Friday, November 4, 2011
Glenn Jones answers 3 questions
Glenn Jones is running for his second term on the Town Council. We got together recently to discuss these three questions. Glenn admits he may not be the most analytical guy around the budget but he is really community oriented and does what he can to help.
FM - Tell me a bit about yourself, your family and your life here in Franklin?
GJ - I have lived in Franklin now for a little over thirteen years. A little after we moved here, we had our first daughter, Dakota, then along came Jillian, Simon, Rebecca, and lastly Sabrina was born in February. We live right here in the center of town. We enjoy it here. It is where the activities are. We have embraced Franklin as our home. Our children have as well. To move now, would be very disheartening to them.
In the 13 years we have been here, I have always been interested in how the inside works. I was reading an article in the Franklin Gazette about a 2.5% override. The year before we had just passed one and I like others around were asking, if we just passed one, why do we need another? Not truly understanding the inner workings of all that, I decided to get myself involved. So I started researching the committees and boards and the Council to get a better feel for how the government of Franklin works. After doing all that I decided to run for Town Council and two years ago this November, I successfully won a seat on the Council.
Since winning my seat on the Council. I have been successful at working with other councilors. Tina Powderly and I worked together to put together the Economic Development Summit at the former Putnam space. We had almost 90 people participate in showcasing what the town has to offer. To give an example of the tax incentives the town has, we just recently had a high technology company (Hamilton Technologies) decide to relocate and expand a facility in the Forge Park Industrial area. My hope when it comes to the business side of the town is to try and continue attracting businesses and corporations to help bring their jobs here.
From the beginning when I first ran for TC and if I continue on the Council, I want to find new and interesting ways to create jobs for the residents here in Franklin. If that means continuing to be the ‘poster child’ for the town’s incentives by promoting and advertising the type of benefits that Franklin has to offer, I will continue to do that.
Another advocacy thing I have for the Council is communication. I am big on communication. Being able to let the residents know what is going on around town. What are the schools doing, what is the DPW doing, what is the Town Administrator doing, what are the Councilors up to? That is the topic of the day. Making sure that the residents get that information to the best of our ability. As we have discussed the past couple of years, that might mean improving the cable access program, having better communication with the local newspapers and getting that information out there or having more public forums for residents to come and hear all of what is happening around town whether it be zoning issues, or one of the major topics that I am hoping gets expressed more is all the downtown changes that are coming. For the past couple of years, we’ve been talking about and finally approved the traffic flow changes for downtown. Setting up a good logistical system so that the residents will know what is happening downtown as the construction starts and progresses so they don’t just run into a road block or that the businesses get affected. One of the most important things the town can do for the residents is to effectively communicate.
So I am big on communication and job creation and the other major thing I am big on is community involvement. People getting involved in their community, whether it is volunteering for the Food Pantry or the community gardens, helping out chidlren’s activities whether school based or not, volunteering is big. We need to promote the overall health and well being of the community. I might not be big into the numbers around the budget but I am big into the people and letting the people know about what their concerns are. I’ll do whatever I can do in my capacity as councilor to help the residents of the town. I am a big supporter of the schools, always have been, always will be, hence my bias for our children.
I grew up in a family of educators. My mom was a teacher, my sister is a teacher. I am learning to get licensed to be a teacher in my trade (electrician). Education is probably without a doubt THE most important thing we can do for our community and our country as a whole. Keeping our children well educated will ultimately help the United States and our community be a key player in the world and global economy. It all starts with education.
FM - What experience or background will help you to serve in this role? or What do you think makes you a good candidate to fulfill this role?
GJ - To answer what makes me a significant candidate for this particular role in town government, I carry no special interests, I don’t bring a bias to the table, and I have no personal political agendas. My feelings have been and always will be to remain a solid voice for the people. To be part of a group that can work collaboratively, potentially make all the right decisions, as a dedicated representative of the people of Franklin.
FM - What do you see as your role’s biggest challenge and do you have any suggestions on how we can resolve it?
GJ - The biggest challenge as a councilor, in my opinion, is trying to get the population as a whole to understand the nuances and the details of the town budget, of the school committee, of the tax base, and of all the services the town has to offer the residents. We kind of exist in our own bubble. Like I equated before, when I read the article on the override, not knowing how the insides worked, then finding out how those insides worked, that was kind of a unique thing. I don’t think too many people really try to go out of their way to find out what is truly going on.
I think to shorten my answer, being able to effectively communicate the everyday goings on of the Town of Franklin’s government to the people so that they have a better understanding, a clear understanding, as to what exactly is going on. And to be able to answer their questions as effectively and efficiently as I can. Now that being said, as a councilor we are obviously restricted as to what we can or cannot answer and most questions that the people have are directed to the Town Administrator and or to the Department heads. First and foremost we are legislators, we set the policy, approve the bylaws, we are not in operations, we set the budget, we are not the complaint department, although I welcome complaints if they are having difficulty getting an answer from a specific department or the Town Administrator..I like to think of us as the last stop. The most important thing a resident can do is to ask questions. Ask questions about their services, questions about their government, about the how their children, and family, and taxes are being treated. And reaching out to us and letting us know.
Understand that I don’t go into this understanding that I am just sitting in a chair taking up space. I am here with an obligation that I put myself in. Because I wanted to. I care and love this community to the point that I am going to put my best efforts and my best foot forward to help the Town of Franklin be the town that it really deserves to be. And that is really what it boils down to.
From my experience as electrician and as an engineer, stepping out to the surroundings and walking around to see the various parts, being able to evaluate it from the outside. And to look at all the parts from the inside and say, these in and of themselves are systems. The whole thing together makes up this community. I have the ability and mind to look at the various components and to understand, to some degree, how they all work, and how they all come together.to make up one thing. I don’t look at the town that much different than that. The town has all its various systems, all its various communities, all its various neighborhoods. What it boils down to at the end of the day is to having a fair and unbiased desire to service all of the various parts that make the whole work. I think I understand that more than most people do. I understand that from an engineering perspective.
Additional information on Glenn’s campaign can be found here http://www.glennfjones.com/intro.htm and here http://www.facebook.com/pages/Glenn-Jones-Franklin-Town-Council/199711333421
Note: We also did this two years ago. If you’d like to see what was said then, check out this