WESTFORD — WestfordCAT reached out to each candidate running in the Annual Town Election. Candidates were given the same exact questions and were encouraged to answer them how they saw fit.
Joan Croteau is running uncontested for election for the Planning Board.
Experience and Education
“I began my career with the Department of Defense and spent 40 years working in Facilities Engineering, Design, Project Management, Construction, Engineering Management and Operations of infrastructure, utilities, and facilities at Hanscom AFB,” she told WestfordCAT.
She continued, “my last 11 years were spent managing a staff comprised of over 200 engineers, tradespeople, fire department and emergency management personnel.”
Past/Present Municipal Experience
Croteau has served on the Affordable Housing Committee and serves as chair of the Affordable Housing Trust.
She is also a member of the Bylaw Review Committee and Clean Energy and Sustainability Committee. She has previously served on both the Master Plan and Master Plan Implementation Committees.
Volunteer Participation/Community Involvement
What should voters know about you?
“My greatest personal commitment is to help people hence I began my Town career as a member of the Affordable Housing Committee,” she said.
Why do you believe voters should choose you?
“I believe my many years as a member of Affordable Housing Committee/Trust and other committees has given me great insight into the structure of how a Town works and demonstrates my commitment to Westford and helping people who are in need,” she said.
“I believe that I can devote the necessary time to the Planning Board. My commitment is to meet the needs of Westford residents while continuing to promote the Town our forefathers envisioned, maintaining a sense of community and what I call a towny-town where you know your local vendors and neighbors look out for each other,” she said.
She continued, “working to ensure proponents understand and want to meet the needs of the Town while working to modify and propose by-laws that move with the overall need of the Town all played into my desire to run. When I became aware of the impending vacancy, I felt it was the perfect opportunity to step forward and make this valuable commitment to the future of our hometown.”
If (re)elected, what impact do you hope to make?
“If elected, my number one priority is the need for three tiers of affordable/Westfordable housing. The need for state-defined affordable remains real and AHT is working tirelessly to ensure that is and continues to be met,” she said.
She continued, “tier 2 is a need for senior housing for the people who can no longer afford or physically continue the maintenance and taxes of the lifetime home, but do not qualify for the state’s affordable units. These folks are the recent history of Westford should have options to remain in the Town where they brought up their families and helped to develop.”
“The third tier is those adults 28-40 with young families who grew up in Westford, attended Westford schools and want to give their children that same wonderful town and family experience but cannot afford a home in Westford,” she said.
She continued, “These young families are the future of Westford and it is tragic that they cannot bring their own children up in the homey Town where they grew up. I would address these by negotiating with and forming partnerships with proponent developers to help them help Westford.”
Candidates were offered the opportunity to record a two to five-minute Candidate’s Minute with WestfordCAT. Croteau declined to record a Candidate’s Minute at the time of reporting.