Two vie for open Peterborough Selectmen seat

  • Bill Taylor Photo by Brianna Morrissey

  • Peterborough May Town Meeting elections are planned to take place May 14. Staff photo by Ashley Saari

  • Bill Kennedy Courtesy photo

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 4/5/2019 5:49:03 PM

Two newcomers to the local political scene have put their hats in the ring to be the new Peterborough selectman.

Bill Kennedy and Bill Taylor, both who would be holding their first elected office, have filed to fill the seat that will be left open by outgoing Selectwoman Barbara Miller.

Taylor is a real estate agent with the Masiello Group, where he has worked for the past five years; he’s been a real estate agent for 15 years. Kennedy is a former business owner with a background in technology, who currently teaches science and technology part-time at the Dublin School.

Both men said taxes have been a big talking point among residents they have been speaking to in the lead up to elections.

Taylor said he himself saw a big hike in the tax assessment of the rental property his family owns and he manages, and that is what prompted him to run for the board, knowing the town has multiple large infrastructure projects planned in the next few years. While he said he agreed the projects, which include new facilities for the Department of Public Works and the Fire Department, and purchasing a new drinking water source, were needed, there may be other avenues to explore, such as rehabilitating the DPW garage

“So many people I’ve talked to can’t afford to live in town anymore,” Taylor said. “My goal, number one, is to be sure what we do in the future isn’t coming at the cost of people having to leave town.”

As a former business owner himself, Kennedy said he’s well aware businesses in the area are having trouble filling empty positions.

“I know there are businesses still struggling with that. Given my business background, I’d plan to work closely with the local business community,” he said.

Kennedy also said the expansion of high-speed internet in town would be a priority for him, including approaching other internet providers to review their offerings before renewing the town’s contract with Comcast.

Kennedy said the town’s budgeting approach is prudent, but if elected, he would look closely at the amount of debt the town has accrued through its current and proposed bonds.

“These are big-picture problems, but my approach is a problem-solving approach,” Kennedy said. “My approach is to systematically build consensus and weigh input.”

Both candidates said there is still the opportunity to review the large-scale capital projects coming down the road, including the DPW garage, which voters will be deciding on in May.

While the current plan for the garage is to build a new facility on town-owned land near the wastewater treatment facility, and in the future tear down the current garage and build a new fire station there, both candidates wanted to review that proposal. Particularly, they said, they weren’t convinced the current garage needed to be torn down.

Both Kennedy and Taylor said they would like to compare the costs of renovating the highway garage, instead of tearing it down.

Taylor said he’d like to see “creative, out-of-the box” ways to go over the town’s budget with a fine-tooth comb. He suggested offering an employee incentive program for workers besides department heads, where if they thought of ways to reduce the budget, they could be offered a percentage of the money saved as a bonus.

He also suggested negotiating with neighboring towns to set up a buying program for fuel and equipment purchasing to save on costs.

There are several other contested races this year:

There are four candidates for three open slots on the Budget Committee. Incumbents Richard W. Clark III and Mandy Sliver are joined by James Long and Robert Haring-Smith in the ring.

The Zoning Board of Adjustment has one open seat and three contenders – Richard W. Clark III, Steven Graves and Sharon Monahan.

The Planning Board has two open spots and four candidates this year, incumbent Gerald J. Galus, and newcomers Judy Wilson Ferstenberg, Rebecca J. Adey-Merrithew and Richard W. Clark III.

Andrew Brescia, Michael Strand and Judy Wilson Ferstenberg have signed up for the two open seats on the Recreation Committtee for three years.

There are no residents signed up for the Trustee of the Trust Funds for three years. In uncontested races, Linda Guyette has filed to be a Cemetery Trustee for three years, Ronald Drogy, a Library Trustee for three years.

Voting will take place at the Community Center on Tuesday, May 14. The polls will be open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.




Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

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