Categories

Archives

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

SmedileIncumbent North Andover Selectman Rosemary Smedile lives on Green Street and was elected to the Board of Selectmen in 2001. She graduated from Boston College and taught on a Navaho reservation for her final semester in New Mexico. She owns a real estate business “Connelly Real Estate” which is a family business founded by her mother. She started it “helping my dad put all us kids through school and college”. She has a degree in Special Education and worked in the financial district in Boston.

She has served on the Republican town committee, one of the original members of the North Andover Merchant’s Association, has served on several school councils, the enrichment council, has run the holiday decorating committee, was recently asked to be president of the North Andover Women’s Club, and is a long time member of the North Andover Lions.
“I’ve been on so many boards it’s almost impossible to list them all,” she says.

Asked what she thought of her opponent making Main Street part of his platform, Smedile says she wasn’t quite sure what Mr. Nobile was referring to, “because we have done some tremendous work on the downtown area. The mills are doing well, we have the charm of Machine Shop Village. Almost all of downtown commercial space is at capacity. We have the old converse store still vacant, but almost all street level commercial space is full. I’m surprised he keeps saying that as if we haven’t done anything downtown. There’s a lot going on downtown, a lot going on all over North Andover. I mean, drive around and see all the improvements and changes we’ve made. I really don’t want to get in a back and forth but look at the record. Look at what’s there.”

Asked about the rumors that her run last year for state representative might hurt her chances of re-election to the board, she said she doesn’t think so, “but that’s up to the voters.”

“I’ve heard the rumors, but the people of North Andover know I ran for representative in support of the Town of North Andover. I did it because I felt we were underrepresented at The State House. That seat was a North Andover seat going back to Joe Herman and we are one of the few communities that doesn’t have a sitting rep. in our community. My goal was to make sure North Andover wasn’t left behind.”

“Look at my record. I work hard for the town. I love this town. I brought my kids up here. My parents grew up here and my grandparents grew up here. I try to conduct myself in a manner that town residents would say they are proud to have me represent them. We have accomplished a lot. I ask people to take a look at that.”

As for the selectmen’s race being a “liberal vs conservative” choice, she says she refuses to get involved in the back and forth of partisan politics.

“Everyone knows this is supposed to be a non-partisan election. You are not even allowed to put your party affiliation on the ballot. The town doesn’t need the back and forth bickering of partisan politics. They need people to work hard for everyone in the community. Not just representing one group, or one philosophy . Our responsibility is to take care of every member of the community. Public safety comes first. Then we need to make sure the kids get the best schools, the roads need to be maintained, this isn’t partisan, this is just caring about your community.”

Why are you running for re-election?

“I’m proud of the town and all we’ve accomplished. We started out in bad times, but we have some things we still needed to complete and some big initiatives.

“There’s the current Main St. town hall renovation, and returning Community Development back to Main St. I am very proud of what we did renovating it several years ago. We made sure it was beautiful and reflective of the history of the town. When people go in, it’s like going into a small North Andover museum. You hear guests come in and comment on the historical look and the artwork; it’s really nice. I’d like to see that happen again in our newly renovated town hall and Community Development office.”

PRIORITIES

“We have a lot of people retiring, like the police and fire chiefs. The DPW director will be retiring soon too, as well as the building commissioner. These are key positions. We want to make sure we have the best and brightest serve the town. It takes experience to do that.”

“Also, it’s really important to have a high level of police and firemen. We are facing tough times in town and just because we are a small town people don’t think we have problems like the opioid crisis. But there’s no getting around it. We have drug dealers coming through our streets. They travel routes 114 and 495, and 125, and our first responders have to deal with that increase strain on their resources.”

Smedile says she is proud that North Andover was recently named one of the 100th safest communities in the United States. “Our cops and firefighters do a great job but we need to the keep pressure up to maintain our safe community. I’m proud to have been part of the turnaround of the town but if we are going to keep it this way we have to constantly focus on the quality of life issues, quite frankly.”

OTHER PRIORITIES

“We have our senior population rapidly growing in town as we have baby boomers retiring. People are living longer. So, we need to expand our senior center and the services we provide to our seniors. Seniors and children are our most vulnerable populations. We have space issues in the elementary schools and we have to find a way of dealing with that within the current footprint on that land, so we can address the needs of the children.”

“Lastly I’d like to see us take that AA+ with positive outlook and get to AAA. It’s like the gold star. It sends a message to businesses that we are a good place to do business, that the town is on it’s game. It’s not easy but we are almost there. We are one notch below that distinction. That would put North Andover in the top 5-10% of all communities in the country. But we are close.”

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.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookFlickrYouTube

Leave a Reply