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Schulman running again for Groton Board of Selectmen


GROTON — As more prospective candidates continue to take out nomination papers for the upcoming town election, some familiar faces are being seen.

One of those is Stuart Schulman, who was one of several who tossed their hats in the ring for a special election last autumn, when the resignation of Win Nordblom left an unfinished term on the Board of Selectmen.

At the time, Schulman was one of four candidates in a race eventually won by Joshua Degen. In that race, it was the long-time Planning Board member who came out ahead in the final count with 2,231 votes to Schulman’s 1,580.

“I think that he had a good showing last time he ran and if he feels that he can be of service to the community, this is a good thing for him to do,” commented Degen of Schulman’s candidacy. “I wish him the best of luck.” Degen will face re-election in May.

Despite his loss, Schulman’s numbers were considered very strong in an election that proved historic in the number of residents who turned out to cast their ballots.

“The fact is that the November election was unusual because it had a 70-percent turnout,” said Schulman. “The turnout was enormous.”

Although Schulman garnered some of the highest vote totals of any candidate in town history, the high turnout was generated more by a governor’s race than by local issues and candidates.

“I think that it will be different this time,” Schulman guessed. “I would love to think that there would be a 70 percent turnout again in May, but it’s not likely.”

With the experience of a big-time campaign already under his belt, Schulman expressed confidence that the second time will be the charm as he prepares to gather the 46 signatures needed to qualify as a candidate for election.

“What I’ve learned since the last time I ran is that it’s important in a town like Groton to be known and recognized,” said Schulman. “I think I accomplished a lot in that regard last fall in meeting a lot of people I hadn’t met before and making a lot connections. This time, I feel that I’m really starting from a much stronger position than I did before.”

Schulman said many of the issues that were discussed only a few months ago have changed since the beginning of the new year.

“For instance, there has been a report issued by the town government study committee and from what I understand, it advocates for the creation of a strong town manager,” Schulman said. “I will have to read that carefully before deciding whether to support its conclusions or not.”

The redevelopment of Station Avenue is another issue to consider, Schulman said, while praising the Planning Board’s efforts to get people involved in designing the project.

“I’m concerned about the whole issue surrounding the state’s Chapter 40B affordable housing law,” Schulman continued. “Our state representative, Robert Hargraves, has sponsored a measure in the legislature that would alter the law radically. As a member of the ZBA, I have always felt that 40B was rather draconian as it stood.”

But it is the challenge of meeting such issues head-on and dealing with them that has motivated Schulman’s desire to move up in public office.

More immediately, Schulman said he was committed to performing on a music tour that will take him to Texas, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, among other states, but he expects to be back in time to gather the needed signatures and submit his nomination papers to the town clerk by April 3.

The town election has been scheduled for May 22.

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