Candidate Statement: Jim Wentworth, Board of Selectmen
This is the candidate statement for Jim Wentworth, candidate for Board of Selectmen.
My name is Jim Wentworth and I’m running for a seat on the Board of Selectmen. Fourteen years ago, my wife, Kelly, and I made the decision to make Tewksbury our home. We wanted to live in a community where we could plant our roots and raise our children. My wife and I have always felt that we didn’t want to just live in Tewksbury, we wanted to be involved in the community
We are now the proud parents of 3 beautiful girls. Our oldest is a sophomore in the new Tewksbury High School and is both a Football and Basketball Cheerleader. My 11-yr old is involved in drama at the Ryan School and also plays girls softball. My 8-yr old is at the North Street and is involved in girls basketball, soccer and softball. They are also long-time dancers at Dance Expressions here in Tewksbury.
In 2008, I had the privilege of being selected as a member of the Town Manager Selection Committee. Through that process, I had the opportunity to work with other residents who care greatly about our town and I took this responsibility very seriously. The result is that we worked together and recommended our current Town Manager to the Board of Selectmen and I am proud of the work that we did as a group. We didn’t always agree on things but there was always a real respect for everyone’s thoughts and opinions.
Not long afterwards, I was invited to be part of a group of passionate residents that provided community outreach for the passage of the new Tewksbury High School. Working closely with the High School Building Committee, we provided specific information on the project for all the residents and the result was the largest attendance at a Town Meeting is history. This gave me the opportunity to meet other residents that are as passionate about the future of this town as I am.
Finally, I also had the opportunity to spend time on the Economic Development Committee. Business development is a major passion of mine and something that will continue to drive me as a member of the Board of Selectmen.
Our greatest opportunity to continue to grow and prosper as a town is to focus on Economic Development and increase our Commercial and Industrial tax base. We have made progress by being designated as a Green Community and being able to provide tax incentives to new business. I would like to be much more aggressive in our marketing to large business to make Tewksbury their destination for growth. This includes reaching out to those companies directly rather than waiting for them to come to us. I’d also like to see those tax incentives that we offer to new businesses be offered to our current businesses in town if they are looking to expand. Retention of our existing business is as, if not more, important than bringing in new business.
We have an untapped resource in Tewksbury and it lies with our residents. There is a significant number of people who live in this town that “Believe in Tewksbury” and have great ideas and a great passion for our future. The Board of Selectmen needs to engage these residents to harvest these great ideas that could help lead to addressing some of the short-term challenges that we face and as well as plan for our long-term challenges.
Finally, I’d like to help return a sense of “community” to Tewksbury. Everyone is busy with work, school activities and family responsibilities. This doesn’t leave a lot of time to get to know, or interact with, other residents. I’d like to identify opportunities to put on events like a Town Fair, a Carnival, Seafood Festival, etc... These town activities give us a chance to bring our whole community together in a way that demonstrates our Tewksbury Pride.
My family and I don’t just LIVE in Tewksbury, we are FROM Tewksbury. My campaign for serving our community as a Selectman is based upon my belief in the greatness of this town.
If elected, one of the things that I really look forward to is working with all of the residents of Tewksbury to gather their feedback and work to address the constant challenges that we face as a community of almost 30k.
I would appreciate your support and one of your votes for Tewksbury Selectman on April 6th.