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NA Selectman’s Race March 29th, an Interview with Candidate Nobile

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VOTE NORTH ANDOVER TUESDAY MARCH 29th

Chris Nobile lives on Hillside Road, has been married for 20 years and has lived in North Andover for 20 years. He has three sons, Roland, 29, working at Copani Law Office in Methuen; Corey is a sophomore at North Andover High School, and his son Tyler is in the 7th grade at the middle school. Nobile has a Bachelors degree in economics and psychology from the University of Vermont and has a CSS (certificate of specialized study) in business at Harvard University.

Nobile served on the North Andover committee from 2007 to 2010. He currently serves on the YMCA Building Board of Managers. This is his third year on that board and is involved with the development and management of the YMCA addition. He also served for 23 years on the Mass Mortgage Bankers Association Board. Nobile coaches soccer and basketball and was appointed two years ago by Town Moderator Mark DiSalvo to the town’s Finance Committee. He is an unenrolled voter.

A CONVERSATION WITH CHRIS NOBILE

The Valley Patriot interviewed Chris Nobile less than a week before we went to print. We asked Chris to explain to the voters of North Andover why they should vote for him over incumbent Rosemary Smedile, detail his ideas for the town, and give North Andover voters an idea what kind of selectman he would be if elected. First we asked him why he decided to run for selectman.
Chris said “I really like smart engaged people and I think we have that. When you match that with competency of Andrew Maylor as town manager, you really get to see how they have brought the changes in the town processes. It’s amazing to watch that and to get the detail and the real processes. That’s what motivates me to run. You see a winning team and the one thing you don’t want is to rest on our laurels. There are going to be lean and fat years and you have to be ready for that.”

“I’m excited about this race. And one of the things that excites me is when, like today, I made about 130 phone calls. I love talking to people about their ideas about the town. It’s wonderful to hear from people how much they love our community. They see that things are going well, but still the underlying feeling I get from people is that we can do better. There are things we can capitalize on, we have tremendous potential and that gets me excited because it’s all about opportunity.”

CONTRASTING HIMSELF WITH THE INCUMBENT, AND HIS THREE MAIN ISSUES

Chris Nobile says he has three main issues in this campaign; the town’s master plan, town commerce and the schools.

“Well, the first would be a master plan for the town. We have incumbents on the board for the last 15 years who have not done anything about this. It’s hopelessly outdated and not in step with today’s commerce. What we need is for there to be a revision of the master plan for the town and a roadmap for our aspirations, and that requires an intelligent, thoughtful, and an encompassing approach to bring the parties [together] to create a master plan. My experience, personally, and professionally shows I have greater strength in this race to doing that. My opponent hasn’t chosen to pick up a glove and get in the game with this issue.”

Asked what he would do differently, he said he would be more proactive.

“I think I would do a lot differently. Let’s look at how we approach the schools with an entry survey, figure out who should be involved in the evaluative process. What do we want to convey with this plan? We need to engage all parties across town, the businesses, etc. Who should be involved in it? Then, we need to get the expertise from Town Manager Andrew Maylor on how to structure all this. We need to reach out to citizens and say ‘here’s your opportunity to create a new vision for the town.’”

Nobile says his second issue is “engaging in more commerce.”

“We have a problem with these piecemeal developments in town. How do we utilize routes 125 and 114 without more congestion on those roads? And how do we make sure we have appeal and accessibility? [Let’s] look at the underdeveloped and underutilized Main St.; we need to increase commerce without losing our character as a town. But, we can’t just focus on Main Street, we have to focus on business all over town.”

ISSUE #3 COLLABORATE WITH SCHOOLS

“It’s time to truly collaborate with our schools. Schools are the number one activity in the town as far as engaging people in our largest expense and investment in the town budget . We need more active collaboration rather than a sort of coexistence between the boards. The incumbent has not chosen to do that. She hasn’t chosen to engage. So, if we are spending 2/3rds of our money on schools, we would think we would have selectmen working with the school committee and the finance committee, meeting two or three times a year to talk about all the issues that cross over all those responsibilities that those boards have. They should be networking more. They all intersect in different ways, but they (the board of selectmen) don’t actively engage.”

“We should be working on things like, project the programs and their costs. For us not to sit down as these three boards at least a few times a year is a missed opportunity, and again, the incumbent has chosen not to engage. I think it’s time for a new perspective and a fresh voice. I think it’s time for change.”

“This is really a very straightforward opportunity for the citizens of North Andover. If you like the status quo and you think things are fine as they are, you have a clear choice. If you think we can do better, leverage our great town manager, and superintendent and all the resources in this town to do better, then I’m your champion for that, and I’m going to roll up my sleeves and go to work. After 5 terms of Rosemary Smedile I think it’s time. I look at it this way, there’s a big difference between being aboard the ship and steering the ship.”

Tom Duggan

Tom Duggan

Tom Duggan is president and publisher of The Valley Patriot Newspaper in North Andover, Massachusetts. He is an author, host of the Paying Attention TV/Radio Program, lectures on media bias and police issues, is a former Lawrence School Committeeman, former political director for Mass. Citizens Alliance, and a 1990 Police Survivor. You can email your comments to valleypatriot@aol.com.

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