Road COMM’R., Park COMM’R & Planning Board – Dunstable Candidate Night (part 2)

As promised here are my notes from Dunstable Candidate Night on the Board of Road Commissioner, Park Commissioner and Planning Board.

Candidate Forum, 7 pm ~ May 2, 2017 (continued final blog from Candidate night)

The candidate Q&A & candidate introduction was recorded and will be broadcasted on Dunstable Public Access television.  That can be found on Charter – Channel 191 and Verizon – Channel 31.

Parks Commissioner – One Opening

  • Adria S.H. Fischer – She introduced herself as someone brings a fresh perspective. employeed by Chronos where she is transitioning to project management because that is a skill set for her, she is very responsive, very efficient, budget conscious.  She moved to Dunstable five years ago and wants to be part of the community, showed genuine enthusiasm in her desire to contribute to the community.
  • Philip J. DeNyse – He introduced himself as a resident of Dunstable since 2001 with his wife and four children. He has been involved with cub scouts, boy scouts and his daughter is a girl scout. He has helped boy scouts build trails, he has been on the parade committee for many years and has supported the playground committee which is a subcommittee of the Parks Commission. Supports the proposed new playground behind Swallow Union School and asks that voters consider the warrant article. He expressed Parks is a very important department in town because open space is very important as it defines the town through their rural character.

Question –  Why did you choose to run for this position and what do you bring to this position?

Adria S. H. Fischer – There were only a few more openings left and I wanted to get involved. She has a desire to grow as an adult, as a person, and as a community member.  Some of her strongest skills are communication and talk to people to understand what the challenge is.

Philip J. DeNyse – Expressed his desire to finish the job that he started, he has been helping with the playground behind swallow union.  A detailed man, a planner and when he takes a job he wants to see it through. Expressed his want to get things done and wants to make sure the town has a chance to evaluate this opportunity and give it a thumbs up or thumbs down. But even if that playground doesn’t go forward there are many things that need to be done including maintenance and outreach to the community to understand what needs to be improved and what suggestions you have for future use.

Planning Board – One Opening

  • Eric E. McKenzie – He expressed that his family chose Dunstable for its beautiful working farms, rural town character, and excellent schools. He believes that the planning board is very important because maintaining the beauty of Dunstable requires careful decisions that can easily affect for many years to come. Professionally he has been an engineer for 25 years and believes he understands the community and bylaws and has the ability to objectively review projects.
  • Kieran D. Meehan – He shared that he is a licensed realtor, served on the Dunstable Capital Planning committee, he supports smart planning, sustainability of open space, and thoughtful growth for housing & businesses. His background provides him with insight into planning for current and future needs and the final impact on the daily life of residents.

Question – How do you balance the rural culture of Dunstable with future development?

  • Kieran D Meehan – Expressed the need to identify a strategy for the town in order to maintain the rural land, beauty, and character but also find a way to identify growth opportunity. Mentioned Farmhouse Cafe as being a good example of the types of businesses that would work in Dunstable and would like to see a couple more like it in town. That would create more revenue for the town and allow the town to grow. Push back at developers and make sure they hold their end up their end of the bargain.
  • Eric E. McKenzie – Expressed that balancing the rural character and growth is important. He explained that the planning board does not say we want this here or we want this there. They have to constantly analyze who is coming into town, what they want to build and how it will affect the character of the town. There will always be pressure to build, but the board needs to balance those things for the best interest of the town.

Board of Road Commissioners – One Opening

  • Paul A. Dalida – Has a BS in Civil Engineering from Northeastern University, over 40 years of experience in all aspects of transportation, infrastructure construction, and maintenance. He has experience on the School Building Committee, Safe Pathways Committee, and Master Plan committee. He also has volunteered with Dunstable Rural Land Trust and Tyngsboro Dunstable Historical Society. He wants to bring his experience to Dunstable to keep roads safe.
  • Mathew W. Morton – He shared that he has been a resident of Dunstable for about four years. He has experience working in the highway department, plowing snow.  He currently works at Lawrence Academy in the building and grounds department. He wants to help out the town in a way he knows how to do and give back to the community.

Question – How do you proposal to maintain Dunstable’s rural character while maintaining the roads and increase community safety?

  • Mathew W. Morton – There are a lot of things that need to be looked at. There are a lot of adjustments that need to be made and we are on a tight budget in town. We need to find out where to put the money, what needs to be fixed and go from there.
  • Paul Dalida –  Mass Highway is now instituting a plan called Asset Management, it’s going to required here in two years of all towns in order to qualify for local funding grants.  Believes we could focus on that and other grants available in the state and maximize what we can get from the state to put into the roads. In addition, there is a need to take inventory of the roads to determine which roads are mostly heavily used and require the most maintenance to determine where to put the money. It is best to understand the needs of the town, what is the desire of residents, the needs of the infrastructure and how to accomplish that with the funds available.