FRAMINGHAM – Earlier this month, State Representative Jack Patrick Lewis launched Access Framingham’s newest show, Framingham Now, a program which explores Framingham’s current political landscape through conversations with elected officials, community leaders, and area activists.
On his first program, which aired this week, Lewis interviewed the four candidates for the Framingham Board of Selectmen: Deborah Butler, Gwendolyn Holbrow, Laurie Lee, and Cheryl Tully Stoll. The four candidates reflected on their involvement in the town and discussed their views on the town’s direction.
“It was a great honor to have the candidates for the Board of Selectmen on the show,” Lewis said. “If November’s national election has reminded us of anything, it is that every vote matters, and that fact couldn’t be more true in local elections. Our town and region face very important decisions in the years ahead, and I am grateful that the four candidates took the time to outline their vision for the future of Framingham.”
Cheryl Tully Stoll, who joins Lee as the incumbents in the race, reflected on her role as the current chair of the Board of Selectmen and her ongoing goal to bring this incredibly diverse town together. “I believe I have done a good job representing all of Framingham,” Tully Stoll reflected, “whether it is a home owner, or a neighborhood, or a parent, or even the children in our schools”
Laurie Lee, who is running for her fourth term on the Board of Selectmen, asked voters to reflect on her “proven track record,” noting that the goal of sustainability and affordability will continue to be her primary objectives on the board.
Current town meeting member and former candidate for the Board of Selectmen, Deborah Butler, noted that she is running to bring her experience as a tax attorney to the town’s decision making board. While the other candidates avoided directly discussing the upcoming vote on the proposed Framingham Charter, Butler explained that she was “running to educate the voters about how expensive this will be if we go with a city and how taxes will rise as a result of that.”
Gwendolyn Holbrow, a former member of town meeting, noted that the recent national election was a major catalyst for her decision to run. “This last election,” Holbrow explained, “was a wake-up call.” She noted that she hopes to “put forth a fresh, new progressive voice” on the Board of Selectmen.
The possibility of Framingham becoming a “Sanctuary City” was also discussed. While each of the candidates expressed a hope for protecting the local immigrant community, most stopped short of a full endorsement of the designation. Butler urged the town to make an intentional decision while Lee stated that ultimately this is something “for the community to decide.” Tully Stoll stated her resistance to the label, believing that the designation would do “more harm than good” for both the local immigrant community and the town. Holbrow acknowledged that the fear experienced by many students in the Framingham Public Schools had contributed to her support for the state-wide Safe Communities Act, a proposal that would implement many “Sanctuary City” concepts at the state level.
Lewis represents the 7th Middlesex District on Beacon Hill, encompassing the town of Ashland and a third of Framingham. He was elected on November 8, 2016 and was sworn-in on January 4, 2017.
The election for the Framingham Board of Selectmen is Tuesday, April 4.
This and other interviews can be found at www.facebook.com/FraminghamNow
This was a press release submitted by Framingham Now