Pelham - Windham News June 18, 2010 - 7
Committee Slots - continued from page 5 DiAngelo says she understands the concept of NIMBY (Not In My
Back Yard), one that is often prevalent in bedroom communities, but she also feels there will be a lot of pressure on the town to develop once the Route 93 construction is finished. She said she feels most people living in Windham want more services in town. “Windham is a great community with a lot of potential,” she said. “We need a blend of people-friendly businesses.” DiAngelo said she is interested in serving on the Economic Development Committee for either a one or two-year term. Maureen Demone
Maureen Demone has been a resident of Windham for 40 years— virtually her entire life. “I didn’t choose to move here, but I have chosen to stay,” she said. “I have seen where the town started and it has come a long way,” she said. “I am interested in seeing where it goes from here.” Demone, who works as a business manager, said she feels that
she would be able to work with and promote new businesses coming to Windham. “I can assist them in how to best survive,” Demone said. She also commented on the need for committee members to educate residents about the issues facing the town regarding economic development. Demone would like to serve on the Economic Development Committee for either a one- or two-year term. Paul Gosselin Paul Gosselin has lived in Windham for the past decade. His experience involves owning, managing, and developing shopping centers. The most recent commercial development he oversaw is in Kennebunk, ME. “I know how to maintain the rural character of a community, yet blend it with commercial development; the type that residents want to utilize,” Gosselin said. Referring to Windham, Gosselin said that any new architecture should blend with the historical character of the town. “That’s what my business is all about,” he added. Gosselin also said he has a good understanding of code enforcement and zoning issues. On the negative side, Gosselin said he doesn’t feel that Windham has “the best business friendly reputation” among developers and business owners who might be interested in locating in town. Gosselin said he would accept either a one-, two-, or three-year term on the Economic Development Committee, if asked to do so. Michael Leuci Michael Leuci said he is “brand-new” to Windham, having relocated to the town about a year ago. He is originally from Salem. “I saw how Salem grew,” he said, “and I feel a lot of mistakes were made.” “There was too much development; there is too much shopping,” he added, then asking, “Is this really where someone wants to live?”
Leuci said that he works in sales and marketing, and has done
extensive work with non-profit organizations. “Windham is a great little town,” Leuci said. “I want to keep that atmosphere.” “We need to seek out businesses that make sense for Windham; businesses that complement those that are already here.” Leuci said he is not in favor of bringing “big-box stores” to Windham. “We have to find a happy medium,” he said. Leuci said that he’s interested in serving on the Economic Development Committee for either a one- or two-year term. Jim McDonald
Jim McDonald not only lives in Windham, he also owns a business in town. McDonald is the proprietor of Contour Design, located on Industrial Drive. Previously, he worked at Staples for a period of nine years. In his line of business, McDonald said he oversees about 50 store openings per year. He feels this experience would help him to determine appropriate businesses for Windham. The committee’s “guiding compass” should be to follow what the
vast majority of Windham residents want here in town, McDonald said. “The populace needs to make this determination,” he said. McDonald also served on the original Economic Development Committee through the Chamber of Commerce. He said he feels “there is unfinished business” in which he would like to have a say. “There is a huge bubble of residents who are in between wanting unlimited growth in Windham and no growth,” McDonald said. McDonald said he is interested in serving on the new Economic Development Committee for a full three-year term. Claude Peltz Claude Peltz has lived in Windham since 1986. He operates an independent insurance brokerage out of his home. Peltz said he wants to improve Windham’s tax base and take the
heavy burden off of local property owners. “I’d like to give residents more choices right in town,” he said, mentioning medical offices, light manufacturing, restaurants, and retail businesses in particular. “With every solution, there’s always a pro and con,” Peltz said, and economic development is no different. Peltz said he feels he has the ability to see both sides of an issue, a trait that would make him a valuable committee member. Peltz said he thinks Windham needs to learn from other towns in the area, both those that have and those that have not been successful in their attempts at commercial development. Peltz told selectmen that he is willing to serve on the Economic Development Committee for the maximum three-year term. Bruce Richardson Bruce Richardson said he’s lived in Windham “for a bunch of years.” He grew up, however, in Salem. He has served on the
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Capital Improvement Plan committee, the Planning Board, and the Zoning Board of Adjustment. “It’s good for the pocketbook to promote economic
development,” Richardson said, adding that he is “thrilled” about the establishment of the new town-sanctioned committee. “Windham has not had a good reputation for attracting business as long as I’ve been around,” he said. “To be called a developer is like a four-letter word in Windham,” according to Richardson. For Windham to only be viewed as a bedroom committee doesn’t make sense, Richardson said. “Small businesses are the backbone of this country.” “Businesses don’t have children,” Richardson said; therefore, they have no impact on the local school system. He also said he feels that Windham’s non-residential zones are under-utilized at the present time. Richardson said he’s interested in serving a three-year term on the Economic Development Committee. Amy Spencer Amy Spencer grew up in Salem, but has been a Windham resident for several years. A yoga instructor, Spencer not only owns a local business, but also works for other local businesses. She also works with the Windham Recreation Department and has worked for the Windham School District in years past. “I love this town and I’m not planning on going anywhere else,” she told selectmen. Spencer said she feels her business provides her with a unique opportunity to network with other regional businesses. She said she believes members of the Economic Development Committee need to go out and actively promote new businesses locating in Windham.
Spencer said she considers her unique qualities as being “open- minded, creative, and flexible,” all characteristics required in yoga, as well as in promoting economic development. Spencer said she would encourage conducting a survey soliciting what “people in Windham really want.” “This is vital,” she said. Economic growth does not automatically mean bringing “big box” stores to Windham, Spencer said. Spencer said she would be willing to serve for as many as three years on the Economic Development Committee. Ralph Valentine Ralph Valentine has lived in Windham for the past 14 years. He said his education is in finance and that he has worked in real estate for many years. For the past eight years, Valentine has operated a commercial real estate brokerage. He served for one year on the former Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Committee and has participated on the Windham Recreation Committee for the past six years. Valentine said he believes one of the first steps needed for the new committee is to do an inventory of all available commercial and industrial property in Windham, then to weigh the pros and cons of each parcel. Valentine said his prior experience includes working with the
Town of Londonderry in turning residential property near Exit 4 off Route 93 into commercial property. “200 apartments would not have been beneficial to Londonderry’s tax base,” he said. Valentine said he would be willing to serve either one, two, or three years on the new Economic Development Committee, whichever the selectmen prefer. Jay Yennako Jay Yennako has been a Windham resident his entire life—since
1975. He also owns two businesses in Windham; one an Internet business, and the other Delahanty Nursery on Range Road. In addition, Yennako owns properties and has tenants in both Londonderry and Salem. “I utilize multiple other local businesses here in Windham,” Yennako said, “and I would utilize others if they located here in town.” “Windham is lacking in business progression,” Yennako said. “It has become stagnant in getting new businesses to come to town.” Yennako said he feels there should be a “smoother process” in place for assisting potential business owners. “We need a liaison to show businesses what Windham has to offer,” he said. “We need to catch the attention of businesses.” Yennako said he believes that the goal of the Economic
Development Committee is to “support the town and help the business community, at the same time.” “There is a way to make it work,” Yennako added. Yennako said he would serve either a one-, two-, or three-year-term on the Economic Development Committee. He also said he would consider working as a liaison to members of the business community.
Selectmen will be reviewing all the qualifications of those
who expressed interest in joining the Economic Development Committee, and are expected to make membership decisions during their Board meeting on June 21.
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