In an effort to give residents a last chance to hear from the candidates before the April 10 Town Election, Stoughton Patch sent a questionnaire to each of the candidates running in a contested race.
The questions are printed as they were presented to the candidates and their answers are printed as they were received (unedited).
The following responses are from Board of Selectmen Candidate John Anderson:
- Background information (how long you've served or your prior service on various town boards) and any other pertinent info you would like readers to know about you.
I am a lifelong resident of Stoughton. My professional career took me out of Stoughton for a number of years however I chose to return to Stoughton and plan to spend my retirement years here. I was twice elected to the Stoughton School Committee, served as a member of the Council on Aging Board of Directors, the majority of that three year term as Chairman. I was elected to the Board of Selectmen three years ago. I am also a Town Meeting Representative (Pct.4).
I am married to the former Marybeth Greene Anderson and have three adult children and seven grandchildren.
- Why are you running for this position?
My first term as Selectman, during the worst economic downturn, I was committed in creating the most cost effective, transparent and accountable municipal Government Stoughton has ever seen.
Under my leadership I did this in three ways:
I led the search committee that recommended Paul Shastany. Upon his appointment, the Chief has profoundly enhanced the Police Department and soon it will be one of a handful of accredited Police Departments in the Commonwealth.
I worked hard with Judge Crimmins and Chief Shastany to produce a highly cohesive team of department managers that handle the day-to-day operations of our Town. This structure and the people on this team are the cornerstone to efficient municipal Government.
I proudly represent Stoughton on the Norfolk County Advisory Board which consists of 28 towns in the County and I take this representation very seriously. By serving on this distinguished and influential board, I make Stoughton’s voice heard.
- What separates you from your opponents? Why should residents vote for you?
I retired as director of purchasing for a national company with over 120 member companies throughout the contiguous United States, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
My background in the corporate world allows me to apply best business practices to municipal operations. It affords me the opportunity to assess the needs of the Town both on the Municipal and School side of Government. I have a proven record of accomplishment and will continue as an advocate for the kind of Town you deserve.
- What is the most important issue facing the town?
There are many issues facing the Town of Stoughton. It is essential to increase tax revenues by creating incentives that attract desirable commercial and industrial businesses to Stoughton. Property taxes account for 56 percent of all local revenue according the Ma. Taxpayers Foundation. We need to reach out to the business community beyond Stoughton and insure them that Stoughton is a welcoming community, stream line our permitting process and emphasize our location to major highways and proximity to Boston. Accomplished correctly this may reduce resident taxes.
We must rebuild our aging infrastructure including our water and sewer system. The recent in-ability to rent cell towers on the water tank on Pleasant Street cost the town and estimated $30,000.00 per month in rental income.
- What is your take on the procurement issue between the town and the schools? How can the relationship between the town side and schools be improved in general?
Simply stated procurement is purchasing—the method of all departments in town to purchase goods and services in an economical manner to insure proper expenditures of taxpayer’s dollars. This process is given guidance by Ma. General Laws which are established to insure a fair and equitable and transparent process of purchasing.
I am the only candidate in this race that has served on the School Committee and the B.O.S. It is important to eliminate the current rift between these departments and find a fair an equitable solution to distribute financial resources. I am committed to work openly and collaboratively with my counterparts on the School Committee to achieve this goal.
- What should the Board of Selectmen (and the town) be looking for in a Town Manager?
It is my considered opinion that the Town Manager be a quality leader, one who understands the needs of Stoughton, can work to enhance the leadership currently in place and manage the affairs of the Town. A manager who seeks support and works cooperatively with the entire Board of Selectman and implements the policies established by the Board. The ability of be an ambassador for Stoughton with the ability to reach out beyond the borders of Stoughton with strong communicative skills to foster a positive image of Stoughton.
It has been an honor and privilege to serve the Town as a Member of your Board of Selectman. I ask you for your vote on April 10,2012.
John D. Anderson