Wrentham Selectmen Candidate Smith Looking to Improve Town Government
George Smith is running for a seat on the Wrentham Board of Selectmen.
Selectman candidate George Smith said his vision for the town is reflected in his campaign slogan: "I love Wrentham."
Smith, one of three candidates for two seats on the board, said on Friday that he hopes the town becomes a nice place to visit and live in.
"[Wrentham] has been my home for 46 years," he said. "I've brought up my children in Wrentham — I have three daughters and six grandchildren."
"I believe that, if the race wasn't contested — if there were two people for two spots — change wouldn't be possible," he said. "A third candidate really stimulates discussion, and brings up new ideas and different points of view."
Smith said one of the main problems with town government is an inability to pay for a sufficient level of services. He said, though, that development alone cannot remedy this issue.
"The mantra is 'more development,' but last year, new development accounted for $250,000 in revenue," he said. "The budget increases by $800,000 to $900,000 each year."
He estimated that the town would require half of the Wrentham outlets' worth of development every year to cover the increase. Thus, Smith said, the town must tap other resources.
"I think we can sell town water to beverage companies and pool companies, and use that money to reduce water rates," he said. "Each subdivision in town removes thousands of yards of earth — we could charge an amount per ton."
Other ideas, he said, can be found on his website.
Smith said he felt the board could do more to encourage participation from its members.
"Each selectman should have the same amount of impact — the only difference between them and the chairman is that the chairman is selected to run meetings," he said. "There was some abuse that took place when the chairman spoke to the assistant superintendent of public works. I was somewhat embarassed when I saw that."
Smith has previously served as a selectman, and is currently on the town Planning Board and Conservation Commission.
"I believe I would be a good fit for the board because of my credentials and past experience," he said. "Wrentham feels like an extended family to me."