By: Brian Genest – May, 2022
From the time Dracut native Jennifer Richardson Kopcinski was a young girl, she was taught the value of hard work and the importance of giving back to our community. She got the message. Thanks to her strong work ethic and a positive message about our town, the political newcomer and first-time candidate won the open seat on the Board of Selectmen in the annual town election this year.
Kopcinski has deep roots in Dracut. Her family ran Richardson’s Dairy on Bridge Street. Her great grandfather, Guy Richardson, served as the town’s fire chief. Her grandfather, Warren Richardson, Sr., was the clerk of fire engineers. Her father, Warren Richardson, was elected to serve on the Planning Board for a decade. Now, Kopcinski will continue her family’s long record of public service to Dracut as a Selectman.
In the five-way race, Kopcinski talked about keeping Dracut affordable, focusing on land preservation to balance growth and supporting public safety. She focused on the positive. She said she wants to be sure Dracut continues to be an outstanding place to live and raise a family. She pointed out that good things are happening right now, including the overall management of the town, finances, and infrastructure projects. She said we need to keep the momentum and make sure Dracut stays on the right track. She promised to be positive, professional, and pro-Dracut.
Unlike other candidates, Kopcinski worked very hard. She knocked on thousands of doors, made hundreds of phone calls and talked to as many voters as possible about her background, experience and positions on the issues. She did everything she could to spread the word, build trust and earn the endorsement of voters—and she did.
Kopcinski is a smart woman. After graduating from Dracut High School, she earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration at Nichols College, an MBA at Assumption College, and a juris doctorate from the Massachusetts School of Law. Her professional career as an attorney and paralegal includes extensive project management, budgeting, management, and oversight experience.
For more than a decade, she’s worked at a Boston law firm. Specializing in the areas of workers’ compensation, employment law and general liability, the firm’s clients include insurers, businesses, and employers, ranging from Fortune 500 companies to small, family-run businesses.
Kopcinski’s experience, positive outlook and demonstrated commitment to serve our town will be good for Dracut. She’s absolutely right: things are going well in town right now. It’s not by accident; it’s because the right people are in charge of town government and Kopcinski understands the importance of keeping things headed in the right direction.
What isn’t good for Dracut is the negative, personal attacks that permeated the race from some of the other candidates and their supporters. Unfortunately, every year at election time, some of the most negative voices in town become even more vocal than usual. On the airwaves, social media and anywhere else they can, they try to paint a negative picture of Dracut. They want you to believe that Dracut isn’t doing well right now. They want you to believe the town isn’t headed in the right direction. They want you to believe that our best days are behind us. Simply put, it’s a pile of cow manure. They don’t want you to believe your own two eyes.
Meanwhile, they attack elected officials, their spouses, and friends. They attack private citizens. They attack business owners. They don’t care about seeing our town be successful, they care about politics, power, and patronage.
Today, Dracut is in the best shape it’s been in for quite some time. Our success is thanks to the leadership of Town Manager Ann Vandal, clear direction from Selectmen and strong support from the townspeople. Thankfully, to keep Dracut moving forward, voters casting ballots for the open seat on the Board of Selectmen rejected the politics and the politicians of the past.
—Brian Genest is the producer and host of Eye on Dracut, a monthly news magazine show about town happenings that airs on DATV Channel 8 and online at DracutTV.org. Eye on Dracut is winner of the 2022 Hometown Media Award for News. ◊