The Citizen Chronicle contacted all three Selectmen candidates. We will be publishing the profiles of Michael Suprenant and Chase Kaitbenski on Saturday, April 7th. Craig Moran declined to answer our questions.
Candidate for Selectman
Occupation: President, Stan Kaitbenski inc
The Citizen Chronicle: Are you registered with a Political Party?
Chase Kaitbenski: Independent
The Citizen Chronicle: Have you ever run for Town office before? If so, what positions, when, and what were the results?
Chase Kaitbenski: I have never run for town office before.
The Citizen Chronicle: Have you held prior offices?
Chase Kaitbenski: None.
The Citizen Chronicle: What prior experience do you have that makes you qualified to serve?
Chase Kaitbenski: I have lived in Sturbridge for most of my life. I have established great relationships with the people in this community growing up as well as being in business. I have been heavily involved in various board meetings along with annual town meetings. While I am certainly not a politician I feel that my background in construction development can be an asset to the board.
The Citizen Chronicle: What do you think makes a good selectman?
Chase Kaitbenski: A good selectman must be willing to help and fight for the the people in the community. Honesty and passion are traits that I feel are important as well as being a good listener.
The Citizen Chronicle: What are the main issues in town that you’d like to address?
Chase Kaitbenski: The town needs to become more business friendly. I would love to see more of those mom and pop local businesses return to town. I also want to bring a youth voice to the board. There are a lot of young families in town that I feel I can represent and offer a different perspective for our generation. Residents need to have more of an open policy with our elected officials I would encourage more and more people to come to the meetings and express their concerns. I am pro recreational fields. I feel it has moved from a want to a need and the board has to begin taking a serious look into this. My construction background can help get this project under budget so it does not effect the tax payers.
The Citizen Chronicle: What is your point of view on the status of the public school district?
Chase Kaitbenski: I attended Sturbridge nursery school, burgess elementary and Tantasqua. I am a very proud father of two sons ages four and two that are following in my footsteps. We are so fortunate to call Sturbridge home one of the main reasons for that is the public school district. I cannot say enough about the schools, teachers and facilities. I feel having two kids in the school district gives me a great point of view to serve on the board.
The Citizen Chronicle: What is your point of view on the reputation of the town and its leadership?
Chase Kaitbenski: I feel that Sturbridge has a reputation for being difficult to do business in. I do think that with a more open policy where there is more communication with local businesses and a more business friendly attitude we can all work together to change this. Sturbridge needs to do a better job of balancing open space and the business community.
The Citizen Chronicle: There was a recent controversy over the lack of current meeting minutes. What do you attribute this to and is this a serious concern?
Chase Kaitbenski: Whenever Sturbridge gets looked at in a negative way it is a concern. It has been straightened out I think moving forward we will do a good job and learn from any mistakes that were made.
The Citizen Chronicle: What is your point of view on the future of Town Administrator Leon Gaumond?
Chase Kaitbenski: I am not qualified to answer this. I have not yet worked with Leon. I truly hope that I get the opportunity to and I can form my own opinions.
The Citizen Chronicle: What is your stance on any possibility of commercial recreational marijuana establishments being permitted in Sturbridge?
Chase Kaitbenski: I am against commercial recreational marijuana establishments in Sturbridge for the reason that at the vote to legalize marijuana Sturbridge as a town voted not to. So I feel I would be doing the residents a disservice by wanting marijuana sales in town. If the town residents voted for it I would open up my stance. Where I strongly disagree with our current board of selectmen is they unanimously voted to sponsor a bill that would allow more liquor licenses in town I feel that this sets a bad precedent moving forward.
The Citizen Chronicle: What is Sturbridge’s greatest asset?
Chase Kaitbenski: Sturbridge has so many amazing assets. What comes to mind first is our history. Having old Sturbridge village and businesses like the Publick House that really make this a special town. I also love our location having a mass pike exit and exits off of 84 make it vital to easily attract people to our town for economic growth. We have a top notch school district and most of all we have great people in our community!
The Citizen Chronicle: What is Sturbridge’s greatest problem?
Chase Kaitbenski: I hate to associate the word problem with Sturbridge. An area of concern would be to find that better balance between open space and development. I truly love Sturbridge and I hope that I can give back to the town that has given me so much. Thank you