With the decision of two experienced Natick Select Board members to step down at the end of their terms—neither Rick Jennett nor Sue Salamoff will run for re-election—the March 29, 2022 spring election will bring change to the 5-member makeup of the town’s chief executive office holders.
Three residents have announced that they will run for the two open positions. Kathryn Coughlin, Cody Jacobs, and now Bruce Evans have turned in their nomination papers and announced their candidacies.
Evans reached out to us, and we spoke briefly by phone about his goals for the town, should he be elected.
The computer software executive and Natick Finance Committee member told us he has extensive professional experience with team building and as a project leader. “I have an MBA and have some financial acumen, I’d say.”
During his 12-year tenure on the Finance Committee, he has served on many sub-committees such as Education & Learning; Department of Public Works; Capital; and Governance committees. Evans is currently secretary of the Finance Committee.
“I understand the town budget very well and have worked with four different town administrators,” he said.
Evans identifies affordable housing and examining the town’s charter and bylaws with an eye toward today’s needs as two of Natick’s most important issues.
“We have to make strides to make Natick more affordable. People are getting priced out either by how much it costs to buy or rent here, or when they can no longer afford their property taxes. The Planning Board has done some good work, but it is a regional problem. We need to work with our state reps. There’s more incentive for a builder to tear down a house and put up a bigger house than to build a house that’s more affordable and achievable for a wider range of people. We do luxury housing and lower income housing well. The part in between is where we’re terrible,” Evans said.
The town’s charter and bylaws are a nuts-and-bolts governing issue he’d like to help tackle. “We need to look at the charter and the bylaws,” Evans said. “Do they still work efficiently? For example, the Select Board is calling for the formation of a Governance Study Committee,” to work on this very topic.
Evans also cited diversity, equity, and inclusion work as very important. “There are steps in the right direction,” he said. “Following through is essential.”
Evans grew up steeped in the value of community involvement. His father was on their town’s Planning Board and served in various other town government roles. “I saw the benefit of volunteerism at an early age.”
Evans also coaches basketball and baseball, and is involved with the Friends of the Morse Institute Library, and The Center for Arts in Natick (TCAN).
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