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Brown will run for Selectman

January 28, 2016

Popular Walpole Sewer and Water Commissioner Tom Brown announced at last night’s Republican Town Committee meeting that he will enter the race for Selectman when nomination papers become available next week.

Brown becomes the second candidate to formally enter the race, as Selectman Jim Stanton announced last week, and again at last night’s RTC meeting, that he will run for a second term in June.

Incumbent Selectman Cliff Snuffer will not run again, leaving an open seat.

Former Selectwoman Nancy Mackenzie is also expected to make another bid for Selectman this year. Other candidates are said to be thinking about running.

Brown was a virtual unknown last year when he emerged in an upset as the highest vote-getter in a four-person field for two seats on the Sewer and Water Commission last year. Brown ran on a platform stridently against waste in the sewer and water budget. In one of his first votes as Commissioner, and in an indication of his tremendous persuasion skills, Brown successfully convinced his Commission to reduce the size of a planned increase in sewer fees.

This year, he will enter the Selectmen race as perhaps among the strongest candidates to run in many years. His triumph last year came from his extensive network and connections in the community as a small business owner, extraordinary Scott Brown-style retail political skills, and his fundraising ability, all attributes that will help him again this year. Brown hauled in more votes in his own race than Mackenzie did in her own unsuccessful campaign, and he won six of eight precincts, many of them by substantial and unexpected margins.

The Walpole RTC is also expected to help Brown’s campaign by providing resources, manpower, and potentially also funds. In an ardently Republican town like Walpole, those resources certainly won’t hurt.

During last night’s RTC meeting, which attracted a record standing-room only crowd that also came to participate in a presidential straw poll and hear from four candidates running for GOP State Committee, Brown vowed to hold the line on spending and tax increases, as he has done as a Sewer and Water Commissioner standing against rate hikes. He pointed out that water rates are expected to go up by a total of 20 percent in two years, which Brown is opposing as a Commissioner. He said the high price of the $4.5 million purchase of Jarvis Farm has diverted funds that should be going to system maintenance, resulting in exorbitant rate hikes. He said that now that the town has purchased Jarvis Farm, the purchase can’t be undone, but the Commission and Selectmen have an obligation to generate as much benefit from the property for the residents as possible.

Brown said he persuaded the Commission to look into the feasibility of putting solar panels at Jarvis Farm to potentially generate financial return for ratepayers. He also proposed a program to allow private and public schools to utilize Jarvis Farm for outdoor education, which could potentially give money back to the Sewer and Water Commission and schools through federal and state grants.

Brown also joined the growing chorus of bipartisan voices that oppose the proposed tax-increment-financing agreement with Siemens that will be voted on in a March Town Meeting. The deal has been pilloried by RTMs on all side of the political spectrum who believe the town gives up too much in the agreement.

If Brown is elected Selectman, he would have to give up his seat on the Sewer and Water Commission per the Town Charter. Brown is also a Town Meeting Representative from Precinct 6.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. January 29, 2016 12:34 PM

    ROBERT LUCE TO RUN AGIAN AS REPUBLICIAN TICKET

    Sent from my Sprint Samsung Galaxy Note5.

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