Category Archives: Town Election

Town Moderator Candidate Q & A

Town Moderator Candidates - Karlin and Garabedian

eHop posed the following questions to our Town Moderator Candidates and we are posting their responses here exactly as submitted. We thank them for their time and for their commitment to Hopkinton.  In addition we recommend voters watch the HCAM Contested Races Debate and the Women’s Club Meet the Candidates Night, both of which are available on the HCAM YouTube Channel.

TOWN MODERATOR, For 3 years, Vote for 1 

Question 1: What do you think are the key characteristics of a good moderator? Give an example of a time you have demonstrated these characteristics.

Bruce G. Karlin: No response received by deadline.

Thomas J. Garabedian:  A good moderator must have a solid understanding of the articles and issues that will be before the town meeting, must be articulate, must have the ability to process information quickly, must be patient and yet know when to move the meeting along, and must have the ability to comprehend and reframe issues in a clear and understandable manner so that the town meeting participants can make informed decisions.
Through my career as a consulting actuary, I’ve had numerous opportunities with many clients to conduct large group meetings where I was responsible for the communication and explanation of complicated retirement benefit program changes. A typical session would start with an overview of the current program, a description of the plan changes, and a review of the impact of the changes on representative employees. After making the presentation, I would be responsible for answering employee questions. There were often very technical issues and employees were often concerned about their impact, and the challenge which I met was to convey that technical information clearly and in a way that was accessible to the every day employee.

Question 2: What do you think has been working well with our Town Meeting?

Bruce G. Karlin: No response received by deadline.

Thomas J. Garabedian: I think that most everything about Town Meeting works reasonably well. However, I think that there are several areas which could stand improvement. I’ve expressed that Town Meeting runs longer than it should and that serves to reduce the number of townspeople who participate. I’ve noticed that the important business of the first night of Town Meeting doesn’t begin until 7:30PM or about 30 minutes after the return of the warrant by the Town Clerk. I also think that the Consent Calendar (which is an attempt to group several “noncontroversial” articles together for quick passage) has not served Town Meeting well.
Meeting length is affected by the preparation of town employees, our volunteer boards, and our moderator. I believe that there are steps that can be taken by all involved that would enhance our awareness of issues, articles and motions well before Town Meeting begins. And that would help make Town Meeting even greater again!

Question 3: As we are reviewing our Town Charter, are there any changes or improvements would you like to see in the role of Town Moderator?

Bruce G. Karlin: No response received by deadline.

Thomas J. Garabedian: No, I believe that the current charter expresses an appropriate role for the Town Moderator.

Parks & Rec Candidate Q &A

CandidateComposite-2016-ParksRec

eHop posed the following questions to our Parks & Recreation Commission Candidates and we are posting their responses here exactly as submitted. We thank them for their time and for their commitment to Hopkinton.  In addition we recommend voters watch theHCAM Contested Races Debate and the Women’s Club Meet the Candidates Night, both of which are available on the HCAM YouTube Channel.

COMMISSIONERS OF PARKS & RECREATION, For 3 years, Vote for 1

Question 1:  What are your top three initiatives or priorities for programming in the next three years?

F. Eric Sonnett: My number One priority is the continuation of the program fee price stability for the next three years.  The Parks and Recreation Commission is an enterprise fund.  The enterprise fund is required to balance revenue verses expenses.  In a perfect world the fees charged for our programs would cover the expenses for the commission.  However, the Parks and Recreation commission has many non-revenue expenses that I feel should be paid for by the town and not the participants in our programs.  The town common’s care and programs such as free concerts are an example.  Should we lose this initiative with the town program fees would rise as much as 30% and some programs would be discontinued.
My number two priority is to expand our current programming to reflect the changing ethnic and age demographics in the town.  Programs should represent all age groups and nationalities.  Think badminton, cricket, bridge and bocce.
My number three priority is to continue to expand the environment to empower citizens and group to develop ideas for new programs.  A dedicated professional staff is in place to help coordinate these initiatives.

Kelly W. Karp: I believe that there is a growing demand for adult athletic programs in Hopkinton. I was instrumental in bringing the Women’s Flag Football League together last year and found that it was not only a fantastic opportunity to exercise and stay fit, but it provided an additional way for people with common interests to meet and socialize. I would love to see the department expand upon these offerings. Secondly, I would like the department to grow their current offering of Community Wellness programs to include stress management, healthy eating, spiritual, emotional and mental wellness activities. I would like to explore the opportunity of utilizing the Town Common for outdoor Yoga and other group fitness activities. Lastly, I would like to explore additional variations of “mommy and me” or “daddy and me” activities that would give parents and young children a chance to bond and interact with a focus on a fit and healthy lifestyle.

Question 2:  Where do you see the greatest investments should be as it pertains to the town’s facilities in the next 5-10 years?

F. Eric Sonnett: The Fruit Street Athletic Complex is the crown jewel of our Parks and Recreation Assets.  This year two new facilities will be built.  Parking and safety enhancements are also planned for this year.  We have the luxury of undeveloped land for future expansion and the need to do so.  By 2020 the housing units in Hopkinton will have increased by 2000 units.  Expansion is not a want but a necessity.  The need for a professional master plan is upon us.
The East Main Street Legacy Farms parcel that will be deeded to the town this year provides the opportunity to develop a masterpiece for the town.  This parcel could include a Marathon Museum, community center, public swimming pool, and athletic fields.  We are only restrained by our imaginations.
Facilities such as the approved dog park are being built and will be state of the art.  We are negotiating with Stanton Foundation to upgrade our dog park to world class status.  EMC Park will be expanded modernized and the Upper Charles Rail Trail will be an integral part of all that we do.

Kelly W. Karp: Long term, I would like Hopkinton to invest in a full-scale community recreation and wellness center including amenities such as an indoor track, basketball courts, racquetball courts, fitness studios, cycling studios, weight room and pool facilities just to name a few. In addition to offering exercise and fitness, I imagine the facility would serve as a community gathering place for fun and entertainment; learning and education and relaxation and would contribute to a healthy lifestyle for all ages. Short term I would like the department to invest in improving the quality and maintenance of some of our fields – specifically the baseball/softball fields at Hopkins and Carrigan Field.

Question 3:  With the Todaro/Irvine property allocation currently being determined, what do you feel is the best (parks & rec) use of this land?

F. Eric Sonnett: I currently serve on the Irvine Todaro Committee representing the Upper Charles Rail Trail Committee.  The number one Parks and Recreation use for this land is the Rail Trail.  That said the process to determine the use will be heavily influenced by the citizens.  A survey for ideas is in process and public information and discussion are planned for this summer and fall.  This will be a bottom up and not a top down process.  Imagination will be unleashed.

Kelly W. Karp: I would like to see the Irvine-Todaro property utilized for trails as a continuation of the Upper Charles Trail Committee’s vision to connect residents to the wide variety of natural resources Hopkinton has to offer. The proximity of the property provides a perfect opportunity to link EMC Park, Center Trail and the Town Common, making an accessible route for waking and biking to downtown and other points of interest in the community. A fully integrated trail system will add tremendous value to our community; it will allow for safe, healthy outdoor recreation as well as cultural and conservation activities.

Question 4:  There remains a lot of discussion around the weed control of Lake Maspenock – what recommendation would you make to the Weed Management and Control Advisory Group to evoke a timely and mutually beneficial resolution?

F. Eric Sonnett: I currently serve on the Lake Maspenock Weed Management and Control Advisory Group.  This group has hired a weed management expert who is directing the committee through a comprehensive process to define the problem and explore the solutions.  Virtually every weed management solution is being analyzed.  The committee has not yet arrived at a conclusion for the best action but feels that a long range plan is required.  We have done a survey of the citizens and have held two public meetings to date to keep the public informed of our progress and get their input.  More public meetings are planned.   Our goal is to present a plan to the Selectmen this fall.

Kelly W. Karp: From what I have been able to read and study, the issue of the lake weeds in Lake Maspenock is very complicated and not easily or quickly resolved. The Town has been studying and taking action in one form or another since at least 1979. Since then, actions taken have included lake draw-down and herbicide applications. Other recommendations over the years have included aeration, hydro raking, dredging and mechanical harvesting. There are serious pros and cons to all suggested methods of management above relating to safety, effectiveness, cost and feasibility and ultimately community input must be the determining force in deciding which method or methods to use. I believe the Lake Maspenock Weed Management and Advisory Group has been very thoughtful and thorough in understanding the need for community involvement. They have been very welcoming of community feedback via open meetings and public surveys and I would continue to support their outreach and education efforts. I believe that they are thoroughly evaluating the options for an effective, safe and long term solution and I am open to hearing all suggestions. I will continue to educate myself so that ultimately I can assist the community in choosing a solution that is best overall for the town and preservation of the Lake.

Board of Health Candidate Q & A

CandidateComposite-2016-BoardofHealth

eHop posed the following questions to our Board of Health Candidates and we are posting their responses here exactly as submitted. We thank them for their time and for their commitment to Hopkinton.  In addition we recommend voters watch the HCAM Contested Races Debate and the Women’s Club Meet the Candidates Night, both of which are available on the HCAM YouTube Channel.

BOARD OF HEALTH, For 3 years, Vote for 1

  • Philip A. Cohen, 3 John Matthew Rd, Republican, Incumbent • No Candidate Statement Received
  • Jennifer C. Flanagan, 238 Ash St, Democrat • Flanagan Candidate Statement

Question 1: Can you please tell us about your education, work experience and skills, and how they relate to the work of the Board of Health?

Philip A. Cohen: After completing medical school at Boston University, I continued my education at Boston Medical Center finishing my surgical residency in 2008. This included a Surgical Research Fellowship for two additional years, in addition to the five years of surgical training. I then went on to complete an advanced surgical fellowship in Minimally Invasive Surgery and Bariatric Surgery. Surgery relates to the Board of Health position beyond the obvious relationship between health and medicine. The Board of Health is also responsible for disaster management, which is an offshoot of trauma and emergency medicine, which I am well familiar with after training at BMC.
My other experience and skills have to do with home renovation and I consider myself to be a relatively handy home owner. I have a fairly good knowledge of plumbing and septic concepts, and enjoy learning more about those systems every day. I have also worked in kitchens as a short order cook and doing back of the house prep, and did research in a microbiology lab, so I understand fully the importance of restaurant and food service cleanliness.
The most important experience I have as it relates to the work of the Board of Health is the experience that I have gained while serving the Town of Hopkinton on the Board for the past year.

Jennifer C. Flanagan: I have been a Relationship Manager and Project Manager for large Risk Management companies for over 20 years. As a Relationship Manager, I build trust, manage expectations and maintain loyalty by being a trusted resource and ally to both my colleagues and my clients. In the case of the Board of Health, this would translate to the people of Hopkinton. I have lived in town for 17 years and formed strong relationships with countless people in town, through our children, common interests and volunteering.
As a Project Manager, I am tasked with garnering all the necessary resources from cross-functional teams to deliver what I have promised, on-time and as expected. This skill-set will be extremely helpful when working with the various Boards in our Municipal Government. The Board of Health needs to be able to work in collaboration with the Board of Selectmen, Parks and Recreation, Planning Board and the DPW, to name a few.
Additionally, I worked for a large insurance company for a number of years where I was responsible for visiting and training our clients; which included hospital, nursing home and school cafeterias as well as many large restaurant chains. These visits were to insure that our clients were in compliance with all worksite safety and Health Department Regulations, with the intent of circumventing any need for OSHA or Board of Health involvement. I believe that this experience brings a very unique skill-set to this position.

Question 2: What is the most important function of the Board of Health?

Philip A. Cohen: The Board of Health has a fairly large job description, but in general, the most important function of the Board is to maintain the public’s safety while upholding the laws and regulations of the Commonwealth.

Jennifer C. Flanagan: The primary function of the Board of Health is to keep our town healthy, both in our common space and in our homes. It is imperative that we find ways to deal with mosquito-borne illnesses and lake weeds in a way that does not introduce further risk to our community. The Board of Health will need to work with the Board of Selectmen, Parks and Recreation and the DPW to find healthy solutions for these problems.
It is also important to closely manage new construction and new businesses to insure that we are maintaining the integrity of our ground water and clean air.

Question 3: Do you see any public health safety issues in town that the Board of Health should become involved with?

Philip A. Cohen: Currently, no. But moving forward over the next several years, there will be items that will require some discussion. For example, the lake weeds issue will ultimately require discussion with the Board of Health, but no plans have been solidified by the Parks and Recreation Department and the commission. Another area that will ultimately need monitoring is the ever-changing landscape of disaster management to ensure that the Town has a reasonable plan in place that keeps the interest of the people in mind.

Jennifer C. Flanagan: Hopkinton is already a very healthy community. We are a town that is very cognizant of our wonderful natural resources; parks, trails and clean water. We know that we are lucky to live in a town that is so in tune with our overall health – our children’s especially. We do have things to address, as I mentioned above, but I am confident that we can do so in the least obtrusive way and keep Hopkinton the wonderful safe and healthy town we all love.

Housing Authority Candidate Q & A

eHop posed the following questions to our Housing Authority Candidates and we are posting their responses here exactly as submitted. We thank them for their time and for their commitment to Hopkinton.  In addition we recommend voters watch theHCAM Contested Races Debate and the Women’s Club Meet the Candidates Night, both of which are available on the HCAM YouTube Channel.

HOPKINTON HOUSING AUTHORITY, For 5 years, Vote for 1

Question 1: Can you please tell us about your education, work experience and skills, and how they relate to the work of the Housing Authority?

Nancy E. Kelleigh: In my opinion the most important criteria for a candidate for the Housing Authority Board is a genuine interest in serving the elders in our community. I have several degrees and relevant experience, but I’ve witnessed first hand the value of the wisdom and life experience among our residents that no degree can bestow.

Emily R. D’Urso: I have an undergraduate degree in psychology from Earlham College in Richmond Indiana. I got my very first full time job out of college working as an assistant property manager and have only ever worked in the field of multi family housing management. I have hands on experience working with housing authorities, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and implementing capital improvements.

Question 2: Ms Kelleigh: Can you give us an example of some of the programs you have worked on as a member of the Housing Authority?

Nancy E. Kelleigh: The board doesn’t run programs at the Housing Authority or manage its day to day operations. The Board’s primary function is to support the director; to review and approve budget items; and to be an active ear for residents who would like to be heard.

Question 2: Ms D’Urso: What made you decide to run for Housing Authority?

Emily R. D’Urso: I was asked to run.

Question 3: Do you think the town is meeting the housing needs of its low income residents? Do you have any suggestions for improvements?

Nancy E. Kelleigh: That might be a better question for the Planning Board. Many residential developments set aside a number of units for low income home buyers. In the case of rentals, as Board members, we do not have enough information regarding low income rental housing needs in our community. As a starting point, the town census may provide information to better assess this demographic.

Emily R. D’Urso: In all honesty I do know know what affordable housing is currently available in Hopkinton.

Constable Candidate Q & A

CandidateComposite-2016-Constable

eHop posed the following questions to our Constable Candidates and we are posting their responses here exactly as submitted. We thank them for their time and for their commitment to Hopkinton. In addition we recommend voters watch the HCAM Contested Races Debate and the Women’s Club Meet the Candidates Night, both of which are available on the HCAM YouTube Channel.

CONSTABLE, For 3 years, Vote for 1

  • Michael P. Umina, Sr., 24 Chestnut St, Unenrolled, Incumbent • No Candidate Statement Received Yet
  • Michael A. Hayes, 1 Third Rd, Democrat • Michael Hayes Candidate Statement

Question 1: Mr. Umina, Can you tell us about some of the duties you have performed since you were elected to the position of Constable in 2013?

Michael P. Umina, Sr.: No response received by deadline.

Question 1: Mr. Hayes, What made you want to run for Constable?

Michael A. Hayes: After speaking with our special Constable William Pickett out of Framingham who supports Hopkinton, a couple law enforcement officers and town hall employees this seemed to be a good fit for myself to serve the community.

Question 2: Mr. Umina, Are you a member of the Massachusetts Bay Constable Association or the Massachusetts Constables Association? Have you participated in any of their trainings or continuing education programs?

Michael P. Umina, Sr.: No response received by deadline.

Question 2: Mr. Hayes, If elected, do you plan to become a member of the Massachusetts Bay Constable Association or the Massachusetts Constables Association? If elected, do you plan to participate in any of their trainings or continuing education programs?

Michael A. Hayes: Yes, I do plan to become a member of MBCA and already have my application filled out. If elected I would be attended an educational program a week after the election. I have also initiated the paper work to become a Notary and been researching the history of constable’s role as a civil peace officer. MBCA also hosts monthly informational meetings and an annual educational more extensive seminar that I would want to be at as well.

Candidates Debate for Contested Races on HCAM Tues 5/10 at 7pm

ballot-header-2016-debate

Selectman, Town Clerk, Town Moderator, Parks & Recreation, Board of Health and Constable candidates will all be on HCAM-TV on Tuesday May 10 at 7:00-9:00pm for a debate. You may view it on Comcast 8, Verizon 30, streaming live at hcam.tv/live or attend in person as part of the studio audience.  HCAM is located at 77 Main St (lower level), Hopkinton MA 01748.

Schedule: 

  • @ 7:00-8:00pm Questions for the Town Clerk, Constable, Town Moderator, Board of Health and Parks & Recreation Candidates
  • @ 8:00-9:00pm Questions for the Board of Selectmen Candidates

Panelists:

Continue reading Candidates Debate for Contested Races on HCAM Tues 5/10 at 7pm