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WESTFORD — Welcome to the Nov. 13 edition of Weekend Wrap-Up. Here, we highlight the most important news you may have missed this week in Westford.
From the Editor’s Desk: Local Media Needs Your Help
With the passage of a supplemental economic development bill at the state level, Rep. James Arciero secured a $25,000 investment for WestfordCAT, noting our operation is the “information lifeline” for Westford.
This funding is a step in maintaining our high-quality and free local journalism to the residents of Westford, but we could use your help.
Those of you who I’ve met and spoken about my work as editor at the WestfordCAT know I am not the person to push ads or to solicit donations, but unfortunately, it’s necessary in continuing to provide local coverage to our town.
Please help WestfordCAT continue to grow by becoming a member or sending a one-time or recurring donation. Every dollar, no matter how much, helps sustain our journalism and keep our community informed.
Local Ballot Results: Debt Exclusion for J.V. Fletcher Library Moves Forward, 51 Main St. Debt Exclusion Stalled
The J.V. Fletcher Library Expansion debt exclusion has passed, but 51 Main St. will have to wait.
Westford saw a 59% total turnout during the 2022 Special Town Election, with 10,753 of the 18,240 registered voters casting their ballots.
6,539 voters supported Question 2, which creates a Proposition 2 1/2 debt exclusion for the recently funded $32 million J.V. Fletcher Library expansion project. 4,154 voters voted against creating a debt exclusion for the project.
51 Main St., which failed to secure funding at an Oct. 17 Special Town Meeting, failed to capture a majority of voters to authorize a Proposition 2 1/2 debt exclusion for the project.
5,019 voters supported creating a debt exclusion for the project, while 5,489 voters opposed the initiative.
A view from the polls: who and what won in Westford?
On the state ballot, Westford residents bucked state-wide trends and rejected Question 1, which would create an additional 4% tax on income over $1 million in Massachusetts.
The measure was rejected by 222 votes in Westford, with 5,111 voting in favor of the measure and 5,333 voting against the measure. The measure ultimately passed statewide.
Westford residents supported Question 2, which would regulate dental insurers to provide a certain level of funding for care. 7,608 residents supported Question 2, while 2,823 opposed the measure. The measure passed statewide.
Westford residents opposed Question 3, which would have created new regulations for alcohol licensing. 4,628 residents voted in favor of the proposed regulations, while 5,669 residents opposed the measure. The measure failed statewide.
Westford residents supported Question 4, which would uphold a recent law removing citizenship requirements from a state license application. 5,468 residents voted in favor of upholding the law, while 4,996 residents opposed the measure. The measure passed statewide.
A view from the polls: what motivated voters in Westford?
A number of supporters campaigning for Republican challenger Raymond Xie for state representative and Dean Tran for U.S. Senate believed both chambers need additional Asian-American representation.
“Westford is changing, 25% of Westford are Asian residents, with most in the school system first generation immigrants,” Mingquan Zheng, who serves on Westford’s School Committee, told WestfordCAT.
He says the story of first generation Asian-American immigrants is “the American Dream.”
“We play by the rules, pay our taxes, that’s the story we want to carry on,” he said. “Most of us came here with no money, we came here from nothing. We go through the process and follow the rules.”
Zheng applauded the hard work of the campaign for Raymond Xie, noting that supporters knocked on over 1,000 doors and reached over 10,000 voters.
“No matter if we win or lose, it’s an inspiring story. Even if we lose, it’s a great story for the Asian community to come out and support.”
He continued,” Everybody will be touched by his [Raymond Xie] integrity.”
Local journalism is vital to our communities. As other publications shift focus toward regional journalism, WestfordCAT continues to provide high-quality hyperlocal reporting to our town, free for everyone to read. So — we have a small favor to ask. Every contribution, no matter how big or small, helps us sustain our journalism and keep our community informed. Please consider supporting WestfordCAT for as little as $1 on PayPal.