Wellesley Town Election 2019 — contested races round-up

The Town of Wellesley depends on the active participation of its citizens in governance of the Town. Wellesley has 11 Boards and Committees on the ballot at the Annual Town election each year in March. The 2019 election will be held on Tuesday, March 5, 2019.

We invited all eleven candidates in contested races to answer questions about what they bring to the table for the following positions: Board of Selectmen; Natural Resources Commission; Board of Health; Planning Board (5-year term); and Planning Board (1-year term).

Here are links to each interview. If you want a broader look at the election, go to our Wellesley Election 2019 page. You can also view the recording of the Meet the Candidates night event at the bottom of this post.

Board of Selectmen

Jenn Fallon: “I hope to improve transparency and communication between the BOS and the entire Wellesley community. There is so much going on in town and during this race I have learned that many people do not know what the BOS does, never mind the important decisions that are being made on their behalf.” READ THE INTERVIEW

Lise Olney: “I’m committed to preserving our town’s quality of life, while also creating a welcoming environment that’s attainable for people of different ages, incomes, and backgrounds.” READ THE INTERVIEW

Natural Resources Commission

Raina McManus: “One of the NRC’s most important functions will be educating the public on the economic and environmental value the North 40 is currently providing to Wellesley, including drinking water protection and flood control.” READ THE INTERVIEW

Jim Miller: “My top priority is to make NRC a more collaborative partner and build coalitions with other boards in town and the broader community. I view environmentalists, civic and business leaders, schools, and the sports communities as allies and would be a bridge to bring them together.” READ THE INTERVIEW

Board of Health

Linda Oliver Grape: “The prevalence of Substance Use Disorder in the State has reached epidemic proportions; the Board of Health needs to ensure that the Town is adept at caring for and supporting residents with this problem.” READ THE INTERVIEW

James Rodrigue: “Wellesley claims that health and well-being is one of its core values. Talk is cheap. Show me the budget and I’ll see what the town values. It certainly isn’t health, as funding for the Wellesley Health Department – as measured by dollars per resident – is substantially lower than that of most other Massachusetts towns of our size.” READ THE INTERVIEW

Planning Board, 5-year term

Thomas Ahern: “I can talk all day long about the need for early, forward-thinking planning to protect against the town having to react to whatever is proposed by developers. As an example, consider all the 40B projects currently working their way through our Zoning Board of Appeals process.” READ THE INTERVIEW

Patricia Mallett: “I look forward to implementing the Unified Plan and the Housing Production Plan in order to achieve safe harbor with respect to 40B Comprehensive Permit applications. I am also very interested in pursuing the proposed 40R Overlay Zoning for the Wellesley Office Park.” READ THE INTERVIEW

Planning Board, 1-year term

Deed Mccollum: “I hope to lay the foundation for affordable housing; a foundation that leverages the priorities set forth in the Unified Plan: to expand housing options, increase town diversity and make Wellesley a more inclusive, dynamic and resilient community.” READ THE INTERVIEW

Frank Pinto: “Wellesley residents paid $35 million for the North 40 and we need to hear all voices (not just the loudest and most shrill voices) regarding its future. Wellesley was clearly remiss in not developing a housing production plan until now to rationally meet our affordable housing mandate under state law.” READ THE INTERVIEW