VOTERS GUIDE for May 7 Town-wide Election

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This Voters Guide is designed to help you better know the candidates in the May 7 town election. This year, a three-year term on the School Committee is the only contested race. 

Check westfordma.gov for voting locations and hours.

BOARD OF HEALTH

Two seats, two candidates

Three-year terms

Stephanie Granger, Board of Health. COURTESY PHOTO

Stephanie D. Granger

I am running for reelection to the Board of Health because I love
Westford and am passionate about public health. I have enjoyed working
with the board and Health Department these past three years to try to
make sure Westford continues to be a healthy place to live.

I strive to represent the concerns presented to me by residents in the town and
to make sure we address them. My master’s degree in Health Policy and
Management and training in epidemiology and biostatics enables me to
understand the scientific data that helps us as a board make the best
decisions possible for the health of Westford.  I will continue to use
my background in public health and knowledge I have gained on the
board over the past three years to serve Westford for another three
years. Thank you for your support.

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BOARD OF LIBRARY TRUSTEES

Two seats, two candidates

Three-year terms

Elizabeth Diercks, Board of Library Trustees. COURTESY PHOTO

Elizabeth S. “Buffie” Diercks

I am Elizabeth S. (Buffie) Diercks, running for re-election to the Board of  Library Trustees. I was a school library teacher/librarian in the Westford Public Schools until retirement in 2018. Serving on the board provides a bridge between the public library and the needs of the school community.

An expanded 21st century library with space and flexibility is the priority for the growing Westford community. To plan for this, we have applied for a Massachusetts Public Library Construction Grant Award. When awarded, it will be brought to the Westford voters both at Town Meeting and at the ballot box. The expansion plan addresses three top priorities: more meeting spaces (for study, research, or groups), expanded parking, and a larger Children’s Room/area. It also includes a collaborative Young Adult area; additional collection shelving; a space to preserve and catalog local history; reading areas; and updates to the safety and building codes.

Glen Secor, Board of Library Trustees. COURTESY PHOTO

Glen Secor

The J.V. Fletcher Library is a crown jewel of Westford, a tremendous resource for all of our residents. To maintain it as such, and especially for children’s and young adult programming, meeting space, and to house materials, we need to expand the building. The expansion project, scheduled for 2021-2022, will be the primary focus of this next board term.

Town finances are and will remain tight, so Trustees will need to be ambassadors for the library and the expansion, making the case that this construction project deserves our dollars and support. With my experience on the town Finance Committee and my passion for this library and all libraries, I can help make that case.

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SCHOOL COMMITTEE

One seat, three candidates

Three-year term

Daniel Goldner is running for School Committee. COURTESY PHOTO

Daniel Goldner
My name is Dan Goldner and I am running for School Committee. I am running for School Committee because I believe that every child deserves the best education their community can offer, and the responsibility of a community is to provide the best education possible to each child living in that community.

I am also running because a School Committee should have an educator on it. I studied education at the undergraduate and graduate level and also have 15 years of experience to know what makes an effective learning experience. I would love to bring that expertise to the Westford schools.

In addition to understanding the demands that teachers face in ensuring that every student excels, I would also advocate for ensuring that teachers have everything they need to ensure student learning.

 

Alicia D. Mallon. COURTESY PHOTO

Alicia D. Mallon

A mom of two, I have been volunteered in the Westford schools for nine years.  Having served on the Westford school committee for the last two years, I have the experience needed to face the coming challenges of increased enrollment and lean budget years without sacrificing our tradition of excellence.

I have dedicated myself to researching best practices, collaborating with the administration, and listening to the voices of not only the parents but the students as well. Serving through multiple budget seasons and on various subcommittees has given me insight into how our district functions, and helped me establish relationships across Westford. Going forward, I will continue to make informed choices, and seek the input of all stakeholders.

Sean P. Kelly is running for School Committee. COURTESY PHOTO

Sean P. Kelly

I am Damian’s father, Breana’s husband, and Marcotte Law Firm’s trial attorney – in that order.  My priorities as a School Committee member would be three-fold: fiscal responsibility, continued tradition of excellence in education, and engaged leadership within the community.  Given my background in the private sector running my own business and working for a small, but community-focused firm, I know how to make tough financial decisions without lowering the quality of service.

I know what it takes to balance a budget.  This is particularly important as Westford’s population expands and schools deal with increased class size.  My goal is to maintain Westford’s excellent history of educating our children, all while making smart, results-driven financial decisions.  I also pledge to be as accessible as possible to my constituents.  Lastly, I have concerns about the emotional health of our children caused by educational demands that I plan to help alleviate.  For more information: VoteSeanKelly.com.

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SELECTMEN

Two seats, two candidates

Three-year terms

Selectman Scott Hazelton is seeking another term on the board. COURTESY PHOTO

Scott Hazelton

I came to Westford in 1986, and Sue and I have raised our three children here.  I love this town, and enjoy working with our talented town staff and dedicated citizen volunteers.

If re-elected, there are several priorities. First is maintaining a balanced budget given limited commercial growth, but residential growth that may increase our student population. We need to add police and firefighters/paramedics, given increased call volume.

As co-chairman of the town and School Safety Task Force, we need to implement the recommendations from our security consulting team to be discussed with town leaders on May 14.

We must accommodate EPA mandated storm water management mandates, replace the old fire station with a new town building while preserving our town center character and preserve historic buildings at 63 Main St., the Town Farm Road and 12 North Main St. and continue to acquire open space.

I want to use my experience, my commitment and my professional training to keep Westford a great place to live.

Andrea Peraner-Sweet

Andrea Peraner-Sweet. COURTESY PHOTO

Once again I am running for the Board of Selectmen. I continue to be committed to this town that has been my home for 35 years. Over the next several years, the town faces challenging issues: rising health care costs, an unfunded storm water drainage mandate, a housing influx that will significantly impact our schools and all town services.

And, we face these challenges mindful of the town’s fiscal constraints.
Meeting these challenges will require leadership, creativity and an ability to work collaboratively and cooperatively with all town departments, boards, commissions and committees—qualities that I bring to the table. I believe that I have a demonstrated a track record of bringing people together to solve difficult and seemingly intractable problems. Each time I run for office, I make the same pledge to Westford residents; to listen respectfully to all viewpoints. And, while we may not always agree with one another, I
promise that I will always listen to you. Once again, I make that pledge.

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MISSING INFORMATION

Candidates Sue Hanly (Board of Health, three-year term), Muriel T. Drake (Housing Authority, five-year term), Alisha Hillam (Board of Library Trustees, two-year term), and Michael Bonenfant (Planning Board, five-year term) did not respond to email requests or a phone message.

When reached by phone, Janine M. McCormack (Housing Authority, three-year term) said she didn’t have the means to respond to the request.

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UPDATE — Michael Bonenfant was inadvertently omitted from the guide) and is now mentioned on April 29; The terms for each seat and the number of candidates running were added.