WINDHAM — Voters here will choose two to fill open Board of Selectmen seats and will also pick officials to fill other open positions including Planning Board and other town positions

Incumbent Bruce Breton faces off against Steven Pawlyk, Jennifer Simmons and Matthew Rounds for the two open Selectman positions for three-year terms.

In addition to choosing selectmen, the only other contested race is for Planning Board with candidates including incumbent Paul Gosselin, Jacob Cross and Ruth-Ellen Post running for two spots for three years. Other candidates signing on for more time are incumbent Town Moderator Peter Griffin; Trustee of Trust Fund, Kevin Eastwood; Trustee of the Cemetery, Barbara Coish, Trustee of the Library, Mark Branoff and Jaime Slocum; Board of Adjustment, Neelima Gogumalla and Nicholas Shea, and Supervisor of the Checklist, Roy Dennehy.

Voters cast ballots in Windham on March 10 with polls open at Windham High School from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

 

Bruce Breton

Age: 59

Occupation: Consultant

Family: Wife Marcia

Education: Hesser College

Elected experience: Board of Selectmen, Planning Board, Zoning Board

Incumbent? Yes

What are the most serious issues facing the town of Windham?

Taxes — I will remain focused to seize any opportunity to maintain and, if at all possible, reduce the tax rate without reduction of services. Economic development, increase revenue for the town and our schools, public safety, roads, senior services, historical preservation and town services, while furthering the expansion of our tax base and sound planning to keep our property taxes lower.

Why are you the best person to address those issues?

Experience, dedication — I will ask the tough questions and won't be afraid to offer a different point of view when needed. I will keep an open mind on all matters before the board and will always be willing to listen. Let's keep Windham great.

What could you do to make local government more transparent and accessible to citizens?

I have found that transparency is best fostered when citizens can access and read through the information in an easily accessible format. The other major part of transparency is how the town of Windham responds to citizen interaction. More often than not, this interaction is in the form of citizen feedback.

Do you have any conflicts of interest that would prevent you from carrying out your duties? No

 

Steven Pawlyk

Age: 36

Occupation: Self-employed, owner of Innovative Performance Production LLC

Family: Wife Orlagh, three kids, Avery, 6, Peyton, 3, and Beckham, 1 1/2, two dogs, Jaxon and Almond

Education: Master's degree in criminal justice, Northeastern University; Bachelor's degree in criminology with minor in political science, Northeastern University

Elected experience: None

Incumbent: No

What are the most serious issues facing the town of Windham?  

The water pipeline is one of the most serious issues facing the town. It is controversial because of the heavy tax burden it bears. Although grants are available in addition to establishing a TIF district to help repay the bond, there will still be a hefty leftover. The town taxpayers will be left to subsidize until the TIF is able to maintain bond payments. In addition to the initial tax burden, there is also the issue of the pipeline not available to a majority of taxpayers. Therefore, taxpayers will be subsidizing a project that they may never be able to reap a direct benefit (clean town water) from.

Why are you the best person to address those issues?   

I am the best person because of my business experience. I have the ability to see issues from all angles and figure out where the best place is to invest time and money. Investments need to be strategic with the end goal being a long-term net benefit to the town and its people. Additionally, being a resident and taxpayer, I would only be asking fellow residents to do as I am also doing. I would never ask someone to invest in a long-term projet that I, myself, would not be willing to invest in. I will bring to the table fact-based logic along with sound rationality.

What could you do to make local government more transparent and accessible to citizens? 

To bring transparency and accessibility to citizens, I would always make sure my positions were clearly stated and readily available on various social media outlets such as my candidate Facebook page and other town pages. Additionally, I would post my thoughts on controversial or important items in the town paper. I would encourage residents to come to meetings to listen and discuss those items. I would make sure that language is easily understandable. I would be willing to meet or discuss issues at the convenience of anyone who needs more information.

Do you have any conflicts of interest that would prevent you from carrying out your duties? No.

 

Matthew Rounds

Age: 48

Occupation: Entrepreneur (founded Standard Power of America in 2010, currently building/running several start-ups).

Family: Wife Amanda, daughter Savannah, 7, son Quinn, 4

Education: Political science, University of New Hampshire

Elected experience: Windham Planning Board alternate, 2014-current

Incumbent? No

What are the most serious issues facing the town of Windham?

The continued attempts by developers to change residential zones and allow for dense/commercial development in traditional single-family home neighborhoods

Why are you the best person to address those issues?

I am a data driven person with extensive private industry executive experience. Having focused on building boot-strapped companies, I have learned how to maximize limited resources to achieve goals. "Spend enough to achieve your objectives but not a penny more."

What could you do to make local government more transparent and accessible to citizens?

I would work on changing current RSAs so that public notices are required to be posted in an online format as opposed to only in print.

Do you have any conflicts of interest that would prevent you from carrying out your duties? No

 

Jennifer Simmons

Age: 45

Occupation: Stay at home mother

Family: Husband David, sons Jack and Alex

Education: Bachelor's degree in accounting, University of Southern Maine

Elected experience: Served on Windham Board of Selectmen, 2016-2019

Incumbent? No

What are the most serious issues facing the town of Windham?

Infrastructure which includes finding solutions to solve our water issues (both contamination and lack of water), traffic issues (particularly Route 111), and maintaining our town buildings and assets. We also need to address the fact that several of our dedicated employees may be retiring in the near future and we need to have a succession plan in place.

Why are you the best person to address those issues?

I served on the Windham Board of Selectmen from 2016 to 2019. During that time, I gained an understanding of the present and future needs of our town. I also developed strong relationships with department heads and employees. I am an independent thinker and great listener who always came to meetings prepared and put a great deal of thought in all the decisions I made.

What could you do to make local government more transparent and accessible to citizens?

Ensure an environment where employees and citizens feel comfortable coming to meetings and sharing their opinions with the Board of Selectmen. Communicate and connect with citizens and employees via social media, updated town website and newspaper. Respond to all citizen and employee concerns. Create a strategic plan to define the Board's longterm goals.

Do you have any conflicts of interest that would prevent you from carrying out your duties? No.

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