Sunday, October 18, 2015

Franklin Candidate for Town Council - Brett Feldman

Our schedules did not align to meet in person so Brett Feldman and I conducted our discussion via email. The results are shared here.

FM - what is your Franklin story? 

Brett Feldman - I grew up in Burlington, MA; my wife Shari is from Stoughton. I have a BA in Economics from the University of Michigan and an MBA from Boston University. I lived in Washington, DC for 2 years consulting for the US Environmental Protection Agency and in San Francisco for 2 years consulting for the electric utilities in California. We moved back to the Boston area when we were ready to settle down and have kids near our parents. 
We have lived in Franklin for 11 years; the first 8 in the Stone Ridge condos and the last 3 in a house on Meadowbrook Rd. I now work out of my home for an energy consulting company. We have 2 kids at the Oak Street School, and my wife is the Secretary for the Oak St. PCC. I coach soccer, basketball, and flag football teams in town. We are members of Temple Beth Torah in Holliston. 
Right after we moved to Franklin, I joined the town’s Recycling Committee (now defunct). A year later, I joined the Finance Committee, where I served for 8 years, including 1 year as Vice-Chair. I was elected to Town Council in 2013.

FM - what do you see as the challenge for the role you seek?

Brett Feldman - I learned a lot during my first term on the Council. I came in with a good understanding of the town’s budget process from my time on the Finance Committee, but I had a lot of knowledge to acquire about things like zoning and economic development. Some of the big issues on the horizon include the opioid crisis, the state of the roads, the downtown development project, and the Pond Street land. 
A more overarching challenge though is communicating effectively with the public. The Council needs to be accepting and respectful when citizens come to address it at meetings. We also need to do a better job of outreach to let the people know what is going on via the internet and social media. It is ok to have disagreements over issues, but everyone should feel welcome and well-informed.

FM - what makes you uniquely qualified to fulfill this role?

Brett Feldman - As mentioned above, I have been involved in the town’s governing bodies since I moved here. My tenure on the Finance Committee serves me well on the Council, and I have long-standing relationships with the heads of the various departments in town. 
For the last year, I have spearheaded the Franklin Solar Challenge, which displays my leadership and innovation skills. I led the vendor selection process, organized the initial informational meetings, created a team of citizen volunteers, and worked with our vendor to promote the program. We have exceeded all of our goals, attaining the best pricing for everyone and earning a bonus free solar array for a local non-profit organization. I have now turned my attention with the Town Administrator to municipal electricity aggregation, which holds the opportunity to lower the electricity bills of all Franklin residents. 
My current fellow Councilors all either grew up or have lived most of their lives in Franklin. Their commitment to the town is admirable, but there is also value in having diverse representation including the young families that have moved here in the past fifteen years or less. 
I am not a politician; I am a policy-maker. I am not spending any money on campaigning. I rely on my track record and ability to communicate with the people to earn their votes.

If you have any follow up questions for Brett, you can contact him via:

Noteworthy: This information is intended to help the Franklin voters when we all head to the ballot box on November 3rd. The interview candidates have had an opportunity to review the text before publishing to ensure the accuracy of our discussion. 

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