The League of Women Voters of Sudbury is a nonpartisan political organization encouraging informed and active participation in government. We influence public policy through education and advocacy.
The Annual Town election scheduled for March 30th has been postponed, a new date has not been set. Please check the town website, http://www.sudbury.ma.us, for updates.
The League of Women Voters of Sudbury sponsored the panel for the only contested race this election, part of its 64th annual Candidates' Forum. This year we have changed the format from a live Candidates' Night to videotaped programs.
The two Select Board candidates discussed their priorities, the proposed community center, the Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School agreement, rail trails and transportation, Route 20 development, uses for the Sewataro property and more during a taping session at the SudburyTV studio. Jo-Ann Berry of the Acton League was moderator.
A second Candidates' Forum program features candidates in uncontested races, each making a statement about their qualifications and the work of the office they are seeking.
Both programs are being shown repeatedly throughout March on SudburyTV Channel 8 (Comcast) and Channel 31 (Verizon). The forums are also available online as a video-on-demand option, which can be watched from a computer at any time. The video-on-demand option and a schedule for the televised programs are on the SudburyTV website, http://www.sudburytv.org.
"This videotaped format provides more time for candidates in contested races to address the issues facing Sudbury than our previous live forums," said Nell Forgacs, the League's voter service chair. "We encourage you to watch the programs. Consider holding a forum watch party!"
"We are particularly pleased that we received over 100 suggested questions for the Select Board candidates through our question email and boxes in the library and senior center. Those questions let us know what issues people are interested in."
The League sent questionnaires to all town and school committee candidates whose names were provided by the Town Clerk. Since there was an open seat for Sudbury Public School Committee after the formal candidate filing period, the League also invited write-in candidates who notified the Clerk by Feb. 24 to submit responses.
We asked candidates to answer this question: What are the first two issues you would address if elected, and how would you address them? The candidates were asked to limit their responses to 100 words, and the responses in this guide are as the candidates wrote them.
The Contested Race
Select Board (Three-year term, vote for one)
Pat Brown Address: Whispering Pine Road Occupation: Retired (previously data communications programmer) Campaign information: http://patbrownforsudbury.com/ https://www.facebook.com/patbrownforsudbury/
The most important issue facing the Town is the successful integration of the new Town Manager. I will use my extensive experience with municipal process and history to assist in this transition. Having served on the Board almost as long as all four other members combined, my experience will be uniquely valuable in empowering our new Town Manager to serve our community well into the future. Sudbury is appealing the siting of the Eversource High Voltage Transmission line. My presence enables all five members of the Board to participate in opposing the Eversource proposal under the Rule of Necessity.
Charles Russo Address: Juniper Road Occupation: Marketing for a healthcare IT company Campaign information: RussoforSudbury.com, @RussoforSudbury
Advancing the Fairbank Community Center replacement must be a top priority following May Town Meeting. Whatever the vote result, new facilities for SPS, Park & Recreation, and Senior Center must be planned. This includes a design-bid-build process that will require planning, prioritization, and oversight.
Ongoing efforts to update Select Board policies and procedures must also be a priority, to bring the Town into the 21st century. For example, there are more policies and documentation requirements around the purchase of a $50,000 DPW vehicle than a multi-million land purchase. Having established policies can also help to reduce friction between Board members.
The Uncontested Races In the order they appear on the ballot
Board of Assessors (Three-year term, vote for one)
Liam Vesely Address: Pokonoket Ave. Occupation: Attorney
I am running for the position of assessor on the Board of Assessors. My knowledge and experience as an incumbent allow me to consider and decide on assessment matters in accordance with the legal obligations that come with the office. I pledge to listen and act in a fair and thoughtful manner to all Sudbury citizens who come before the Board with their business. Issues: First, keeping Sudbury citizens informed of assessing information, programs and services through our web site and outreach services. Second, ensuring that the Board of Assessors is accessible to those who have business before the Board.
Goodnow Library Trustee (Three-year term, vote for two)
Barbara F. Pryor Address: Nobscot Road Occupation: Retired Public Relations Director
Securing the funding and renovating the Goodnow Library's Local History Room so it can be opened to the Sudbury community as a quiet room are two issues facing the library trustees and staff. Surveys of library patrons showed a desire for a quiet place to work and study at the library. However, the Local History Room, added to the library in 1895, was closed to the public in 1999 when it became the repository of significant historical material. Renovations, which will secure the historical material, will respond to community needs for a quiet room while respecting the library's historical collection.
Ingrid Mayyasi Address: Pokonoket Ave. Occupation: Librarian
The Goodnow Library is the community center of Sudbury and provides all citizens with opportunities to borrow books and other materials, attend programs and access the library 24 hours a day through technology. As the needs of society change, the library will continue to evolve. I want to be part of the future of the Goodnow Library as a Trustee so I can continue to serve the citizens of Sudbury and maintain the excellence that our residents deserve.
Board of Health (Three-year term, vote for one)
Susan Sama Address: Hudson Road Occupation: Epidemiologist/Research Professor
My top priority is to support the health and well-being of all residents. I will help to prepare for and manage the U.S. Coronavirus outbreak, EEE and other communicable diseases affecting our residents. I will work closely with BOH colleagues, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to follow CDC's guidelines and recommendations. Most of the management burden for communicable diseases is handled at the local level. Secondarily, I am interested in tobacco/vaping control programs to protect our youth and other environmental issues such as ensuring safe drinking water.
Park & Recreation Commission (Three-year term, vote for one)
Ben Carmel Address: Thornberry Lane Occupation: Consultant Campaign information: https://www.facebook.com/ben.carmel
The two most critical issues facing Park and Rec are finalizing next steps for Fairbank Community Center and reviewing/reprioritizing focus areas for future spending. Fairbank is not a nice to have, it is a must have for our community. There is no alternative outside of rebuilding. The current center does not meet the needs of our community and it is falling apart. Children eat lunch on the floor, this is not something I want for my family or my town. Then we need to look at all park and recreation properties, ranking what is needed to enhance the benefits of these locations.
Planning Board (Three-year term, vote for one)
John Hincks Address: Belcher Drive Occupation: Self-Employed Consultant
I will continue my work on the Master Plan which will provide a 20-year vision and roadmap for Sudbury. The planning board is also currently focused on new zoning bylaws for solar installations and inclusionary housing, along with the pending major development at Quarry North.
Planning Board (One-year term, vote for one)
John Sugrue Address: Kay Street Occupation: Architect & Urban Designer
As a member of the planning board I would continue to attempt to balance the needs of the community with the needs and desires of individual developments within town. This is a goal I feel the board works hard to deliver on and requires objective review of all proposals to ensure economic growth continues and housing needs are met while maintaining the qualities that make Sudbury unique and special. Additionally, I will continue to guide the town master plan, currently underway, from plan to implementation.
Sudbury Public School Committee (K-8) (Three-year term, vote for two)
Margaret Helon Address: Bulkley Road Occupation: Educational Consultant
I am honored to continue to serve on the SPS Committee. Currently we have made positive strides to increase the caliber of education and programs for students Pre-K-8. I will continue to focus on promoting student achievement in academics and the well-being of our students and staff. Our committee will continue to create and support a strong educational vision for our district by aligning the strategic plan, creating enriching experiences, and addressing priorities to enhance the educational experiences for all students. I am proud of the dedication and collaboration of this committee and look forward to continuing the work.
Sarah Troiano (Write-in candidate) Address: Lincoln Road Occupation: Stay-at-home mom
I'm running as a Write-In candidate for SPS School Committee because I want to play a role in continuing and improving on SPS' tradition of Excellence and commitment to Unity. Excellence means the needs of ALL our learners are met, we offer leading edge curriculum, and provide state-of-the-art safety infrastructure. Unity means there is equity throughout the District and that we foster a culture of inclusion in our schools, where every student knows they belong as part of the whole. I'll collaborate with my fellow Committee members, teachers, administrators and parents to accomplish this important work.
Lincoln-Sudbury Regional District School Committee (Three-year term, vote for two)
Harold Engstrom Address: Old Farm Road, Lincoln Occupation: Runs a software and services company
One: help LSRHS students and staff develop to become the best versions of themselves possible. This means helping school leadership to build on current best efforts to provide inspiration and the basis for lifelong fulfillment and ongoing contribution to community.
Two: be a constructive member of the school committee and to reach goals and address a wide array of issues and challenges. I think it is important not to make up our minds ahead of time and to be considerate of each other even while doggedly pursuing the best possible LSRHS we can achieve.
Candace Miller Address: Poplar Street, Sudbury Occupation: Senior International Researcher, Mathematica
LSRHS is a hub of educational excellence with high caliber teachers, an inspirational campus, rigorous courses and offerings, and decades of thoughtful stewardship. I will continue this tradition and prioritize "continuous improvement in student achievement" the main goal of school committee members statewide. This involves ongoing financial and operational oversight and advocating for students. Together with other LSSC members, I will ensure a successful change in start times, improve the Superintendent Evaluation process, follow risk behavior data and ways to improve student wellbeing, work to update the LS Policy manual, and (my favorite) serve on the Racial Climate Taskforce.
Submit questions for the candidates in the contested Select Board race to email@example.com or via the question boxes at Goodnow Library and the Senior Center.
Select Board (1 seat, 3 years) Patricia Brown @PatBrownForSudbury, patbrownforsudbury.com Charles Russo @RussoForSudbury, russoforsudbury.com
SPS (2 seats, 3 years) Margaret Helon L-S (2 seats, 3 years) Harold H. Engstrom, Lincoln Candace Marie Miller, Sudbury
Board of Assessors (1 seat, 3 years) Liam Vesely
Board of Health (1 seat, 3 years) Susan Sama
Goodnow Library (2 seats, 3 years) Barbara Pryor Ingrid Mayyasi
Park and Rec (1 seat, 3 years) Ben Carmel
Planning Board (1 seat, 3 years) John A. Hincks
Planning Board (1 seat, 1 year) John Robert Sugrue
Helen Marie Casey, a past president, active member, and published poet, wrote this poem to celebrate the Sudbury League's 50th anniversary. She read the poem at the State House in February at a celebration of the League's 100th anniversary.
The dishes started the journey when she did, April of 1852.
Straw-packed and idle, they bumped across Missouri, Nebraska, Wyoming.
They slept deep inside a feathered bed. Reckless, they crossed the Rockies,
wagon wheels complaining of the load. The oxen did their best. Merciless
fever rode deadpan in the wagons. And fear. There were mosquitoes, large
and ravenous. Abigail learned to grieve, her mother and her brother victims
on the trail. Hardship made a home among them consuming cattle, dogs,
now and then a wornout horse. Sometimes shoes, or shawls, gave up.
Graves marked the Overland Trail. They were a sorry lot
when they reached the pines and alders of the Great Northwest.
She taught school before she chose a sweetheart, married him, birthed
six babies, a newspaper, books, ideas with spurs. Abigail Scott Duniway,
suffragist, crossed each mountain in its turn, forded the streams, and lived
to vote. It was not magic, the vote. More like the ornamented dishes: fragile
wealth; functional; wanting to be used; stubborn.
©Helen Marie Casey
You can help in locally in Sudbury at Candidates' Nights, voter registration drives, issues forums, and the civics bee. We plan action as well on domestic violence, gun control, the environments, and other issues.
The Sudbury LWV also contributed to lobbying for legislation at the state level including automatic voter registration, a strong criminal justice reform package, the pregnant workers' fairness act; the ACCESS bill to provide contraceptive coverage without co-pays or deductibles and the repeal of archaic laws targeting abortion and contraception.