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Two Races Slated for Upton’s May 3 Town Election

Voters will be the deciding factor in two races taking place during Upton's Annual Election Day scheduled for May 3. A total of 19 positions are up for re-election.

Incumbent Sherry Berger is running against newcomer Patricia Giglio for the Board of Health's three-year term. The second race is for the three-year term for Recreation Commission in which incumbent Paul Pirozzi is running against Matthew Gibbons.

The remaining elected positions are unchallenged and include incumbents David Loeper, who is running for a one-year term for Town Moderator; Kenneth Picard, running for a three-year term for Board of Selectmen; Kelly McElreath, running for a three-year term for Town Clerk; Glen Fowler, running for a three-year seat for Assessor of Taxes; Heather Applegate, running for the three-year seat on the Mendon Upton Regional School District Committee; Robert Richard, running for Cemetery Commission for three years; Judith Katz and Kathleen Kelley, are both running for two of the three seats open for Trustee of the Upton Town Library; and Rena Richard is running for Housing Authority for five years.

Several newcomers are also running unchallenged races and include Carol Wolffe, who will fill the third seat for Upton Library Trustee; Thomas Davidson, who is running for the five-year Planning Board seat; and Harvey Trask, who is running for the three-year term for Board of Commissioners of Trust Funds.

And finally, the five Constable positions will include incumbents Karen Varney, James Bates, Al Holman, and Barbara Burke. Newcomer James Comfort, Jr. is also running.

The only elected position, which has no candidate, is the Finance Committee's three-year seat.

Any questions regarding the Annual Town Election or voter registration should be directed to the Town Clerk at 508-529-3565. Office hours are Mondays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:15 a.m. to 1 p.m.; and Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6 to 8 p.m. The office is closed on Fridays.

The Town Election will take place at Nipmuc Regional High School. The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Residents are also reminded to attend the May 6 Annual Town Meeting being held at Nipmuc Regional High School beginning at 7 p.m.



* * * * * * * Meet the Candidates for Selectman and School Committee * * * * * * *



Ken Picard for Upton Board of Selectmen

By Michelle Sanford, Staff Reporter/Columnist

Selectmen Ken Picard is completing his first three-year term serving on Upton's Board of Selectmen and it appears that he's ready to take on that challenge once again given that he's running uncontested for the position.

Giving back to the community is something Picard saw growing up and that mentality has stuck with him throughout his adult years. Picard says that his father, a former school superintendent, was a big influence in teaching his son the importance of community service. "Because of my father, I always saw a need to be involved," he said.

Prior to his first term as Selectman, he served on the Upton Planning Board for nine years, as well as Trust Fund Commissioner for one year.

During his next three years on the Board, Picard has a long list of undertakings he hopes to see through. "I want to facilitate a smooth transition for the new Town Manager and the reorganization of the fire and EMS departments," he said. "I also want to maintain and fully utilize our facilities and expand our infrastructure." Picard also hopes to increase Upton's commercial tax base in order to reduce the burden on the residential tax base.

Still, he admits his biggest challenge over the next three years will be dealing budget shortfalls, serving the expected needs of the regional schools, and dealing with costly state mandated programs.

Despite all the struggles, Picard says that he's seen Upton go through many transformations and feels the regionalization of the Upton and Mendon schools has been one of the most positive changes he's seen and is happy his two children are part of the school system.

Picard has resided in Upton since 1969 and graduated from Blackstone Valley Technical High School in 1975. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering technology from Central New England College. For 24 years, he owned and operated a small electrical contracting firm. Currently, he works for Milford Regional Medical Center as a Maintenance Manager. Picard and his wife of 20 years, Elaine, have two teenage children, Greg and Madelene.



Heather Applegate for School Committee - Upton

By Melissa Madden, Staff Reporter

An Upton resident since 1999, Heather Applegate is running uncontested for re-election for a three-year term on the Mendon-Upton Regional School Committee. Applegate graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from University of Connecticut and received her Masters from Southern Connecticut University in community counseling. She was the Fundraising Director for the Greater Hartford Unit of the Cancer Society. Applegate, now a homemaker taking care of her husband and two children, teaches yoga professionally and is also a ski instructor. Given her flexible schedule it has enabled her to attend workshops. Just recently she attended the School Committee Association, Day on the Hill in Boston which dealt with education at the State level. Applegate noted she spends the majority of her time on School Committee and feels lucky with her schedule that she is able to put in the time needed.

Applegate noted that her initial reason for running for School Committee was her desire to see more resources available to the school district. She was concerned with the lack of technological integration in the classrooms, that world language classes weren't offered until students were older and that the per pupil spending was very low for the district. She noted she didn't think the community realized the tight budget the school district was working with. Applegate wanted to get involved and help. She believes change can take place and hopes that the community is better informed now than in the past. She embraces the open communication between the School Committee and the elected officials. Applegate noted that the formation of the budget sub-committee has really helped open the lines of communication.

Her reason for seeking another term is she wants to stay involved and help with the current budget crisis. With declining revenues the State is pushing more funding on the towns. Applegate noted a change has to come at both the State and national level.






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