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Letter to Residents

 

Dear Residents:

 

Please allow me to introduce myself.  My name is Brian Herr and I am running for the Board of Selectmen (BoS) this year.  Since announcing my candidacy several weeks ago, numerous people have asked me the same 3 questions over and over again.  Please allow me a few moments to answer them as best I can here.

 

“Are you crazy?”  Well, I don’t think so, but then again, my kids say I am.  The general conversation around this question focuses on the state of affairs with the current board and their communications.  My personality and professional training recognizes the differing opinions of others and respects their right to share them in a public format.  Last year, while serving as Vice Chairman of the Planning Board, I presided over the public hearings for the Water Resources Protection Overlay District.  During several nights of hearings we had our share of participants let the emotions generated by the topic, albeit understandable, get the best of them.  My years in the construction industry taking the heat, while staying on topic in meetings, paid off.  We got through the hearings with all concerned having had an opportunity to share their views.  If elected to the BoS I will stay focused on the real issues before town and avoid any non-productive banter.

 

“What do you hope to accomplish as a member of the BoS?”  It is imperative that we diversify and expand our commercial tax base.  We must find ways to welcome new businesses to town that are willing to invest in our community.  We should increase the revenue in the current industrial and business zones by tweaking the bylaws already in place, such as raising the height of the buildings one additional story on South Street.  Revitalizing downtown Hopkinton will bring new revenues to the town while creating a vibrant New England town center for all to enjoy.  Our revenue base must increase in order to provide the schools and town departments with the funds necessary to maintain our best-in-class objectives.  Beyond these, and other important financial considerations, I think it is critical for Hopkinton to move forward with one voice after the votes have been cast at Town Meeting and the ballot.  We struggle as a town to accept the general will of the people and implement the decisions we make collectively.  In any democratic form of government, reaching consensus generally takes a back seat to uncovering the general will of the people.  We need to accept the general will of the entire town and get away from the divisive factions that pull us apart.  There are several key questions before the Town of Hopkinton in 2007 and beyond.  Let’s pull together as a community, listen to all the arguments for and against, and then vote our conscience.  With an open, respectful and fair process, we can uncover, and then implement the general will of the town together.

 

“What qualifications do you bring to the table?”  Since moving to town in April of 2000 my wife, Mary Murphy, and I have been involved with numerous boards and committees.  In town I have served on the Personnel Committee, the Elementary School Building Committee and the Planning Board.  Currently I am the Chairman of the Zoning Advisory Committee and the Cultural Arts Alliance Barn Restoration Building Committee.  Last year was my first experience coaching baseball.  With 5 kids ages 14 to 2 coming into the sports programs, I expect my coaching duties will expand in the near future.  Professionally, I am employed by a large national corporation serving as the District Manager for New England.  I studied Mechanical Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh and then went on to earn a Masters degree in Government from Harvard University.  Besides my family, I am most proud of my involvement in the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge.  18 years ago, myself and 18 other runners, ran the inaugural Marathon Challenge in conjunction with the Boston Marathon.  I have served on the Governing Board and was the Chairman of the event for three years.  I am fortunate that my knees still work and plan to continue my “streak” for years to come.  This year, Flat Stanley, from my son’s kindergarten class, will once again be my running partner on Marathon Day.  My wife and I enjoy volunteering our time and energy and look forward to many more years of active participation in the community.

 

Over the next several weeks there will be numerous forums for the voters of Hopkinton to meet the candidates and discuss their vision for the future.  I look forward to the opportunity to speak with as many of you as possible and welcome your comments and questions.

  

Thank you!

Brian Herr

Elizabeth Road

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