain our buildings with a methodical approach to needs as well as affordability. The current location of this building presents many challenges. It will be a challenge to keep this undertaking affordable while accommodating the Fire Department personnel and apparatus so the department can function as efficiently as possible. This department provides a wonderful service and needs to be housed in a suitable environment.

 

Profiles – Candidates for Northborough Board of Selectmen
Jason Perreault
Photo/submitted

Jason Perreault (incumbent) Please tell the readers a little bit about your background.

I serve on the Board of Selectmen and as Vice-Chair of the Lincoln Street School Building Committee. Previously I served on the Financial Planning Committee for ten years, seven as Chairman, and played a role in the ARHS renovation state grant dispute, helping to recoup $1.7M for Northborough taxpayers. Prior to that, I chaired the Elderly/Disabled Taxation Fund Committee for three years, and served on a K-8 school feasibility study committee. I’ve been involved in town government in some capacity for nearly all of my 21 years as a resident. See jp4bos.com for more details and comment.

What is the one main reason you want to run for the Board of Selectmen?

Our efforts over the last decade have put the Town on very firm financial footing. Bond rating is at its highest level, audits are exemplary, debt and reserve positions are sound, budget construction is disciplined and forward-looking. Working relationships among our administrators and committee members are collaborative and constructive. We are getting things done, and at very good value for the tax dollar. As a member of Financial Planning and now Selectmen, I’ve contributed to that result, and want to continue doing so. As a resident and taxpayer, this is the way I want my town managed.

If you are elected, what is the committee or project that you will be most interested in working on and why?

We face challenges on many fronts, no single issue dominates. We need continued budgetary discipline in the face of rising health care costs. Additions to staff must be well justified, and funded within recurring revenues; the recent comprehensive staffing analysis identifies those needs. We need continued investment in our capital infrastructure; the fire station is the next major building project in the capital plan, and our roadways require ongoing attention. Our funding plan for OPEB obligation (retiree health benefits) puts us ahead of most other communities, but legislative reform is needed to ensure long-term sustainability.

 

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