In Wilmington, at least in recent times, it is unusual to see so many candidates vying for the office of Board of Selectman. One might argue that having a larger pool of candidates to choose from is a positive thing illustrating a revived interest in local civics among the broader population. But, all one needs to do is do a bit of a deeper dive into the candidate list and, in my opinion, it becomes clear that the actual choices are far more limited than it may appear. Specifically, for the two three-year seats in contest, I will be voting with great enthusiasm for Selectman Greg Bendel and Selectman Kevin Caira to maintain their seats on our Board of Selectmen. Here are just a few reasons.
I served with Greg and Kevin on the Board. While I had known both gentlemen socially before they ran for the office three years ago, it was when serving side-by-side with them where I developed a very high level of respect and admiration for them both. In times when there were challenging and sometime opposing views on matters between us as members of the Board, these gentlemen remained professional, polite and respectful, even as we sometimes cast opposing votes. Their ability and desire to make their arguments with seriousness and passion while staying away from being confrontational shows them to be of tremendous character. In the contentious society we live in today that has been on display in social media and in public, it is refreshing to see Government officials who are unpaid volunteers in service to their neighbors, be able to disagree with colleagues or others without being disagreeable. They serve as an example of how we all should conduct ourselves in public and online.
I have seen it suggested that the town needs to move in a different direction. That somehow, our community is in bad shape. While that may be a politically sexy thing to say, it is simply untrue. Wilmington is fortunate to be in a position where home values have continuously been on the rise. For many residents, our homes represent our greatest asset and our nestegg. I don’t know about you, but I would rather see my property value increasing than decreasing. We maintain high level services throughout the community and schools all while maintaining a desirable residential tax-rate compared to a number of similar sized nearby communities. We maintain a strong operational reserve account. This protects the town if we experience another economic down turn. We will be able to maintain services and staffing levels by having access to these “rainy day” funds. Additionally, being prudent in maintaining these reserves is viewed favorably by the credit rating agencies. So, when the town eventually seeks to borrow funds for any municipal construction projects in the future (Fire sub-station, School administration building, senior center, etc), our enviable AA+ bond rating will afford us the most favorable borrowing rates. I could go on with more examples of how the town is being, and has been well managed for many years. But, the point I am making is that these and other positive attributes of our town government are in place because of the stewardship and direction set by Greg Bendel and Kevin Caira on the Board of Selectmen. I would argue that if the train is running well on the track it is on, it makes no sense at all to change to a new set of tracks.
Greg Bendel and Kevin Caira have my full confidence and they should have yours too. I encourage Wilmington Residents to vote for the men of reason, respect and honor, Greg Bendel and Kevin Caira for Selectman.
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