Wilbraham Select Board and moderator candidates introduce themselves to voters


WILBRAHAM – Driving around Wilbraham, the yard signs make it apparent – it is election season.

There are two candidates for election to the Wilbraham Select Board and two for town moderator this spring. John M. Broderick, Jr. and Theresa J. Goodrich are vying to win the seat that Select Board Chair Robert Russell is vacating. Meanwhile, incumbent James S. Jurgens is fighting against Xiomara Alban Delobato for the town moderator position. Reminder Publishing reached out to all of the candidates and asked them to introduce or reintroduce themselves to residents. The following are their introductions in their own words.

 

Select Board

John Broderick

My name is John Broderick and as a proud resident of Wilbraham for nearly 22 years with extensive past and current involvement in town government and with the Hampden Wilbraham Regional School District, I plan to work as your next selectman in several areas.

I am genuinely concerned with our ever-rising real estate taxes, I think we need to look seriously at other sources of revenue and cost-saving measures, many of which are being pursued currently.

I support the construction of a new senior center as proposed to be voted on in the fall, which is long overdue.

I support continued regular and enhanced communication between the Board of Selectmen; boards and committees; HWRSD and residents, along with more aggressive recruitment of volunteers for boards and committees and elected positions.

I support improvements and updates to the town website to ensure clear communication of town issues, information on how to engage and volunteer and timely updates of issues of importance to the residents.

I also support regionalized dispatch with Hampden (nearing completion), adoption of the local option meals tax and the switch to nonpartisan elections. I support efforts to keep the DRC (aka “the dump” or “transfer station”) open and sustainable, I support the town’s ongoing efforts to preserve key parcels of open space. I supported the proposed merger of Hampden and Wilbraham middle schools, but respect the residents of Hampden who opposed this move. I do not support changing the town clerk position from elected to appointed.

In my time as a resident, I have attended all annual and special town meetings, attended or viewed on public access most meetings of the Board of Selectmen and many of the following – Planning Board; Finance, Community Preservation and School committees and many others including Conservation and Historical Commissions. I am the current chair of the Community Preservation and the Solid Waste Advisory Committees and served on the Retiree Health Benefits Liability Committee (secretary) and By-Law Review Committee (chair and vice-chair). I have good working relationships with many town employees, from the town administrator to department heads and many others. I have regular communication with other board and committee members and the HWRSD through these myriads of involvements in our community.

In my professional life, I have been a tax accountant for 30 years, spent 10 years working for the post office and four years in the United States Navy.

We have a great town in which we live. We have amazing town employees and volunteers who work tirelessly on our behalf. I love this town and always have; I have no desire to live anywhere else. Whether I am elected or remain an engaged resident, I look forward to continuing to serve this great town. I have a history of passion, commitment and motivation working on keeping Wilbraham the wonderful place it is. I have the time and energy and would be proud to continue to work on behalf of the town and its residents as your next selectman.

Theresa J. Goodrich

My name is Theresa (Terry) Goodrich and I am running for selectman of Wilbraham. I’ve lived in town for almost 20 years and can’t imagine raising our family anywhere else. I’m a wife and mother of two daughters – Sara, a sophomore at UNH, and Carly, a junior at Minnechaug Regional High School. My husband, David, is a life-long resident of Wilbraham and is the fourth generation of Goodriches in town. I am seeking this position to continue my career as a public servant.

As a native of Westfield, I attended public schools and obtained my bachelor’s degree from Westfield State University. In addition, I obtained my EMT certification from Springfield College and my Paramedic certification from Hudson Valley Community College in New York. I worked for several local private ambulance companies, providing services throughout Western Mass. My desire to serve eventually led me to become a professional firefighter-paramedic. I graduated from the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy and I served the people of the City of Westfield for 20 years, spearheading the paramedic program there. I also served as an elected member to the Western Massachusetts EMS Council – Region 1 for over 12 years, and an elected union official and representative.

I believe my strong background in teamwork, cooperation, and supporting others will be a great asset as an elected selectman for our town. Transparency is very important to me. I want to be a fresh set of “eyes and ears” for the people of Wilbraham. Everyone needs to know that their voice and their opinion matters. I will work together with all our committee and board members to listen and bring new ideas and innovative thoughts to our town.

I strongly believe the biggest asset in our town is our residents. I consider the role of selectman as a public servant and voice of the people. We have so many bright, talented, educated, and creative individuals – I want to talk with and listen to them and be their public voice. We will certainly face many new challenges in the years ahead. I hope to serve as your selectman to navigate the obstacles and keep Wilbraham the safe, sound, friendly small town we all know and love.

 

Moderator

James S. Jurgens
The town moderator is an important position because at town meeting we, the people, directly vote on the annual budget and town agenda for the coming year. As your present Town of Wilbraham moderator, I can address what is needed to be a good moderator.

First, the moderator should be seen, but not overly heard. It’s important for the moderator to check his ego at the door, not be the center of attention, and not carry on a political agenda. The only agenda is to allow the town voters to be heard.

Second, respect the town voters, and their opinions. I see the citizens of Wilbraham as good, hardworking, family-oriented, community-focused, caring and charitable people. My wife, Catherine (Garvey) and I are 34-year residents of Wilbraham. Our children have benefited greatly from the town structure and community, its citizens, neighbors and teachers.

Third, know the rules, set forth in the town by-laws, and commonwealth statutes relating to being a moderator and town meeting procedure, and the practical book, “Moderator’s Guide to Town Meeting.” I am an experienced transactional and corporate attorney, well versed in running meetings and guiding people in decision making.

Education is important and is front and center for us. Catherine and I are both fortunate to come from families that put a priority on education. In return, we made sure that [our children,] Peter (Catholic U), Brigid, (US Naval Academy) and James (Providence College) enjoyed the same so as to be well-rounded, independent thinkers.

As our kids grew, I took pleasure in being an assistant or head coach, or cheerleader, for most of the Rec Department sports they played. I particularly remember the joy of that championship soccer season, not the best but played as a team (no “I” in team), many memories on the boys and girls lacrosse field, and being a timer at Falcon Swim Club swim meets.

I have been a library trustee since 2004. We are communicants at Saint Cecilia’s Church. I enjoy running (long distance), hiking and gardening.

My goal…



Read More:Wilbraham Select Board and moderator candidates introduce themselves to voters