Candidates’ night provides forum for race for Library Trustees

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Candidates’ night provides forum for race for Library Trustees
Library Trustee candidates Patricia Ann MacMunn and Christopher Capobianco speak at candidates’ night on May 1 at the Hudson Senior Center. (Photo/Sarah Freedman)

HUDSON — The Assabet Valley Chamber of Commerce and League of Women Voters sponsored a candidates’ night on May 1. 

This year, there are four uncontested races with Matthew Gallen running for the Board of Health, Thomas Green running for Municipal Light Board, Joseph Mitchell for Planning Board and Christopher Yates for the School Committee. 

There is a contested race for the Board of Library Trustees between incumbent Chris Capobianco and Patricia Ann MacMunn.  

Capobianco has been on the board for 15 years. He said he has enjoyed his work and has created different outreach programs. Currently, he said the trustees are trying to get funding to renovate the Hudson Public Library. He is an Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School graduate who served in the military. 

“I enjoy this committee. I’ve been a part of it for a long time,” said Capobianco. 

MacMunn, who has a master’s degree from Framingham State University in literacy and learning in education, said the Hudson Public Library is much more than a “place to find a book,” as you can find online databases and Kindle books. Since retiring from teaching, she has volunteered for the Friends of the Library, the group that fundraises for the library, and the Hudson Armory Project, where she writes grants. 

“I’ve served on school council, so I understand what it’s like to work in a group for a common goal,” she said.

She is running because “a library is an important piece of a community” and would like to be a part of contributing to the reading programs that make it important. 

Both candidates answered a question about whether the existing building should be renovated or a new one should be built.

Capobianco said they have explored different options for the building, and renovation is not an option. The addition to the library that was done in the 1960s was improperly constructed and is sliding, he said.

Due to issues with the weight of the building, he said, “We’re working on a grant right now to offset the cost with the state. And, we want to rebuild the library.” 

While they would love to rebuild in its current location, there are structural issues like leaks and shifting weight. They have to find out what the ground will support, he said. 

MacMunn said she would like the library to stay where it is due to the history with Andrew Carnegie, but that will depend on what the structural engineers discover. 

Moderator Sue Flicop asked about what they would do to ensure the library remains a supportive place for everyone, including immigrants, people of color and the LGBTQ+ community. 

“The library does a fine job with the selection of books that I’ve seen,” MacMunn said.

She noted she has noticed an effort to have books in different languages and have outreach that helps residents. 

Capobianco said they have created outreach programs to make an effort to keep people involved with the library. He agreed that the selection of books has been “greatly increased over the last several years to help facilitate” that outreach. 

The Annual Town Election is on May 13 beginning at 7 a.m. at the Hudson Town Hall. 

 

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