Westborough – Westborough voters will go to the polls Tuesday, March 6, for the town’s Annual Election. Three candidates are vying for two spots on the Board of Selectmen – incumbent George Barrette, Syed Hashmi and Shelby Marshall. Here, in their own words, are short bios and thoughts on why they are running.
George Barrette (incumbent) – My family moved to Westborough when I was in elementary school, and I graduated from Westborough High in 1976. I settled back in Westborough when I got married in 1990, and my children graduated from Westborough High.
I served as the co-chair of the 275th anniversary in 1992, have served on the Capital Expenditure Planning Committee, Finance Committee (including chairing the FinCom) and Council on Aging. As a selectman, I serve on the Municipal Building Committee, the Charter Review Committee (2X), School Enrollment committee, liaison to the Council on Aging, and the 300th anniversary committee, Regionally, I am on the Board of Directors of BayPath Elder Services , and serve on the Executive Committee.
I want to continue my work on the BOS to help reach the goals the Board has set for the next year and beyond; we are working collaboratively with the Council on Aging to attract more diverse and experienced members, as well as reaching more seniors with more programs. In addition, we are exploring becoming a green community, establishing a trust fund for low/moderate housing, and creating a town-wide vision statement. These are a few of the 15+ goals we are committed to achieving together, and I have the energy, expertise and experience to help make this happen. I would like the opportunity to continue this work, and respectfully ask for your vote on March 6th.
Syed Hashmi – My wife and I are committed and proud residents of Westborough since April 2009. I speak four languages, because I have lived in four countries, across four continents. I have worked in healthcare all my life. My training as a trauma surgeon has allowed me to gather a unique combination of skills. I have learned to lead by being accountable and accessible. All of my life, I have acted as a bridge, bringing people from different backgrounds together to unite behind a common goal. This is how we will build a better Westborough together. For more info please visit our website–http://drsyedhashmiforwestborough.org
We need to have a conversation about where our town is going and who we want to be. How do we make sure our leaders reflect our needs, hopes, and dreams? How do we balance the needs of the young and the elderly? How do we ensure we don’t become a town of ME, of what is good for me, for my family, and for my tax bill? How do we remain a town of WE, of what is good for us, of what is good for our town, and what is good for our shared future?
I would like to prioritize tax relief for senior citizens. Property taxes for seniors are rising faster than the Social Security Cost of Living. We need to have a conversation about addressing this need if we want our seniors to stay in our town. I propose, a town wide commission to investigate ways to address senior tax relief, by getting the input from the seniors, the Finance committee, and the Treasurer/Collector, and the town Assessor. Let us gather the best people to craft innovative solutions to help our neighbors.
Shelby L. Marshall – I grew up in York Harbor, ME. I’m a graduate of Brown University. My partner, Gail, and were married in Westborough where we have lived for over 20 years. Together we have a daughter, Graysen, who is a first grader at Armstrong. Our business, Right at Home, located at 8 Church Street has been providing one-to-one care for seniors and their families since 2007. I have over 20 years of executive level management and client services experience. I have a strong track record in building collaborative relationships and producing measurable results.
We live in a great town. I’m proud to be an active member of our community – President, Rotary Club, Trustee, Westborough Public Library, Member, Women’s Club, Co-Chair Westborough’s Dementia Friendly Community Committee and volunteer at Armstrong Elementary, etc. I’m running for Selectmen because it presents an opportunity to serve the whole community in a key role. As your Selectman I will listen. I will bring thoughtful leadership to every discussion.
I will work to increase communication, transparency and clarity between residents, town departments and the Board of Selectmen in an effort to increase community engagement.
I have many areas of interest, but I’m not running for a specific cause. If elected I am interested in working on efforts that support our seniors quality of life and their ability to remain in Westborough; participating with the Economic Development Committee to attract new businesses to strengthen our tax base; supporting the library renovation project; contributing to the thoughtful use and development of Open Space planning and supporting the efforts of Westborough Connects, a new group dedicated to creation of a kind and resilient youth through community and communication.