Selectmen Candidates Make Their Case Despite No Opposition in Upcoming Town Elections
It was an exercise for the sake of exercise but Candidates' Night 2013 fulfilled its role of introducing candidates running for elective office in town. The evening was diminished somewhat after a third candidate seeking a position on the Board of Selectmen announced he was dropping out of the race this past Monday (See story page one).
Justin Halleran informed Town Clerk that he was dropping out of the race for Selectmen which meant the two incumbents seeking reelection - Josh Degen and Stuart Schulman - will face no opposition at Town Elections, April 30. Degen is seeking his fourth term on the Board while Schulman is seeking a third term. Both candidates appeared at Candidates Night and while neither gave any introductory comments, they did answer questions from the approximately two dozen residents who attended.
With no contested race for the two seats open for election on Selectmen, the only remaining contested race at Town Elections is for one position as Water Commissioner. Two candidates are seeking election to the one seat - Mark Deuger and David Crocker. Those two candidates were introduced after several unopposed candidates made introductory comments in support of their candidacy. Thomas Steinfeld, seeking election to a two-year position on the School Committee, said he attended public schools and was a teacher in Chelmsford. He said he would bring experience and ideas to the School Committee.
Rob Flynn running unopposed for a position on the Park Commission said he would focus on maintaining veteran's parks in town. And, Bob Fleischer, running unopposed for a position on the Board of Health, urged voters to learn more about what the Board of Health does.
Candidates for the one contested race, Water Commissioner - Deuger and Crocker - appeared before the audience and gave introductory comments before answering questions from residents. Crocker is a graduate of Nashoba Valley Technical High School and holds several licenses as a water technician. He has lived in Groton for 17 years and is employed by the Westford Water Department. Crocker noted that this is the first time he has run for public office. Deuger was an Army officer and studied hydrology in college. He was an Environmental Specialist at Fort Devens when it closed and has lived in Groton since 1995. He has served on the Board of Health and on the Conductorlab Oversight Committee. Deuger said he has studied groundwater hydrology and oversaw environmental compliance of water systems as Fort Devens closed.
When the forum was opened to questions, many centered on Lost Lake's health and its environmental impact on the watershed and the Whitney Well. Deuger said the issue is complex and noted the state has standards which ensures water from the well is of good quality. He said it was important to protect the lake and the watershed. Crocker noted that the health of the lake does have an impact on water quality but it was a problem that could be worked out.
Mike Bouchard asked candidates what challenges face them as Water Commissioners. Crocker said growth of the system in the future and the possibility of adding new wells to met the growth. Deuger agreed that managing growth in the system will be the biggest challenge if that growth requires expansion of the water system.