By Jonathan Phelps
---- — Editor’s note: Four candidates are vying for two seats on the Hamilton Board of Selectmen. Selectmen serve three-year terms. The election is Thursday.
HAMILTON — William Dery, 72, won a seat on the School Committee two years ago. Now he wants to be a selectman, too.
If voters choose him to fill one of two selectman’s seats up for election this spring, Dery said he’ll serve on both boards at the same time. He said his focus will be on efficient town spending and bringing a positive “cash flow” to keep taxes down.
The town needs focus, he said, on developing the Patton property, which was gifted to the town by the Patton family. Dery would like to build 12 single-family homes on the property.
“To date, there is no solid plan for the property,” he said. “I think they are going in the wrong direction and ignoring the capability of putting in a permanent tax base.”
Dery said he is opposed to purchasing Aquila Farm, an 80-acre property on Bay Road, for $4 million. The town has a right to first refusal on the property, and officials are considering a number of possible uses for the land, ranging from senior housing to new schools.
“I don’t think the town should be in property management,” he said, “and no numbers are showing it will bring a positive cash flow to the town.”
Dery, who has lived in town for 30 years, said he would push to develop a master plan for the town, which could look at possible zoning changes to encourage development. This would increase the commercial tax base and lower the burden on homeowners’ property taxes, he said.
“I don’t have all the answers,” he said. “But I would certainly like to be a part of the planning.”
WILLIAM DERY Age: 72 Family: Wife, Vera; daughter, Samantha Occupation: Retired physicist and construction supervisor Education: Degrees in math and physics Political experience: Current member of Hamilton-Wenham School Committee