Voters’ Guide for the June 30, 2020 Town Election

Each year, the League of Women Voters of Westford sponsors a Voters’’ Guide for the Town election. Candidates running for local office are asked to respond to two questions about their candidacy, limiting their responses to 250 words for each question. This year, elections are being held for Select Board, Board of Health, Planning Board, Library Trustee, School Committee, and Moderator.

All registered voters are encouraged to apply for mail-in ballots. Ballots must be received by the Town Clerk’s office by 8 p.m. on June 30. You may mail in your ballot (be aware the mail delivery is slower than usual), or drop off your ballot in a secure drop box for mail-in ballots located in the Town Hall parking lot. Please note that if you do use this drop-box, your ballot must still be in the “early” or “absentee” envelope provided to you. Also, don’t forget to sign your envelope. Polls will also be open on June 30 for in-person voting, 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.

View a sample ballot.

View the list of open positions.

The League of Women Voters of Westford is a nonpartisan political organization of women and men that encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in government. The League does not support or oppose any candidate or political party.

Click on an office below to see statements from candidates running for that office, or scroll down to see statements from all candidates.

Select BoardSchool Committee
Planning BoardModerator
Library TrusteesBoard of Health

SELECT BOARDTom Clay

How is your background related to the board position that you are seeking? Please include participation in any town or community-related activities.

In my 25 years of experience, leading Army Rangers on missions behind enemy lines and as CEO of 2 successful technology start-ups, I recognize the value of utilizing every person, skill and resource you have at your disposal. My leadership style is to be forthright, open and inclusive. I have done this on the Westford Select Board, School Committee, as a Trustee for Mount Wachusett Community College, as Entrepreneur in Residence at Harvard Business School, on the First Parish Church Prudential Committee, the Westford Economic Development Committee and the advisory board at UTEC, helping youth in Lowell stay on track.  As a Select Board Member I have co-chaired the Town and School Safety Task Force, which has significantly upgraded the physical security and our emergency response capability in our schools and town facilities.  Between this and a first responder staffing study, which I also co-chaired, Westford has significantly improved our public safety profile and is now one of the safest communities in the Commonwealth.

What issues will be a priority for you if elected?

Today’s top priority is to ensure Westford is providing information and services to support our community during the current pandemic.  As a current Select Board Member I have worked to help coordinate all town resources towards this goal.  This would remain my top area of focus.

I would also continue the work of the Town and School Safety Task Force, which has made excellent progress on physical security and is now focused on social and emotional wellness for our at-risk populations.  The greatest risk to individuals in Westford today is self harm and substance abuse – we can make great progress together on these issues.  I’m particularly concerned about our senior population and would give this community significant focus.  I’ll also continue to pursue well supported, sustainably funded schools and would continue my close work with the School Committee and the Finance Committee to make sure we can meet the goals of outstanding education experience, competitive teacher pay and sustainable funding of other critical services like special education.  


SELECT BOARDAndrew Spanos

How is your background related to the board position that you are seeking? Please include participation in any town or community-related activities.

My background has been built in the private business sector with community involvement thus far only in the area of youth sports and recreation. I have been able to build my primary business into an INC 5000 nationally recognized company. In doing so I understand the value of leadership, and how it is transferrable across all different types of organizations. Whether it’s local office, or a business there are voices to be heard and collaboration on important decisions to be made. I truly feel that having no local office experience in the past can be looked at as a positive thing. This allows for a fresh voice and perspective on the topics facing the residents of Westford today. That unique perspective in collaboration with the more tenured opinions of the current Board members will make for an idyllic environment in creative solutions to the problems and issues facing our residents. As a managing partner of my company I look at myself as someone who is there to serve the needs and interests of our employees, and not the other way around. If elected my role on the Select Board will function in the exact same manner – to serve the Westford residents needs and interests first above all else.

What issues will be a priority for you if elected?

Westford first and foremost must maintain its educational excellence. Our school system is one of the best in the state, and stabilizing the support system to protect the students, teachers, and faculty is imperative. The very best investment we can make today is in our children and their future. Ensuring that students across all age levels have the materials and services they need to meet their full potential is the perfect place to start. 

Elevating the local business community will be fundamental in maintaining upcoming infrastructure and project needs for the town. This will allow the primary funding burden on these projects to be moved from the residential taxpayer and onto these new, or currently flourishing entities. The best way to nurture this community is by making the environment as welcoming and inviting as possible for these businesses. 

Fiscal responsibility is an area that is going to need a lot of focus. Westford will have mounting financial pressure as it continues to grow and evolve. In order to meet those demands town officials will need to find efficiencies without compromising our resident’s high quality of life. In my mind the best way to achieve this is maintaining open dialogue across all governing groups 


SELECT BOARDAnita Tonakarn-Nguyen

How is your background related to the board position you are seeking?  Please include your  participation in any town or community-related activities.

The Select Board acts in the best interests of the Town, which requires a commitment to serving diverse communities in Westford, something that I have demonstrated.  Initially drawn to the school system, my husband and I moved to Westford in 2015. 

To better understand the community, I joined the Westford Cultural Council (WCC), which I now Chair.  Recently, WCC examined what “culture” is in Westford, going beyond the council’s scope of funding arts and humanities programs.  Westford’s “culture” continues to be a blend of growing diverse communities while also honoring centuries of labor and contributions from residents from many countries.  To strengthen community ties, I developed new partnerships with the Parish Center for the Arts, WestfordCAT and the Westford Historical Society and Museum.  One proud outcome from these new partnerships is the “Westford Celebrates Women’s Right to Vote” multi-event series. 

Leading the WCC’s growth inspired me to become more involved in Town civics, so I joined the League of Women Voters  Steering Committee. I started monthly Civic Socials to increase conversations on civics and also planned the event, “Getting Involved in Town Government” to showcase the various pathways to become involved in Westford. In 2019, I joined the Commission on Disability to better understand the issues for residents of disabilities in Westford. 

Professionally, I am a health policy consultant working to improve access to services for seniors, people with disabilities, and family caregivers. My drive comes from watching my immigrant parents care for my grandmother in a confusing service system. 

What issues will be a priority for you if elected?

Our country is facing a new reality in many areas due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Knowledge of public health, public policies and partnerships is increasingly important for Westford’s future. Recently, I have been working on a federal COVID-19 initiative to help seniors and people with disabilities access needed services. Since 2011, I have been consulting in health policy at state and federal levels to improve how agencies work together, break down barriers and improve accessibility to those who need services. I will bring my experience to my work as a member of Westford’s Select Board.  

Continuing the bridging work that I began with the WCC, I will also: 

  • Commit to accountability, transparency and communication.  
  • Work to strengthen town and community partnerships to identify complementary resources and redundancies. 
  • Listen to, represent and serve all residents of Westford.
  • Bring a perspective and voice to the table for the ethnically diverse communities. 
  • Be an advocate for older adults, people with disabilities and their family members.
  • Support our strong school system and its students, staff and parents while balancing our other town priorities.  

While many families first explore Westford because of our great school system, it is the Town’s sense of community that convinces them to settle here.  We have a remarkable group of volunteers and town employees in Westford who have worked to make Westford the incredible town it is today. I want to continue their good work! 

Visit www.anitaforwestford.com for further information about my background, additional community involvement activities and more!


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SCHOOL COMMITTEE – Arthur Benoit

How is your background related to the board position you are seeking?  Please include your participation in any town or community-related activities.  

My background is in Quality Assurance, so I search for, find, and fix problems. I am a past member of the School Committee with 14 years on the board. In addition, I’m a member of the Westford Kiwanis and spend much time helping put together the Apple Blossom and other community events. The experience, leadership, and collaboration required in doing my job, community service, and in my personal life has allowed me to build strong relationships within our community. I plan to leverage these relationships to help return the committee to be a trusted participant in our town’s government.

What issues will be a priority for you if elected?

Rebuilding trust with families, students, staff, town officials, other boards, and committees will be a top priority for me. Additionally, working to bring fiscal stability back to the school district will allow educational programs to stabilize and will boost the morale of all stakeholders in Westford. I’m willing to roll up my sleeves to make sure Westford schools continue to be number one for our children. I ask for your vote in the upcoming election. Please stay and keep your families safe.


SCHOOL COMMITTEE – Janelle Cioffi

How is your background related to the board position you are seeking? Please include your participation in any town or community-related activities.

For the last 26 years I have worked for the Rappaport Family and the Rappaport Foundation. I began as a receptionist and I am currently director and controller of the family office and Foundation. I have meaningful experience with large educational budgets as our Foundation partners with Harvard University, the Kennedy School of Government and Boston College, among others.  I have held the following board positions: Treasurer for Westford Elementary Parent and Teacher Organization (2013 – 2014), Fundraising Chair for Nashoba Youth Hockey (2014 – 2016), President of Brestyan’s Parent Organization (2015 – 2018).  These various board positions have shown me that patience, understanding, and respect for the shoes I hope to fill is vitally important. I am determined and passionate about all that I do, and I strive to be an attentive listener. I understand that doing something well demands dedication and time.  

I believe my prior experience gives me a strong foundation to help the school committee become more approachable to parents and provide more transparency with decisions and the decision-making process.  I will bring new ideas and a fresh perspective to the board. I would like to involve our community, those who are the biggest stakeholders in the strategic planning process, and to give voice to the administration, educators, parents, and students so that we have a better idea of what and how we can improve.  Together, we can make Westford an even better place to live.

What issues will be a priority for you if elected?

Over the past couple of years, the Westford School Committee has faced many difficult decisions and challenges. I decided to run for School Committee because I firmly believe the only way to truly have a voice is to be part of the decision-making process.  I hope to bring a new perspective on the educational challenges with which we are faced and ensure that we keep the focus on our main priority: the students. I believe a fundamental piece of the educational puzzle is recognizing that what is best for students varies from child to child and even changes based on circumstances. It is crucial to understand that one solution or protocol does not work for every student in every situation.

My main priority is the students of our public schools. My hope is to be a great advocate for the students by ensuring that every student is on a path to thrive. I understand that quality education will give our children the best chance possible in this ever-changing world and it is my mission to ensure that EVERY student is educationally equipped to lead a successful life. In closing, my primary goal as a school committee member would be to help develop a sense of belonging so that every student, parent, and school employee who interacts with the school committee feels as if they have been heard and appreciated. “Shaping the Future, One Child at a Time” should be a goal for all of us.


SCHOOL COMMITTEE – Paul Kravitz

How is your background related to the board position you are seeking?  Please include your  participation in any town or community-related activities.

My background in scientific research and analysis has taught me important skills that will help me serve well as a member of the School Committee.  Most importantly, I have learned the value of combining data with opinion and feedback from those impacted to make sound and thoughtful decisions. As a town soccer coach, I have had an opportunity to shape young minds and teach the power of teamwork. I am proud to be part of a community committed to the pursuit of the best education and experience for our children. Recent history has demonstrated the successes of our current administrators, school staff, and community support. Given the opportunity, I will draw on my personal and professional experiences, and my connections to many parents, educators and town leaders, to serve our children and our community for today and our future. 

What issues will be a priority for you if elected?

If elected, there are several issues that I believe should be a priority for the School Committee. These include funding level services for our schools, equity of educational and extracurricular access for our children, consideration for the most appropriate and respectful exit strategy for our current superintendent, and performing a thoughtful and comprehensive search to secure the best possible successor for the superintendent position to ensure the continued success of our school system. I hold strong conviction that failure on any of these important initiatives will lead to an eventual decline in the quality of education that we have all worked so hard to build together for our children. 


SCHOOL COMMITTEE – Gloria Miller

How is your background related to the board position you are seeking?  Please include your participation in any town or community-related activities.

I am completing my first three year term as a School Committee member after being elected in 2017. I am a proud mother of three with 30 plus “parent-years” in Westford schools spanning all grades K through 12, and a former attorney and law professor. I have actively supported the work of the School Committee through my contributions on policy, union negotiations, and budget matters. As a member and current chair of the policy subcommittee, I developed and adopted policies that support improved processes and transparency, fiscal responsibility, and support for vulnerable student populations. As a lead negotiator for the Unit A teacher contract, I strived to create a positive atmosphere for those discussions. Though negotiations were interrupted by the current public health crisis, we were able to reach a successful agreement for a one-year extension of the current Unit A contract, granting much-needed stability for both parties moving into the upcoming school year. During several difficult budget cycles, I have earned a reputation for asking tough questions in support of making sound financial choices and finding solutions that promote student success. This year I advocated for the continuation of the Latin language program and to preserve two elementary school teacher positions. I also actively lobbied the Board of Selectmen in support of additional money to stabilize funding for special education for FY20 and FY21. I have been an active and dedicated member of the School Committee, and I respectfully ask for the voters’ support for another term.

What issues will be a priority for you if elected?

Priorities have shifted in response to the COVID-19 public health crisis. My number one priority for the foreseeable future will be supporting the education of our students while maintaining safety for children and staff, their families, and the broader Westford community. While it may be challenging to address students’ educational needs in both a safe and effective manner, I will support any needed policy revisions or budget adjustments that are required to support those efforts. To meet this moment, we will also need increased communication and transparency. I have advocated for the addition of a financial subcommittee to improve fiscal accountability and long-range planning. Mental health and wellness concerns will be a high priority for all students and staff. Additional support will also be needed for any learners who may have struggled during remote learning, especially for potentially vulnerable students in ELL and other special education programs. Recovering from this period of disruption will require time, patience, and hard work. Meanwhile, the School Committee will also be reentering negotiations for another Unit A contract, facing budget challenges, and creating a strategic plan that reflects the long-term goals and values of the district. My experience as a parent, former attorney and law professor, and School Committee member will all prove invaluable as Westford schools are faced with these unprecedented challenges. I am committed to continuing to do the hard work ahead and ask for the opportunity to continue to serve the students of Westford and my community for another term.


SCHOOL COMMITTEE – Terry Ryan

How is your background related to the board position you are seeking?  Please include your participation in any town or community-related activities.

I have previously served six years as a member of the Westford School Committee from 2012 to 2018 holding positions of Secretary, Vice Chair and Chair.   Since July of 2019, I have represented the Town of Westford as a member of the Lowell Regional Transit Authority Advisory Board.  In that role, I represent the needs of Westford such as providing senior center transportation and implementing Sunday bus service.   

Currently, I work for the City of Lowell and my wife, Kerry and I have three children in Westford Public Schools.  I have a degree in Electrical Engineering and an MBA which has afforded me a greater understanding of school infrastructure and budgetary requirements.

As a School Committee member, I have had the of experience participating in teacher contract negotiations twice during my six-year tenure. I have supported the One World program, ensuring all Westford Academy freshman receive a Chromebook, Project Based Learning, Full Day Kindergarten and building improvement programs.   Most of all, I have been a fierce advocate for and worked with parents on individual and collective concerns to make improvements in our schools where improvements are needed.   We have a devoted, talented staff and administration, I have seen firsthand how working together can create change that directly benefits not only our children but the educators who dedicate their careers to our children.

What issues will be a priority for you if elected?

There are three issues I will focus on if elected, education of our children, future budget concerns, and leadership of our school system. 

Public education in Westford is the primary reason people move here.  There have been numerous distractions this past year taking focus away from growing and enhancing our educational offerings.  Presently, Westford’s response to the COVID-19 epidemic is important to students, staff and families.  Measures put in place need to support teachers, parents and students in a new educational situation, while presenting educational material and preventing student regression.

The school budget process and the needs of the schools are critical this year and every year.  As a school committee member my job is to work in a way that provides a fiscally responsible budget that meets the needs of the students with my focus being on younger children, identifying and resolving issues early on, allowing children to thrive at the higher grades.

Leadership of our schools is based on everyone doing their job and this philosophy has created a school system that we are all proud of.  I do support the extension of Superintendent Bill Olsen’s contract for one reason, he has done the job and continues to do it well.   Stability and focus are crucial at this time, the next school committee will lay the groundwork for the next steps in school leadership. 

I ask for your vote on Election Day.


SCHOOL COMMITTEE – Valery Young

How is your background related to the board position you are seeking?  Please include your participation in any town or community-related activities.  

Before I started staying home with my two children, I was a failure analysis engineer and I hope to bring the same data-driven, analytical skillset with me as a committee member. I have been actively involved with my children’s schools since they started, most recently as a part of the Nabnasset School Advisory Council. I have been attending School Committee meetings all year long and followed the budget process through the Finance Committee hearings.

I hear from fellow parents of young children about how hard it is to stay engaged with the issues affecting local schools, let alone to try and attend the evening meetings. But these are the very voices that need to be included as the future of our children’s schools is shaped. I’m willing to put in the work, I am committed and I’m working hard to earn your vote.  

What issues will be a priority for you if elected?

With fluctuations in enrollment and a change in leadership, we need forward-looking members who are committed to the next several years, as we evolve from what has worked in the past to what will carry us into the future. With the impact of COVID-19, we will be faced with some very tough decisions as we work to address the town deficits from reduced state aid, lowered revenue and unexpected expenses. We need to collaborate with the other departments and boards in town to balance the priorities of the taxpayers with the reality of the revenue. 

In addition, I hope to find ways to increase the committee’s communication because we need to include more voices – not just the ones who can show up at evening meetings. One silver lining from the virtual meetings is the ability for someone from home to send in a question real-time and I hope we find a way to incorporate that in the future when we are back to face-to-face meetings. I would like to see committee members host “office hours” for parents, students and staff to voice their concerns and issues directly to a School Committee member outside of the evening meetings. Another idea is to mirror the “Action Taken” document produced from Select Board meetings. I’m interested in finding creative ways to communicate with the community so that more people can feel involved as stakeholders. Whether as young families or longtime residents, we all want to see Westford schools thrive.


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MODERATOR – Angela Harkness

How is your background related to the board position you are seeking?  Please include your participation in any town or community-related activities.  

I have lived in Westford with my husband Scott for 31 years, raising our three children and running a small business.  During that time, I served on the 1991 Town Master Plan Committee (Co-Chair) and Master Plan Implementation Committee, Roudenbush Community Center Committee, Route 110 Master Plan Committee, East Boston Camps Master Plan Committee, Friends of East Boston Camps, Permanent School Building Committee and Westford School Committee (6 years, two as Chair).  I am an attorney and have run my own small firm here in Westford since 1994.  These experiences have provided me with the leadership skills and broad range of knowledge that are essential to successfully run efficient and effective Town Meetings.  Most importantly, I am an avid and active Town Meeting participant, having contributed to almost all of the Town Meetings that have occurred during my three decades as a Westford resident.  As an attorney, a business owner and a committed participant in community life, I have developed the ability to listen to others and to facilitate discussion of ideas, questions and points put forward.  Because of my professional training, I understand the law, a critical component of Town Meeting.  As your Town Moderator, I will create an environment for free, open and thorough discussion of the issues before us, so that Town Meeting can continue to be a successful and viable form of governing our Town.  

What issues will be a priority for you if elected?

As your Town Moderator, my priority will be to continue our historic open Town Meeting form of government in Westford.  Town Meeting is the purest form of democracy and the epitome of our constitutional right to vote.  Nowhere else can one voice and one vote mean so much.  Town Meeting is an example of how we can govern together as a group in the fairest way possible.  Also, Town Meeting is part of the fabric that knits our community together.  At Town Meeting we can hear what our neighbors think and how various outcomes will affect their lives.  This allows us to make better decisions, makes us stronger as a community and ensures that we consider all relevant information as we make choices for our Town.  Town Meeting familiarizes us with our Town employees who provide the knowledge and expertise needed to reach informed conclusions.  Town Meeting can only be preserved if those who attend leave feeling that their time has been spent wisely, that they were heard and enlightened, and that important issues have been discussed and resolved in a fair and efficient manner.  In this way more people will be encouraged to participate and the future of Town Meeting will be secured.  


MODERATOR – Susan Spuhler

How is your background related to the board position you are seeking?  Please include your participation in any town or community-related activities.  

My background related to running for re-election as Town Moderator includes the past three years that I have been in service to our town and the positive changes I have implemented.  While polling voters I found that people had a hard time seeing and hearing at Town Meeting.  I saw to it that all Town Meeting presentations had the font sizes increased. I provide reading glasses at all Town Meetings of various prescription strengths for the voters and with the help of the Cameron Senior Center, hearing devices are available.  I’ve also provided custom made hand fans with caricatures of historical figures and interesting historical facts.  I arrange for an affordable lunch for all at Town Meeting.

Currently I volunteer for the Massachusetts Moderator Association as Chairperson of the Membership Committee. I attend all annual, regional Moderator meetings and events. 

My past town volunteerism includes serving as Vice Chair for both the Master Plan Implementation Committee and the Registered Marijuana Dispensary Committee. I have lived in Westford since 2001.

What issues will be a priority for you if elected?

My priority is to continue to improve my running of Town Meeting with the continued coaching of current and past Moderators. I have been a fair Town Moderator and recognize the learning curve that goes with this position. There is always something new to learn, I recognize and address those challenges. Everyone is equal and has the right to express their point of view.

It has been an honor serving as your Town Moderator since 2017. Thank you for your vote.


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PLANNING BOARD – Gary Lavelle

How is your background related to the board position you are seeking? Please include your participation in any town or community-related activities.

As a local small business owner and a life-long resident of the town of Westford, I feel uniquely qualified to serve on the Westford Planning Board.  During my tenure, the board has sought to balance the need for steady planned residential and commercial growth, while at the same time preserving the special character of the town.  Over the last two decades, Westford has seen a period of phenomenal growth, both in private homes and new mixed-used developments.  Now we are seeing the development of new apartment complexes. I believe my knowledge and experience in strategic planning will be an asset to the Planning Board moving forward.  

For over 10 years, I was a member of the Permanent Town Building Committee.  This important group worked on many community projects during those years, working very closely with the Westford Planning Board.  From my service on the PTBC, I learned both the application and building process from the outside.  Now, as a current member of the Planning Board, I have the different perspective of reviewing those applications and submittals. 

In addition to this community service, I am a past president of the Westford Business Association, have been active in the Toys for Toys/Sun Santa Program, a member of the Westford Hockey Alumni Association and Westford Against Substance Abuse organization.

What issues will be a priority for you if elected?

The Westford Planning Board is a critical municipal board responsible for the establishment of our strategic planning goals for the direction of our town, and the means for achieving the result that the community of Westford envisions.  The board also administers the subdivision control law, which oversees the process for developing new roads and housing developments.  It deals with special permits related to flood areas, storm water management, acceptable signage and preservation of our scenic roads. Finally, the Westford Planning Board oversees the site plan review process for the town. 

Our board carefully reviews submittal proposals in order to make sure that the project complies with our zoning by-laws.  In doing so, we give serious consideration of the development’s impact on roadways, drainage systems, impervious cover, location of structures on the property, safety concerns and many other criteria.  This critical review makes sure that the proposal will have the positive features that we strive to achieve in Westford for our town.

My specific agenda for the Westford Planning Board is to continue to make our meetings and agenda more business and resident-friendly to the citizens we represent.  I always look for ways to make the zoning by-laws easier to navigate for the residents we serve as they try determine their final framework for their residence or business project.


PLANNING BOARD – Robert Shaffer

How is your background related to the board position you are seeking? Please include your participation in any town or community-related activities.

I have served as member of the Westford FINCOM, Planning Board, Route 110 Master Plan Committee, Master Plan Implementation Committee (MPIC), Community Preservation Committee, Westford Historical Commission and Board Member for Westford’s Networks for Education and Technology (WestNET).

During my previous service on the PB, Route 110 MPC and MPIC I was active in the drafting of 1) design standards for the Route 110 corridor, 2) new bylaws such as the Flexible Development bylaw, Mill Reuse bylaw and Senior Residential Multifamily Overlay District bylaw and 3) update of Westford’s Zoning Bylaws.

Professionally, I work as a cybersecurity systems engineer. I will bring my strength in analytical thinking combined with my knowledge of Westford’s history and Planning to shape development and guide project approvals or denials that balance the proposals of developers with the rights of residents to define the character of Westford.

What issues will be a priority for you if elected?

During my previous tenures on the PB and WHC, I always strove to work with developers and residents to find solutions that balanced the rights and wishes of everyone.  The key issues that I will make a priority for the Planning Board will include:

1)   Representing Westford’s resident’s desires for their community during the processes to update critical planning regulations such as the Westford Zoning Bylaw and the Subdivision Rules and Regulations.

2)   Listening to all parties who come before the PB with a balance of attentiveness, compassion and critical ear to create orders and conditions for projects that protect the interests of our residents and landowners alike.


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BOARD OF HEALTH – Michele Pitoniak Crawford

How is your background related to the board position you are seeking? Please include your participation in any town or community-related activities.

My occupation is that of an Environmental Health and Safety Consultant.  I received my Master of Public Health / Environmental Health degree from Boston University and I am professionally licensed as a Certified Hazardous Materials Manager (CHMM), Registered Sanitarian (RS), and Certified Health Officer (CHO). I have been a member of the Board of Health since 2010. I have received my ServSafe Food Protection Manager certification and routinely participate in continuing education classes such as the COVID-19 Protection program recently offered by The New England Consortium at UMASS Lowell. I am seeking a fourth term on the Board and an opportunity to work with such a great team of people with varied talents and perspectives on assuring that the public health needs of Westford are met.

What issues will be a priority for you if elected?

An immediate priority will continue to be COVID-19 related activities until this situation is under control. This will include developing / revising best practices to mitigate spread such as monitoring social distancing practices (which may pose more of challenge as the weather improves and people wish to gather) as well as contact tracing for known infections. We need to focus on a safe re-entry plan to protect public health once the State relaxes shelter in place restrictions. Additionally, we need to prepare for a potential resurgence of COVID that may coincide with the next FLU season. While this pandemic has consumed our Health Dept. resources, we need to be mindful to maintain both our Environmental Health and Public Health Nurse services as essential community resources. Our Board now meets weekly vs. monthly (virtually) to keep abreast of all of our local needs. We are very proud of the exemplary efforts of our Health Director, Jeff Stephens and his exceptional staff. As always, our community collaborative efforts must be to protect the entire Public Health.


BOARD OF HEALTH – Zac Cataldo

No response was received from this candidate.


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LIBRARY TRUSTEE – Lynn Clermont

How is your background related to the board position you are seeking? Please include your participation in any town or community-related activities.

The Trustee Handbook from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners states “Trustees are the library advocates and leaders in developing service willingly, responsibly and creatively for all members of the public”.   I hope to bring my love of public libraries and my experience as a professional librarian to the board.  I have a Master’s degree in library science and, until my retirement 2 years ago, worked as the Assistant Director at the Boylston Public Library.  Not only am I an avid patron of the Fletcher Library, I understand how a public library operates.  I have volunteered at Westford Fletcher Library and I have the highest regard for the library staff.  I would be honored to support them as a board member.

What issues will be a priority for you if elected?

A public library needs to continually strive to meet the needs of town residents for information, education and entertainment. To do this, they need to keep materials, events, technology and the library building itself up to date and current.  Westford is on a waiting list for a Public Library Construction Project Grant which would give them a $7.85 million award.  This would allow an expansion and modernization of the library pending future Town votes.  It will be the job of the library board of trustees to explain the benefits of this project to town government and Westford residents.  If approved, the board would be responsible for making sure the project is carried out in a timely and responsible manner.  While working at the Boylston Library, it went through an extensive renovation project.  I experienced the process of getting town approval, the board’s execution of the construction and, in the end, the excitement and appreciation of the town’s residents.  


LIBRARY TRUSTEE – Robert D. Price

How is your background related to the board position you are seeking? Please include your participation in any town or community-related activities.

I have served on the Board of Library Trustees for the past 21 years, including three years as its chair.  During those years, I have taken advantage of various seminars offered by the Massachusetts Library Trustees Association and the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners to become a better-educated Trustee.  I have attended as well the annual legislative breakfasts, lobbying our legislators on behalf of the library community.

Prior to becoming Trustee, I served for 11 years on the Executive Board of the Friends of the J. V. Fletcher Library chairing the Book Sale Committee.  I also served more recently on the Library Facility Needs Committee that developed an application for a Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program Grant.

I also served on the Representative Town Government Study Committee and the Public Works Initiative Committee.  Six years ago, I was appointed to the Community Preservation Committee as the Library representative.  I currently sit on the Board of Directors of the Westford Land Preservation Foundation that holds the conservation restriction on East Boston Camps.

I also serve on the Steering Committee of the League of Women Voters of Westford and in that capacity I have hosted over the years the League’s Town Meeting Warrant Preview programs on Westford CAT.

What issues will be a priority for you if elected?

My number one priority will be to ensure that the Library survives the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and continues to serve the members of the community who have grown to rely on it.

My number two priority will be to ensure that the Library facility expansion program is successful, meeting all the goals of the project, including more working space for the staff, meeting space for the patrons, and parking space for their cars.  This will require lobbying for the support of the entire Westford community.

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