Hudson Candidate Statement – Select Board – Diane Bemis

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Hudson Candidate Statement – Select Board – Diane Bemis
Diane Bemis

Why are you running?

I am running for the Select Board because I believe very strongly in the importance of Community Service. I have spent my entire adult life involved in community service in one form or another. From working as a teen for a recreation department to 36 years service in public schools as a teacher and Superintendent/Assistant Superintendent, working as a member of Rotary on a wide variety of community projects, volunteering for the Board of Governors in “Quail Run” in Hudson for 6 years, and weekly volunteering at the Hudson Elks to raise funds for both veterans and scholarships. Three important values, I believe we must embrace as members of the Select Board are:
HONESTY . . . . FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY. . . . TRANSPARENCY!
These values I intend to strongly adhere to as a member of the Select Board. I have been attending every Select Board and Planning Board meeting for more than two years and I feel quite knowledgeable in the workings of the Board and believe I can serve the town well and have a positive impact.

What are the three biggest issues facing the Select Board in order of importance?

1. Water certainly is a major issue in Hudson. Specifically the Federally mandated stormwater fees for the repair and maintenance of culverts, catch basins, and overall control of stormwater runoff. The newly proposed radio monitors on water meters will help the quarterly collection of data. The three enterprise funds for Water, Sewer, and Stormwater control, should help in the management of these costs. The cost of filtering PFAS contaminants in our town wells is an ongoing expense.
2. A second issue facing the town is the building of the new DPW facility, but also the replacement of the town equipment recently destroyed in a fire. Surely insurance monies will help in this endeavor but we are now lacking a storage area for school busses.
3. The School Department budget is of great concern since enrollment is going down, costs are going up and we have more students leaving to attend AMSA, Assabet Valley Regional Vocational School, other Choice Schools and the expense of Special Education students.

Parking can become a challenge, especially during weekend events. What can the Select Board do to address this challenge?

Parking in town is indeed a major issue for residents who go downtown on the weekend if they’re looking for a space on Main St. The recently released parking study was a great first step and going forward we must heed the advice found therein. An ideal solution would be to purchase the old MacDonald’s property and convert it into public parking but unfortunately the town can only pay current assessed value and that isn’t likely a fair market price.

What is your vision for Hudson?

My vision for Hudson would be a town that can offer a great education to students, has a Select Board, Finance Committee, Planning Board, School Committee and other boards that work well together and make decisions that are data driven and help to make Hudson one of the most desirable places to live. In so doing, the home owners would reap the benefit of increased home values and a community that embraces children, families, young adults and elders alike. The town has made great strides in this direct with the help of the BID and other town businesses. LET’S KEEP IT GOING!!

Hudson is in the process of undertaking several construction projects, including building a new Department of Public Works facility and renovations to the fire headquarters. What steps should the Select Board take to minimize the impact on taxpayers?

Having a long term (10 year), plan, which the Select Board is about to embark upon, will help for fiscal planning going forward. The establishment of the 3 enterprise funds for Water, Sewer and Stormwater control, was a great first step in controlling those expenses. The newly proposed radio monitors on water meters will also help in collecting data from meters and reduce the manpower cost quarterly for that data collection by the DPW. The development of the old Intel property, now owned by National Developers, will certainly add much needed tax revenue to the community once that industrial property is fully operational.

What is your relevant experience to serve on the Select Board?

My experience includes proven life long service to my community. From working as a teen for a recreation department to 26 years teaching in public schools, 10 years as a Superintendent/Ass’t Superintendent overseeing $20-$40+ million budgets. Creating an Energy Management program that saved the district $100’s thousands in energy costs, working as a member of Rotary on a wide variety of community projects, volunteering for the Board of Governors in “Quail Run” in Hudson for 8 years, and weekly volunteering at the Hudson Elks to raise funds for both veterans and scholarships. Community Involvement has been of great importance to me for my entire adult life and I love it!! If voted to serve on the Select Board then I will be . . . COMMITTED TO LISTENING TO YOU!!

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