Dan Carpenter is a candidate for the Board of Selectmen. Dan is a lifelong Auburn resident and a 1991 graduate of Auburn High. He earned a Bachelors Degree in history from Worcester State University. Dan currently works as an auditor for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.
AMD: What do you feel qualifies you to be an Auburn Selectman?
Carpenter: I’ve lived in Auburn all my life and I care about our residents and what happens in our community. I have served on multiple town boards, including the Planning Board, Conservation Commission and the Economic Development Committee. I am also a town meeting member and on the Board of Registrars. I have a broad knowledge of our town government, how it functions and recognize the importance of working together for the betterment of the town.
AMD: What would you improve in local government?
Carpenter: I believe we need to reach out to our volunteers, support them in their work and treat them with courtesy and respect. Our town cannot function without them. Also, while I agree that there have been many positive changes in our town government since the implementation of our new Charter, I am deeply concerned about a lack of balance in our government structure. I feel it would be better for some board positions to be returned to the ballot. Let some of those decisions be made by the voters.
AMD: What do you feel are the top two issues facing the Board of Selectmen?
Carpenter: During the past four to five years, the Board of Selectmen has been working toward a single tax rate. However, in recent years, the compression rate of the shift between residential and commercial has been significant. I welcome and support businesses in our community. However, I want to keep our residents in mind as we struggle with the same slow economy. That’s why I support keeping the factor where it is for the next two years. My other concern here is that the Board has evolved into a policy setting committee as a result of the current Town Charter. I think the Board needs to more clearly identify its role and consider advocating for some charter amendments to facilitate needed change.
AMD: What will you personally bring to the Board?
Carpenter: Personally, I bring my youth and my passion for service to the table. If I have the honor of being elected by the people of Auburn, I want to do whatever I can to reach out and understand the issues that matter to residents and business owners in our community. I will work hard with my fellow board members to find a way to balance the needs and expectations of both our business and residential communities.
AMD: Do you have any suggestions to keep Auburn on its strong financial track?
Carpenter: The town has made good progress on restoring reserves and the stabilization funds to much stronger levels, and the recent bond rating increase is a direct reflection of sound management. I think that the town needs to do everything it can to continue to deliver necessary services, while keeping a close eye on spending, department expansion and minimizing the need for overrides or debt exclusions.