Westborough – Two candidates are vying to fill a one-year term on the Board of Selectmen in the Tuesday, March 2 annual town election. Tom Dolan, Jr. and Patrick Welch are running for the spot vacated by former Selectman Leigh Emery in December.
Here, in their own words, the candidates introduce themselves.
Tom Dolan, Jr. – My Westborough roots run deep. I was born and raised in Westborough, and I am a graduate of Westborough High School. After graduating from UMASS, Amherst I joined my family’s insurance business on Route 9. As a political newcomer, I plan to bring a fresh perspective to our Board of Selectmen. I hope to inspire the next generation of Westborough residents to engage in town government. In order for our community to continue to thrive, we will have to act cooperatively and collaborate with our neighbors. If elected to serve, I will aspire to be a steward of our resources on behalf of the entire community. I believe that we all need to participate to get the best outcomes, and that is why I am running for Selectmen.
Patrick Welch – As a 38-year resident of Westborough and graduate of WHS, I have worked for several local businesses, large and small, including Dell/EMC for the past 21+ years. My wife and I raised our three children through the Westborough schools. I have built strong ties throughout our town through community service, mentorship, and participation in town meetings. I look forward to working with the entire community to ensure a vibrant, inclusive, safe community for all. I humbly hope to earn your vote. You can learn more about me at patrick4westborough.com.
What do you feel in your experience would make you the best candidate for this position?
Dolan – I will foster an inclusive atmosphere and invite all of Westborough’s residents to voice their concerns. I plan to hold open office hours on a regular basis. Everyone’s voice should be heard. Particular attention needs to be given to help keep Westborough affordable for our seniors. Our seniors built this town, and they deserve our support and respect.
Welch – Both as a long-term resident and former transplant into Westborough I cherish our town’s unique history while also recognizing the need to provide future services. I understand the challenges of small business yet can also bring 21+ years of experience as a team leader in international business. I am inclusive of all that live in Westborough and look forward to hearing and supporting all residents. I am a passionate, driven individual. I will push the conversations needed to bridge the community and town departments, ensuring that we build and maintain services that meet the needs of our diverse community.
What do you feel is the most urgent, pressing matter the town must address in the coming months and what do you think should be done to rectify it?
Dolan – This spring, the most pressing issue that the town needs to address locally is COVID-19. The pandemic has impacted all aspects of our lives. We need to empower subject matter experts – especially our Board of Health and emergency response teams – to do their job and do it well. One of the key ingredients in tackling COVID-19 is an effective, timely and accurate flow of information. To that end, if you have not done so already then I strongly encourage you to enroll in Westborough’s CodeRed Emergency Alert System. Call 508-366-3040 or visit the town’s website for more information.
Welch – While regular town business is important, the ongoing COVID-19 response must be our priority. COVID-19 impacts everyone and every service the town delivers. It will for years to come. We must continue building the foundations upon which our residents will depend to live and thrive. In particular, we need to continue investing in current and new services to meet the physical and mental health needs of our residents. I am grateful to all the department heads, boards and community groups for their leadership in making our community as safe as possible. If elected, I look forward to working with all.
What do you feel Westborough can do to position itself best in a competitive marketplace, as it relates to residential and commercial real estate?
Dolan – Westborough is positioned to do well in the coming years. Continued investment in our town’s infrastructure and public schools will ensure that Westborough continues to be a very desirable place to live, raise a family and retire. As a member of our Board of Selectmen, I will collaborate with municipal organizations such as the Economic Development Committee and empower them to make calculated, intelligent recommendations that are in the best interest of our entire community. If we work together, 2021 is going to be a great year.
I would appreciate your vote on March 2nd. Regardless of who you vote for… please, get out and vote!
Welch – Westborough has and will continue to be a crossroad town of families, businesses, ideas, and innovative services. We are fortunate in our business and residential diversity which has enabled our 21.62 square miles to be one of the most competitive towns in the state and region for many years. The Board of Selectmen must continue to foster business and residential sustainable solutions by facilitating meaningful win-win conversations between residents, the Economic Development Committee, clubs, and town leaders so that good ideas are brought forward. I look forward to the many opportunities as we move to an even brighter future.
A Candidates Forum, sponsored by the Westborough Democratic Town Committee, will be held virtually on Sunday, Feb. 21 at 5:30 p.m.
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