HAMPSTEAD – The candidates up for election March 12 for positions on the School Board and the Town for the most part cite wanting to give back to their community as a motivating factor for seeking office. Many expressed pride in Hampstead as a community and spoke glowingly about what it has to offer its residents.
The two candidates for the single open seat on the Hampstead School Board, Bob O’Brien and Jason Cipriano, both expressed their desire to support the quality of Hampstead education but both also tempered that with the recognition that all of Hampstead residents’ needs must be considered, and so fiscal conservatism and common sense need to be applied to bottom line spending.
O’Brien said, “Sitting on the Budget Committee for the past three years, many of our discussions were about the cost of education in Hampstead. However, my personal experience and the success my family has enjoyed is a direct result of the commitment to the quality our schools provide. I’m running for school board to ensure families with children will have the same sense of pride I feel when Hampstead students move on to high school and beyond. Members of the school board also have the responsibility to speak for the rest of the community that supports our schools with their tax dollars. My motivation is to continue high standards with sensible decisions and maintain strong community support with responsible spending.”
Cipriano said, “I am running based on my desire to serve the residents of Hampstead and to have the best
schools in the state and the nation. We have outstanding schools in an out standing community. For this, we can thank our skilled community and administrative leaders, and dedicated teachers and support staff, backed up by a knowledgeable and invested public.
“While attempting to maintain this high standard, I will advocate for fiscal responsibility and diligent stewardship over the taxpayers’ investment in the schools,” he added. “I believe we should deliver superior results in the form of well educated students. I wish to work with the school board and the community to meet all of these expectations. As a School Board member, I hope to give back to a town that has given me much over the years.”
Cipriano added, “As a graduate of the Hampstead public school system, I am eager to strengthen the institutions and work with administrators. As a parent, I am excited to look for new and innovative ways to engage students and better prepare them for the future. As a taxpayer, I am committed to seeking out cost saving opportunities and reducing wasteful spending. Finally, as a resident, I am honored to have the chance to serve my town as an elected official.”
Three candidates are seeking the two seats open on the town’s Advisory Budget Committee. Two are husband and wife, Ann and Chris Howe, and the third is Steve Londrigan, who is currently chairing the Police Building Committee. Londrigan said he wants a Budget seat because he has been on the Police Building Committee for two years and wanted to do more for the community. “I see being part of the Budget Committee as a way to further contribute to Hampstead in a way that makes use of my skills and education that I use in my professional life,” he said.
Ann Howe said she is running to serve her community. “I have reviewed the annual Town Report for the last several years, and became interested with how the town spent its budget,”she said.“I believe my background in Quality Compliance Auditing and Risk Management may be useful to the town with respect to making frugal recommendations to the Board of Selectmen.
As a mother and as a working woman, I know the value of a dollar in today’s challenging economic climate. I hope to put to good use my experience and training for the benefit of the town of Hampstead. My main motivation is to do my best to ensure the taxpayer is well represented and I will endeavor to ensure the public’s money is put to the best possible use.”
Her husband, Chris Howe, said, “The motivating factor for me running for the Budget Committee is a desire to be an advocate for the taxpayer. I want to try and balance the needs of the community with the costs of providing services for the community.” Five candidates are seeking the two open seats on the Planning Board. Each candidate Proctor Wentworth, Chad Bennett, Chris Dane, Jeff Mackey and Glen Emerson references his relationship to the community and interest in serving on a committee where his experience and knowledge would be most useful.
Wentworth is seeking reelection.
“I have an interest in the town, having served 20 years on the board, and being able to help the Town and the people in it,” he said. Mackey, who is Wentworth’s grandson, said, “As a young, well educated, and experienced town resident with the passion to help and give back to this great town, I would bring a younger generation’s point of view and ideas to the table. That is what motivates me to run for Planning Board.”
Bennett said, “I was born and raised in Hampstead. Over the past 34 years, I have seen our town grow and change in many ways. While I understand that growth and change is inevitable, I feel the direction we are headed in is jeopardizing many of our town’s best qualities. Hampstead’s own website describes our town as being ‘rich in history’ and ‘a picture postcard town with an elegant historic Main Street, characterized by antique Colonial homes.’ We have beautiful lakes, stonewall lined properties, and spacious parks. These features help to make Hampstead the special place it is, and I feel they deserve our protection.”
Bennett said he is not against commercial development. “As a local business owner,I appreciate the properties that provide our residents with necessary goods and services, and I understand their benefit to our local economy,” he said. “But as a resident, I also know how important it is to keep the rural, small town feel of Hampstead. That small town feel is one of the reasons I chose to settle down and raise a family here.
“I would use my experience in the construction industry, knowledge of reading of site plans, and bachelor’s degree from Northeastern University to ask crucial questions about how the proposed developments will affect our town and its residents,”hesaid.“Iwouldserve the people of Hampstead by listening to their opinions about future projects and acting in a manner that best represents them.”
Chris Dane, a captain in the Hampstead Fire Department, said, “My motivation to run for Planning Board comes from the desire to serve and better the community that I live in. My family and I have lived in Hampstead for the past 12 years, and even in this short amount of time we have witnessed many changes. As a licensed land surveyor, I am familiar with our town’s current land use regulations and know that I would apply these regulations to all fairly.”
Emerson said, “I have lived in Hampstead all my life and the time has come to give back to the town. I don’t have an agenda; I just want to do what’s right for the town.” Several positions on the ballot are unopposed.
AileenWallisrunningfor TrusteefortheTrustFund,a position she has filled for the last few months. She said, “I am running because it is important to volunteer in your town when you get the opportunity. To me it is important to give back to the community I live in, in any way that I can.”
Priscilla Lindquist, running unopposed for her fourth term as Selectman after retiring as the Administrative Assistant in the Selectmen’s Office, said, “I feel that Hampstead is a great town to live in. I enjoy working for the town, and several people encouraged me to run for another term. Compared to neighboring towns, Hampstead has had volunteers and/or leadership that have worked together to keep the tax rate stable, and taken the necessary steps to improve our community life. I think we need to continue this trend and hopefully that will include adding the new police station to our list of assets.”
Running unopposed for reelection as Trustee of the Cemeteries is Steve Wentworth, Proctor Wentworth’s son.“I really enjoyed serving as Cemetery Trustee over the last three years,” he said. “I hope I have helped to make a difference by making the cemeteries run more efficiently and cost effectively.”
And Gwen Glick, who has served as an alternate Library Trustee and is unopposed in seeking a full seat on that board, said, “As an Alternate Trustee of the Library for almost two years, I have had the opportunity to learn about the responsibilities of the Trustee position and workbesidemanydedicated individuals who are responsive to the needs of the community and who are fiscally conservative in their decision-making. I would like to continue these efforts as Trustee of the Hampstead Library so that it remains a place of positive energy in our community.”