Hudson – Two candidates will be on the ballot for one seat on the Board of Selectmen in the Monday, June 29 Annual Town Election. The Community Advocate has invited the candidates to share a bit about their backgrounds and why they are running for selectmen. Here, in their own words, are the answers from the candidates – incumbent Scott Duplisea and Dandrick Gelin.
Please give a brief introductory statement of your background.
Scott Duplisea – I am a lifelong resident of Hudson and reside here with my wife Laura (Cardoso) Duplisea. I also have two daughters, Marisa who now lives in Philadelphia and Alexa, who resides at home. I work for the Commonwealth of Mass. Dept of Transportation. I served on the Hudson Housing Authority for 21 years, serving nine years as chairman and I am currently a two term member of the Hudson Board of Selectmen serving currently as Vice Chairman. I was the previous President of Hudson Youth Soccer, VP of Hudson Youth Softball and a coach of Hudson High School soccer and basketball. I also refereed high school basketball for over 30 years.
Dandrick Gelin – My name is Dandrick Gelin, but you can call me Ricky. I’m the local retail worker running in this election. I graduated from Hudson High School in 2012, Quinsigamond Community College in 2016, then the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2018. While I was in school, my most significant experience was serving on the School Committee as the Student Representative. I’ve lived in Hudson, almost 23 years. My parents are Haitian immigrants who arrived in the 80s and lived in Waltham before coming to Hudson. I can speak French, which I started learning at Hudson High and studied it until my graduation in 2018.
What do you feel in your experience would make you the best candidate for this position?
Duplisea -I feel with my previous experience serving the town on the Board of Selectmen, Hudson Housing Authority and leading and coaching youth programs gives me a unique knowledge of the town and its people. I have a proven track record of community leadership and I am an open minded, consensus building leader capable of working cooperatively to get the job done. I love this town and its people and would like to keep Hudson a great place to live and raise a family.
Gelin – The experience that makes me the ideal candidate is my experiences with elected officials. In 2015, some friends and I protested the proposal to raise the smoking age to 21. After petitions and emails, I met with the Board of Health to argue against the age hike. In response, they told me, condescendingly, that there was no point in protesting in opposition and that proposal would soon be state law, so I should give up. In 2019, I advocated against the flavor ban, however, was ignored by our state senator. The experience of politicians shutting doors in my face influences me to be an open door selectman and listen to everyone who takes the time to speak to me.
What committees would you most enjoy working with if you were elected for this position and why?
Duplisea – I would serve on any committee if asked to do so. I feel my areas of expertise are infrastructure, recreation and housing needs. I also feel I am a good listener and negotiator and stand ready to help with any needs and issues the town may have.
Gelin – I will enjoy working with the Economic Development Committee the most. Over the last decade, we’ve seen Hudson blossom economically. Main St. and South St. is the epitome of a town renaissance, largely because of the work of the EDC. As developers build new apartments, many townspeople and workers can’t afford to live in them. I’d like to work with the committee to see how we could exercise our respective powers and influence to make Hudson more affordable, using incentives to produce results in the private housing sector.
What is the primary problem you feel the town is facing and what do you think should be done to rectify it?
Duplisea – Right now obviously the COVID-19 virus pandemic is the major issue in everybody’s lives and we are listening to medical, health and elected officials for guidance in moving forward and hopefully getting back to our normal lives. Our water quality remains a major issue and we have solved the initial problem with PFAS and PFOA contamination and made our public water safe to drink and use. We are continuing to monitor the quality closely and future endeavors may contain litigation, additional filtration and the future possibility of MWRA access.
Gelin – The primary problem in Hudson is the recycling of town politicians in unopposed elections. This circumstance leads to ineffective and unpopular elder politicians to remain in office, regardless of the people’s desire for change. It also invites a culture of favoritism amongst businesses, who feel the way to prevent unwanted road-blocks is to give tribute to those in power. The solution is simple: Term limits. Town governance will always be fresh with ideas and more likely to diversify representation. If I am elected, I promise only to serve two terms, as it should be.