TEWKSBURY — In this year’s annual town election, Jayne Wellman will be seeking reelection to the Select Board.
Raised in Bangor, Maine, Wellman graduated from Tufts University with a Bachelor’s in Economics. She later went on to complete a graduate certificate in business management at UMass Lowell, and she is currently a Masters in Public Administration candidate at the Carsey School of Public Policy at UNH.
Wellman has lived in Tewksbury for 21 years, and her children graduated from Tewksbury Memorial High School. Prior to her election to the Select Board, she served on the School Committee and as Tewksbury’s first female Town Moderator.
When considering whether she was going to seek reelection this year, a driving force in her decision was the ability to continue to work on the Select Board’s pre-pandemic agenda, after much of it was delayed to handle pandemic-related response work.
“Now as things are opening back up we can build on the good work already done,” Wellman said. “I want to keep working to fulfill a vision of the community as a great town to work, dine, play, and live.”
Throughout her past term on the Select Board, Wellman has contributed to numerous projects. Notably, she spearheaded the creation of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Committee, and the Rental and Mortgage Assistance Program. During the pandemic, she worked alongside board staff and Lowell Five Bank to stand up a rental and mortgage assistance program utilizing CARES Act monies to help renters, owners, and landlords make rent and mortgage payments.
Constituent services also made up a significant portion of her work, with a notable example being her work with residents experiencing housing crises.
If reelected, Wellman notes filling empty storefronts, growing the commercial tax base, and senior and veteran tax relief as major goals for her next term.The development of smart, affordable housing is also a major priority.
“The unhoused population has increased in our area and 51 percent of the population in Tewksbury is spending more than 30 percent of their income on housing,” she explained. “We can do better.”
When considering the most important issues facing Tewksbury today, Wellman noted the Select Board’s important role in managing the priorities of the various town departments in order to assure necessary actions are taken.
“Ask any department and there are different top priorities — a full-time second ambulance, increased police staffing, a new shared DPW-School Dept facility. Ask residents and the priorities range from taxes, roads, water infrastructure, and school funding,” she said. “The board has to work with management to represent all these varied interests and keep the ball moving forward at all times.”
In regards to her own contributions to managing the departments’ priorities, Wellman is advocating for a State-Owned Land Payment in Lieu of Taxes program from the state to help fund public safety. Additionally, she supports streamlining the DPW project to bring the funding inline and not require any tax increases to finance construction, pending Town Meeting approval. She is also working with a regional team through CTI on housing development and veterans transportation.
Reflecting on her reelection campaign, Wellman expressed her love for her work on the Select Board, and desire to continue to work for solutions to residents’ problems.
“I’m a detail-oriented, approachable person. I love talking to residents and business owners,” Wellman stated. “I look for out of the box, market-based solutions and work with our exceptional town staff to implement changes that are needed.”
The annual town election will be held on Saturday, April 2, 2022, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. For more information regarding how to register to vote, polling locations, etc., visit https://www.tewksburyma.gov/town-clerk or contact the Town Clerk’s Office via phone at 978-640-4355.