EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

February 25, 2014

Windham voters to reshape Board of Selectmen

Former chairman, two newcomers in the mix

By John Toole

---- — WINDHAM — Voters will reshape the Board of Selectmen when they go to the polls March 11.

Incumbents Phil LoChiatto, the board’s chairman, and Kathleen DiFruscia are stepping down.

At least one rookie, maybe two, will join the board.

A three-way race for two three-year term pits former chairman Bruce Breton against two rivals with business backgrounds, Joel Desilets and Dan Guttman.

Breton is now recovered from health problems that forced him to take a year off. He remained active locally as a member of the town’s Economic Development Committee, chairman of the Republican town committee and a board member with the Windham Taxpayers Coalition.

Breton’s platform is a familiar one to voters.

He’s again stressing the importance of economic development to maintain services and help keep property taxes down.

Desilets is advocating a thorough look at how the town manages impact fees.

Guttman is emphasizing the oversight role selectmen play in allowing the town to move forward while holding on to its values.

Voters will get a chance to question the candidates during the annual Candidates Night, hosted by the Woman’s Club, at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 4, at Town Hall.

Voters saluted DiFruscia and LoChiatto for their service with a standing ovation during the town deliberative session earlier this month.

Bruce Breton

Age: 53

Incumbent: No

Occupation: Principal consultant

Elective experience: Selectman, Planning Board, Zoning Board of Adjustment, Conservation Commission.

What is the single most important issue facing selectmen? Economic development. Increase revenue for schools, senior services, roads, historical preservation, public safety and town departments. That expands our tax base, keeps property taxes lower.

Joel Desilets

Age: 29

Incumbent: No

Occupation: Engineering management

Elective experience: None

What is the single most important issue facing selectmen? Impact fee collection, management and re-calculation is an important issue discovered recently which must be addressed with transparency to include future cost considerations fully.

Dan Guttman

Age: 39

Incumbent: No

Occupation: Product and risk management, financial services

Elective experience: None

What is the single most important issue facing selectmen? The selectmen play an oversight role ensuring that we keep our values but evolve with the times. Structure and management processes saving time and money.