2023 SELECT BOARD RACE: DeFeo, West & DePalma Discuss Their Qualifications

WILMINGTON, MA — Select Board candidates Jim DeFeo, Frank West and Gary DePalma (incumbent) were recently asked the following question by Wilmington AppleDescribe your qualifications to serve on the Wilmington Select Board.

Below are their responses, in their own words:

Jim DeFeo

Jim DeFeo

I’m a graduate of Don Bosco Technical HS, Suffolk University, BA Criminal Justice, Anna Maria College, MA Criminal Justice and the Command and General Staff College, (US Army).

As a business owner I appreciate the challenges associated with running a small business in today’s uncertain political and financial times.

I have over 29 years of experience in Law Enforcement. I hold the rank of Sergeant. I’ve worked as a Police Officer and as a Detective. I have specialized training as a Bomb Technician and as a Sexual Assault Investigator. I teach a variety of Law Enforcement subjects to regional police departments at the State Level.

I was an elected representative with the Boston Police Patrolman Association, representing Roxbury, Dorchester and South Boston. I sat on the Health and Safety / Labor Relations Committees for 10 years where we proactively developed solutions to management challenges in the interest of improving officer wellness and public service.

I enlisted in the US Army Reserve in 1985, I Commissioned as an Officer in 1990. I have held specialties in both the Army Corp of Engineers and the Military Police Corps. I received an Honorable Discharge after 25 years of service and my highest rank achieved was Lieutenant Colonel. I had the honor of serving one Combat Deployment from February 2003 to April 2004 in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Frank West

Frank West

My name is Frank West and I am seeking election to Wilmington’s Select Board. I am a life-long resident of Wilmington and a graduate of Wilmington High School Class of 1980. I furthered my education to earn a Master of Business Administration degree from Western New England College in 1992. My wife Karen and I have raised a family of two great young adults: Colleen age 26 and Frank Jr age 24 both graduates of Wilmington High School.

Karen and I have owned West Real Estate here in Wilmington since 1994 and are knowledgeable in answering questions about the town to newcomers both renting and selling homes here in Wilmington. I am also the current Captain of the Wilmington Minutemen where I lead the Company in the planning and attending various parades and re-enactments where we represent Wilmington in a positive light.

I was a member of the Wilmington Historical Commission from 1990 until 2002 when I was elected to the Select Board where I served from 2002 until 2005. As a former Select Board member, I understand the time commitment of the position as well as the variety of topics that Select Board members deal with. At that time, I worked as a member of a team but freely offered my opinions and voted accordingly. Since then, I have attended countless board, committee, and town meetings and offer input where appropriate.

Gary DePalma

Gary DePalma

I’ve lived in Wilmington for 30+ years with my family. For 32+ years I was employed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and have been retired for a number of years. I’m seeking a second term on The Select Board.

About The Questions

During this local election season, Wilmington Apple will ask two questions of all the Select Board candidates each week.  Responses are in the candidates’ own words, unedited.  Each candidate is given the same question and the same amount of time (approximately one week) to answer.  Order of answers will alternate.

About The Election

Three candidates — Gary DePalma (incumbent), Jim Defeo and Frank West — will be competing for two 3-year seats on the Wilmington Select Board. Incumbent Judy O’Connell is not seeking re-election. The Town Election will be held on Saturday, April 22, 2023. Polls will be open from 8am to 8pm.

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