Letter: Dear Upton Voter

letterDear Upton Voter

I have found it challenging and enjoyable serving on the Board for the past nine years. The Board accomplished many quality achievements.  Prior to serving on the Board of Selectmen, I was a nine year Planning Board member and a driving force behind the town’s Master Plan. I have also served as a Trust Funds Commissioner, and on a building committee to evaluate needs of the Town Hall and the Knowlton-Risteen Building. I have been actively serving my community for over twenty years. My purpose in seeking reelection to the Board of Selectmen is simple. I enjoy participating and contributing to the development of our community. I want to continue to serve and represent our community of Upton.  I want to create positive impacts with a local government that is innovative, responsive, and practices continuous improvement.  I want to help build a strong, healthy, and sustainable community.

I have learned that an effective selectman has the ability to take the patchwork of laws and bylaws that comprises the board’s authority and turn it into an action plan which can be summed up in a single word: Leadership.  Leadership has three essential dimensions; first without vision there is little hope or sense of purpose in the organization, second inspiring people to perform at their best individually and collectively, third is achieving desired results. Being a leader means that you are no longer one of the “gang” and cannot maintain the same relationship with your former peers.  Leaders are expected to make decisions based on facts, data, and logic; have the ability to say no and make decisions that may not be well received by some people.

I have been directly involved in many initiatives over the years. The ones I am most proud of are;

  • Main Street, Water Main Replacement
  • A 3rd Municipal Water Well Field
  • Rehabilitation on a 2nd Municipal Water Well Field
  • The Hartford Ave T.I.P. Roadway Improvement Project
  • Town Hall Renovation
  • A Strategic Leadership Plan
  • Strengthening our Regional School Systems
  • The implementation of a Town website

The biggest challenge facing our community is reducing the residential tax burden on the citizens of our community while maintaining our continuity of service. When comparing our expenses to similar communities, Upton is within the first quartile.  This means when compared to similar town we are in the lowest 25% segment of spending. When comparing our revenue to similar communities, Upton is within the first quartile.  When we compare our tax diversification to similar towns we have the poorest ratio.  If the town wants to reduce the residential tax burden it needs to change zoning bylaws and districts to encourage business development.  The Town needs to expand its water and sewerage capacities to business zoned districts.  Three other major issues facing all communities within the Commonwealth are funding road and bridge repair, funding storm water management, and the targeted share of local educational contribution funding for our schools.  These issues are driven by State or Federal government regulations with little financial aid provided to our community.

If reelected I will continue to strive for transparency, accountability, and excellence in all that our town government deliveries to its residents.  As a public official I believe that the Selectmen set the tone of town government operations; we need to have a vision of a better future, we need to inspire, we need to do things correctly, and we need to do the right thing, we need to achieve results.

As a selectman I offer the residents of Upton experience, credibility, dependability, and selfless service. I am a selectman with a vision of continuous improvement, I am a selectman that inspires others by example, and I am a selectman that achieves results.


Ken Picard


  1. Dear Ken,

    Can you do something about eliminating the town manager position? Lots of us talk over coffee and whatnot and none of us has faith that she has Upton in her best interests. It would save the town a lot of money and restore some faith in your constituents that the waste and backroom deals do not become the norm here.


    Tired Upton Voter

    1. Dear Tired Upton Voter,

      I share your concerns. I do not think that eliminating the position of town manager is the answer. Replacing the current town manager is more appropriate. However, the incumbent Board of Selectmen will not take such a step given that they just recently voted to approve the town manager a 3 year contract extension.

      I have repeatedly requested that a 360 degree “independent” review of the town manager be conducted. The Board to date does not even acknowledge my requests.

      It is time for a change at town hall with respect to our elected Board of Selectmen.

      William D. Montenegro

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