Editor's Note: The following profile is part of a series highlighting the candidates running for seats in contested races as part of this year's town election, which takes place on Saturday, April 12. Dedham Patch is looking to showcase why the candidates are running and what they hope to bring to the table. Check back leading up to the election for more profiles on the candidates. If you’re a candidate and would like to have a profile included, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Mary Gilbert is running for Board of Selectmen this April against Thomas Boneck, Dennis Teehan, Kenneth Gilchrist, Cheryl Schoenfeld, Brendan Keough, Dennis Guilfoyle and Dan O'Neil.
Dedham Patch recently spoke with her regarding her campaign. For more information on Teehan, visit her Facebook page at Select Mary Gilbert.
Why are you running?
There are two open seats on the Board of Selectmen this election. This newly formed Board will be responsible for choosing a new Town Administrator and completing the negotiations to purchase the 2+ acre Ames Schoolhouse property – vitally important decisions that will effect Dedham’s future.
I am the only candidate for Board of Selectmen who has been consistently present at important meetings including, Board of Selectmen, Finance Committee, Board of Assessors, and Master Plan and Senior Site Committees during the past two years. I strive to keep myself fully informed so that I can understand the issues being discussed. I am not afraid to ask the tough questions if something doesn’t make sense.
I have been an effective and proactive Precinct 7 Town Meeting Member and, as Selectman, I can promise you that I will be attentive to your questions and respond in a thoughtful and constructive manner
What do you hope to accomplish on the board?
Propose and Implement policies that provide tax relief to Dedham residents and small business owners in Town.
Advocate for increased Communication/Transparency
- Continue to build on open and accessible communication between Town Hall, Town Meeting Members, and residents.
- Insist that the Annual Town Report is published each year. Residents should have the details on the Town’s Budget so you see how your tax dollars are working for you
What do you see is the most pressing issue facing Dedham right now in relation to the seat for which you're running?
I think there are three pressing issues facing Dedham right now but I would have to say based on my feedback from residents and business owners that Dedham’s HIGH tax rate and its increasing negative impact on them is the most pressing issue facing Dedham right now.
The other two pressing issues are the hiring of a new Town Administrator and completing the purchase of the Ames School House Property so that we can ensure that a LONG overdue Senior Center and Police Station will be built in the RIGHT place, at the RIGHT time, and at the RIGHT price.
What do you think you could do to help resolve this issue?
- Work towards establishing an ad-hoc committee to study and develop solutions for our Town’s major issue -- our annual ever increasing tax rate that is a burden on our residents and small business community
- Work with State legislators, my fellow board members, and Town Meeting to Implement policies that provide tax relief to a Dedham residents and small business owners
Name one unique idea you would like to bring to the table if elected in April.
That nothing is off the table when it comes to discussing meaningful programs or solutions for offering tax relief for our residents and small business community.
Do you have any upcoming election-related events residents should know about?
April 9 Candidate Forum at the High School, just three days before the election.
What is one thing voters might not know about you?
That I have a mean wrist shot.