Home Accountant Six candidates for 3 board seats in Tuesday’s election which also includes the waiver

Six candidates for 3 board seats in Tuesday’s election which also includes the waiver


SOUTHAMPTON – Tuesday’s election promises to be a day to remember for the city, when voters choose from six candidates vying for three board seats and decide the fate of a waiver of the 2½ proposal.

Two three-year seats and one two-year board seat are up for grabs in the election. Incumbent Matt Roland will face challengers Joy Piper and Jon Lumbra for the three-year seat, while incumbent Francine Tishman will face challenges from Nilda Cohen and Dylan Mawdsley for the two-year position.

Also on Tuesday, voters will approve or reject a waiver of $ 718,467 to fund Norris Elementary School and other municipal services. The municipal election will be held at the Senior Center at 210 College Highway from noon to 8 p.m.

Candidates for 3-year seatsJoy piper

Piper is running for Select Board with the aim of increasing the supply of affordable housing in Southampton and improving government transparency and communication, she said.

Piper, 30, grew up in Southampton and returned to the area after living in Boston for seven years. But returning to the area can be difficult for young adults in particular, she said, as house prices rise and many struggle to pay off student loans or find affordable childcare options.

“A lot of the millennials and people I graduated with aren’t really there anymore,” Piper said, “and I want to make (Southampton) a place where they can come back to where it’s affordable.”

Southampton has funds to fund affordable housing options, Piper said, such as the Community Preservation Act prices, but the city must take action to allocate that funding. Under the CPA, 10% of available funds are earmarked for community housing.

“It’s there, and there have to be innovative ways of working together to make it happen,” Piper said.

Piper is a lawyer practicing in Springfield and a member of the Southampton Conservation Commission.

Piper also hopes to increase communication between residents and elected officials and shape the development of the city’s vacant land “in a way that is smart but in keeping with the rural character of Southampton,” she said.

After a seven-year absence from Southampton, Piper has said she is here to stay and ready to work on long-term change.

“I’m going to be here for a very long time,” Piper said. “I’m pretty established here, so I play the long game at the end of the day… I can devote time at each stage for as many years as it is to playing the long game and achieving those goals.”

Jon Lumbra

After nearly two years on the school committee, Lumbra is looking to move on to the board.

Lumbra, 46, was chairman of the Southampton School Board for over a year during his tenure. Lumbra said his background as CFO of Dowd insurance agencies makes him well equipped to handle the city’s financial and budgetary matters.

“Looking at how things were as it is today within the city – with the absence of a municipal accountant and the experience of how they go through the whole budget process – I felt that my experience… could benefit the city if I offered my expertise to the board, ”he said.

Southampton has not had a permanent accountant since November, although the post has been filled on a temporary basis since that date.

Lumbra also served as Holyoke City Treasurer for six years. He lived in Southampton for just over three years.

The waiver proposed this year had a significant influence on the decision to run for a seat on the board, Lumbra said, although he did not think this year’s waiver was avoidable. But Lumbra believes that focusing on the city’s long-term finances, rather than a year-to-year image, can avoid the need for “drastic cuts and waivers” in the future.

This planning would involve “looking 10 years from now, the decisions we make set us up for success in the future,” Lumbra said.

Matt Roland could not be reached for comment. Roland won his seat on the board of directors in 2018.

2-year seat candidateNilda cohen

Former Select Cohen board member said she was influenced to run for a new position due to the financial impacts of COVID-19 on the city, in addition to what she sees as financial planning inadequate under current city administration.

“When I saw discussions take place on the board without an accountant, there were deficits on that board that really troubled me,” Cohen said. “I felt they needed someone on the board who had financial education.”

Cohen, 74, has worked in accounting and the private sector for social service organizations. She served on the board of directors and the finance committee in the 1980s and 1990s, in addition to other municipal committees.

Cohen has previously criticized the waiver and is “still firm that this is not the answer,” she said.

“This is not the answer because it has no long-term benefit,” she added, calling the measure a “dressing effect”.

With long-term financial planning and preparation for potential financial hardship, Cohen believes the city can avoid future waivers.

“You have to look beyond yourself and say, ‘This is in the best interests of the city,’” Cohen said.

Dylan Mawdsley

Mawdsley is running for a two-year term to focus on development, infrastructure and stabilizing the city’s financial future.

“The biggest problem for me is really focusing on infrastructure,” Mawdsley said. “And I mean that only in the sense of physical infrastructure… but the kind of comprehensive infrastructure in the city,” including water and sewage, sprawling into the commercial district and looking at municipal fiber options optical.

Mawdsley, 37, graduated from Hampshire Regional High School and returned to Southampton just over a year ago after living in Holyoke for a decade.

“As you watch the renaissance continue in Northampton and Easthampton, Southampton has room to develop,” Mawdsley said, “and I feel like we need research that would support continued commercial and residential development throughout. maintaining the rural character of Southampton. ”

Mawdsley was previously a state attorney and worked in the executive branch of the Massachusetts legislature.

Like his fellow candidates, Mawdsley also believes the waiver is a major issue to be addressed. “I hope that with some investment and business development… We won’t be in this situation almost every year,” he said. “It’s already a great community that I think we can make even better,” Mawdsley said.

Francine Tishman

As she wraps up her two years on the Select Board, Francine Tishman is running for a second term in hopes of continuing to look after the city’s financial stability and sustainability.

“I think you get a feel for what the problems are in the first two years,” said Tishman, 72, “and in your last two years you have the opportunity to imagine how they might be. resolved, then I’m looking to take my experience to the next level.

The need for a new financial direction is nothing new for Southampton, said Tishman, “but I think it deserves a focus in the years to come if we are to chart a course that does not take us from one. year of crisis to the next and looking for exemptions.

Tishman, who is retired, was previously president of a nonprofit organization in Long Island for the employment of people with disabilities, and has also worked with other organizations to promote opportunities for people with disabilities in the market. work.

Prior to joining the Select Board, Tishman served on the finance committee for six years. As a member of the finance committee and the select committee, she has also served as liaison to several committees, and she is also the chair of the constitution committee and treasurer of the Friends of the Council on Aging.

In addition to stabilizing the city’s finances, Tishman hopes to increase residents’ participation in government.

“I believe in participatory government, and I think it’s important that citizens have all the information they need to make decisions for the city in the future,” Tishman said. “The Select Board is just the facilitators – the real decision makers are the voters.”


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