Two candidates vie for one selectman seat in Northfield
February 24, 2010
Lifelong Northfield resident Deb Shepard is the incumbent candidate for the Board of Selectmen and hopes she can continue the momentum of her last term where exploring new avenues to save taxpayer money was a priority.
In her three-years, Shepard was a part of the select board that has lowered the budget, saved the town more than $62,000 by seeking new bids on all major contracts, and created and implemented a cash management system, which resulted in a savings of over $35,000 in interest on the Tax Anticipation Note. She and her fellow selectmen passed a sex offender ordinance, obtained $400,000 in ARRA funds for the Winnipesaukee River Trail, streamlined the Highway Department and utilized the Merrimack County Inmate Program to complete projects at the Town Hall and the Pines Community Center.
"I'm really proud of how the board has been so proactive in finding creative ways to keep costs down in Northfield," she said.
She also credits Town Administrator Glenn Smith for working so well with the current board.
Shepard has a long history of government employment. She is currently a manager with NEA-NH in Concord and has held positions with the Department of Revenue and the N.H. Superior Court, and she worked at the Northfield Town Hall for almost 10 years.
"Having worked for the town, I understand the whole municipal process - how things work and how they affect the taxpayers," Shepard said.
She has served on the Zoning Board, Budget Committee, CIP Committee and was the Selectmen's Liaison to the Highway Department and Town Hall. As chairman of the Select Board this past year, she serves on the Planning Board, Recycling Committee and the Old Home Day Committee.
One challenge facing Northfield is the possible dissolution of the Fire District. Shepard said that no matter which direction the voters decide upon, she is ready to work hard in making that decision a success. She would also like to continue her cost-cutting measures by obtaining more grants and stimulus money for town projects.
"One goal I have if re-elected would be to continue to keep Northfield's budget as conservative as possible and to be creative in accomplishing this goal," she said.
Shepard is mother of two children, Ashley and Sean, grandmother to McKenzie and Noah and was recently engaged to Joe Tinker of Northfield. Her parents Fred Sr. and Judy, along with siblings Cheri Caruso, Fred Shepard, Jr. and Jan Wickens, all live in the town as well.
She hopes to retain her seat on the board and continue to serve her hometown, saying it would be tough to walk away with so much left that she would like to accomplish.
"I really want to finish what I've started and hope the voters will agree," she said.
Geoff Ziminisky is running for the Board of Selectmen as he seeks to expand on his community-oriented service to the town.
Ziminsky, who moved to Northfield from southern N.H. in 2002, is a part-time police officer, a member of the Zoning Board and the Fire Services Committee. He enjoys living in Northfield and looks for ways to give back to the town whenever he is able – from volunteering his time on the police force for court appearances and training, to participating on various boards and committees. Should he be elected, he would resign from the force to avoid any conflict of interest that could arise.
In preparation for his candidacy, Ziminsky has attended selectmen and Budget Committee meetings regularly to stay current on all issues facing the town and has become familiar with the 2010 budget proposal.
"I'm now ready to sit as a board member and be fully engaged from Day One," he said.
Ziminsky has a degree in management with 20 years experience, including five years in a municipality. He has been employed for the last nine years with Freudenberg-NOK as the Director of Technology and Infrastructure and Chief Security Officer. In his role at the Northfield facility, he manages employees and their work flow and handles budgets for 40 different locations in five countries. This experience, he said, has brought him negotiation skills, a solid understanding of budgets and the knowledge to maintain good working relationships that he would now like to bring with him to the Select Board.
"I have no agenda. I come to this election to serve the town using my experience and impartialness," he said.
With the recent proposal by the Board of Selectmen to leave the fire district and form a Northfield Fire Department, Ziminsky feels it will take strong leadership to make either decision of the voters a reality.
"What's important is what the people decide and that they have leaders who can execute. I'm a leader who can do this," Ziminsky said.
Ziminsky is open to change and promises as a selectman to review facts thoroughly in his decision-making processes. He also seeks to bring fresh ideas on cost-effective measures and said he will work to ensure a consistent tax structure for the Town of Northfield that is not "penny wise and pound foolish."
He and his wife have three young boys and live on what he calls a hobby farm where they raise a few goats and chickens, enjoy organic gardening and composting and live a "green" lifestyle. Ziminsky would now like the opportunity to serve Northfield, maintaining it as the type of town he hopes his own children will one day chose to raise their families.