Rehoboth Selectmen Race
Rehoboth voters will be deciding two seats on the Board of Selection in the local election on April 3. Four candidates are vying for the two three-year seats on the board.
Incumbent David Perry is seeking his second term on the board. The other candidates are Craig Chapman, North Attleboro police officer; James Muri, longtime Planning Board member; and Antonio Oliveira, local business owner. Perry and Muri were nominated by the Republican Town Committee and Oliveira was nominated by the Democratic Town Committee.
Profiles of three of the candidates follow. Antonio Oliveira did not respond to calls and emails.
David Perry, a local business owner, is seeking re-election to the Board of Selectmen. He has owned and operated Lisco Irrigation for 30 years. Perry also serves as stormwater officer for the town. He previously served as a member and chairman of the Conservation Commission for three years. Before moving to Rehoboth, he also served on the Attleboro Conservation Commission for 14 years and on the Attleboro Park Commission for five years.
He is running for another term because he feels it is a civic duty to contribute to the town if you have the ability. “I understand the town. There have been a lot of good things done. I want to continue to be part of that and to contribute to the best of my ability,” Perry said.
Perry says his experience as a selectman and on other town boards and committees will help him in his second term because he will be able to hit the ground running. “The learning curve is behind me. I have a good grasp on how things run,” Perry said. Perry’s accomplishments during his first term include helping to acquire a new boiler, generator, freezer and refrigerator unit for the Senior Center/Council on Aging.
Working with the Board of Selectmen, he helped create the new Highway Superintendent position and assisted in the hiring process. Perry also worked with other selectmen in negotiating new contracts for several municipal unions in town and planning for the new municipal complex. Perry says that fiscal responsibility is always “the number one priority.”
However, the biggest issue in town right now, he says, is the new municipal complex. “It’s something that the town desperately needs. The buildings we have are past their expiration date,” Perry said. The poor condition of the town buildings is not good for employees, says Perry.
Having all the town departments in one location will be a benefit to residents, Perry says. “The town hall is the focal point of the town. Having the town hall and all the municipal departments – police, fire and others – all under one roof will improve efficiency and communication,” Perry said
Perry says the town is operating pretty smoothly now and he wants to ensure that things keep running smoothly. “I want to continue to help prioritize town projects and continue doing the best for the town and the residents,” he said. The current board of selectmen works well together, says Perry. “We have a good group of selectmen. We are not always in agreement, but we always respect each other’s opinions. And we always have the best interests of the town in mind,” Perry continued.
It’s important to Perry that the town keeps its rural atmosphere. “I want to help move the town forward while focusing on maintaining the rural aspects of the town,” Perry said. Perry can be reached at email@example.com.
Craig Chapman, a North Attleboro police officer for 23 years, is running for Selectman because he wants to contribute to the town that he now calls home. “I want to be more directly involved in the community that I am raising my family in, as well as to be able to better understand and advocate for all our residents, businesses, and employees,” Chapman said.
Although Chapman moved to Rehoboth less than a year ago, he has strong ties to the town. Two generations of his family have lived in Rehoboth. His grandparents have lived in Rehoboth for more than 50 years and his mother and three aunts were born and raised in town. “My wife and I built our dream home in Rehoboth and what we love about Rehoboth is the country feel, the peace and tranquility, versus the hustle and bustle of the city,” Chapman said.
In addition to being a police officer, Chapman served in the Army National Guard for 27 years, retiring as a Sergeant Major. He was deployed three times, in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo Bay. He has served as a member and chairman of the Retirement Board of North Attleboro for four years and as Union President of the North Attleboro Police Patrol Officers Association for 10 years. Chapman also serves as Area 2 Vice President of the Massachusetts Coalition of Police. He was a member of the Rehoboth Personnel Board for a short time.
Chapman believes his experience will be an asset to the Board of Selectmen. “My experiences and knowledge in the Military, Law Enforcement, and various elected and appointed positions give me a very diversified background to be able to approach and resolve issues in a positive and professional manner and provide a fresh perspective which will be an asset to the Board and the town,” Chapman said.
The biggest issue facing the town is balancing economic development in a Right to Farm community, says Chapman. Chapman wants to maintain the rural atmosphere, but he understands that some development is necessary. “I don’t want to open up Rt. 44 to become like Rt. 1 in Attleboro, but you need to find ways to attract some development, real estate or retail, so you can increase revenues and manage your operating budget,” Chapman said. If elected selectmen, he pledges to “keep Rehoboth the great town my family and I love” and
“be a strong leader and advocate for all the residents, businesses, and employees in the best interest of the town.” Chapman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
James Muri has lived in Rehoboth with his family for 25 years and has served on the Planning Board for 15 years, seven as chairman. He also currently serves on the Information Technology Advisory Committee (ITAC). Over the years, he has served on various other committees and boards including: Gravel Committee, Open Space Committee, Master Plan Committee, Zoning Bylaw Review Committee, Computer Committee, Maps Review Committee, Community Preservation Commission, among others. “During my time on all of the boards and committees my commitment has always been to preserve the rural character of Rehoboth, be fair to anyone who came before us, and to best serve the needs of Rehoboth,” Muri said.
He is now interested in serving in a new capacity on the Board of Selectmen and says he will apply his extensive experience to work in the best interest of the town and help the town prepare for the future. “I personally believe that I can offer a unique insight on the BOS that will allow us to continue to respond to the needs of the day, operate the Town more efficiently, while continuing to meet our budgetary needs without the need for tax overrides, and plan for the future,” said Muri.
Muri says his background in engineering would also be an asset to the board. He currently works as a Senior Program Manager, Process Engineering for a large water utility. “My work experience and my educational background give me a broad background in various technical areas, including water supply and treatment, wastewater and environmental issues. My work also extends into areas of contract negotiation and management, logistics, and of course, engineering,” Muri said. While on the Planning Board, he has helped implement subdivision rule changes that protected resources and the interests of Rehoboth, while preserving landowners’ rights to use their land. As a member of ITAC, Muri has helped improve the town’s computer infrastructure. “We have seen our IT infrastructure grow from a wild-west environment in which there was little security, poor training, and poor efficiency. We now have a well- managed, secure network, fast communications between Town sites, functional email and telephone communications, a functional website, and servers that are backed-up and secure,” Muri said.
Muri feels the biggest issue facing Rehoboth is the problem of increasing costs not being balanced by revenues. The town also has aging town buildings and aging infrastructure, he says.
He has several ideas including expanding the town’s maintenance programs, managing warranties better, improving oversight of contractors and construction and hiring more qualified people with leadership skills and vision. Muri says if he is elected he will listen to the citizens and town employees and “do my best to leave Rehoboth in better shape than when I found it.” For further information, visit his website: www.electjimmuri.com or email him at email@example.com.