This spring's town election features at least one contested election so far, with Tom Terranova running against Dave Nelson for the selectmen's seat being vacated by Arthur Bourque, who is running for town moderator.
This week, Lynnfield Patch spoke with Terranova about his campaign for selectman, focusing on his background and on the issues that motivate him to run for local office.
Terranova is a certified public accountant who founded Terranova and Associates, located in Peabody, at the age of 26. He is a father of two who lives in Lynnfield with his wife Sylvie. He is a current member of the Lynnfield Recreation Committee and is a former Lynnfield Youth Football coach and Cape Ann League Commissioner.
The candidate said that one thing he would like to focus on is making town government more transparent to residents - something that could be accomplished in part by having a more updated and user-friendly town website.
On fiscal matters, Terranova cites his conservative philosophy, but also emphasizes the importance of preserving the quality of the school system. "I would keep a watchful eye over the budget," said Terranova. "What makes this town what it is - a phenomenal school system - is an enormous drawing card for new people."
In the next year or two, Lynnfield will start to feel the revenue benefits - and also potentially some drawbacks - from having a large new commercial property begin operations. Terranova points out that another fiscal benefit for the town here will be the local meals tax, but he also acknowledges that there could be additional strains brought on by sudden new growth. "Hopefully it won't create too much of an imposition on our police force, DPW, medical costs," said Terranova.
Noting that his business and accounting experience would be useful as a selectman, Terranova points out that current select board member Al Merritt is also a CPA. In general, the candidate has nothing but praise for current town officials, calling them "knowledgeable people who have helped the town immensely."
Finally, as co-chair of the Recreation Commission Terranova has been active in the effort to help bring a new recreation center and athletic fields complex to town. Right now, this effort is still very much in its early stages, with a feasibility study still needed that would look at key details like a location and cost for such a facility.
"It would be nice if (Lynnfield youth) had a facility to go to and enjoy each other's company," said Terranova, noting that such a place could also help bring generations together and help boost Lynnfield's community spirit overall.
"We rally around families in need," he added. "I'd like to see us rally around each other all the time."
The candidate emphasizes that he will be an advocate for the taxpayers and responsive to the concerns of town residents. "It's great to be a selectman. However, I want to perform the job that our taxpayers want performed," said Terranova.