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Guest MINDSETTER™ Winthrop Handy: Why I’m Running for State Representative

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

 

I am an independent candidate for State Representative in the 14th Worcester District because my main objective is to see Worcester County begin to reinvent itself as the heart of New England commerce, retrain the existing workforce in relevant occupations and retain a majority of the local college and vocational school graduates in new business startups and as home owners in revitalized communities.

I want to represent the will and the common sense of the people that has been blindsided by party affiliation and by powerful corporate lobbyists. As an independent candidate I only owe my allegiance to the voters and the only relevant thing that I can ever share with them is the truth.

I grew up in Holden and graduated from Wachusett Regional in 1966 and U Mass Dartmouth in 1970. My dad , Everett Handy worked for 46 year at Heald Machine Company in Worcester as an electrical foreman. My father always wanted me to follow a career in engineering but I chose a career as an artist.

I started working for a weekly Worcester Newspaper in 1971 as a cartoonist. I had always loved the cartoons of Al Banx published in the Worcester Evening Gazette. His art and his humor captured the spirit of our city and the surrounding towns. Everyone shared a good laugh as his pen and ink laid bare our humanness and its frivolity.

Local Roots

After living my entire life in Worcester County and running my small business here for 36 years I have gained the knowledge and the experience to thrive, to survive and to fight for what I believe in.

Since 2008 my wife Anne and I have worked to reinvent our 36 year old business , embrace new technology and find new markets for our products. It has been difficult to lay off long time staff members as the economy and our business slowed.

My grandfather Carl Hult came to Worcester from Sweden at fourteen years old to find work in the South Works plant of American Steel and Wire Co in Quinsigamond Village (now the site of the new Worcester Super Walmart). At retirement he had earned the position of Plant Night Superintendent.

My wife Anne’s parents and family operated the DeSantis Market on Gage Street in Worcester for 70 years. Anne’s dad,  Rocky DeSantis, was a person who valued people and family above all else will always be my business role model.

He realized early on that the most import thing in a person's life is their self worth. Self worth comes from having a job ,having a home and providing for your family.

Elected as Light Department Commissioner

Since 1997, I have had the opportunity to be an elected commissioner of the West Boylston Municipal Light plant. I have had the privilege to serve with small business owners Dave Lindberg, Ron Menard, Anthony Meola and Denholm Smith. I mention this because all future plans for Worcester County must include a new grid for electric vehicles and we must have low cost energy to power our homes and to attract new businesses to locate in Worcester County.

As a team of commissioners we worked to diversify West Boylston’s energy portfolio to include nuclear, natural gas, diesel, and hydro power from water flowing from the Quabbin Reservoir to the Wachusett Reservoir turbines in the Oakdale section of West Boylston. We are looking to purchase the power from the Clinton Dam and more solar fields.

We investigated fuel cell technology but found it to be too expensive. We chose solar power and formed an energy cooperative and built our own solar facility on part of the 60 acres of land we bought from the State off Tivnan Drive in West Boylston. It is a profitable venture and helps lower our energy costs in July and August.

We share an electrical substation with the town of Boylston. Sharing equipment costs and work forces is the future solution to keep things affordable in all towns.

Solar power is a double win for West Boylston and every town that installs it because paying the high charge for electric transmission over National Grid’s power lines can be avoided as solar power goes directly into a towns own electrical grid. Even better news is that new solar panels 1,000 times more powerful than the present ones are being developed in Israel.

Last year our Berkshire Wind Turbine Project in Hancock, Mass went on line with ten 1.5 megawatt General Electric Wind Turbines with enough wind energy to power 6,000 homes. We formed a co operative with 12 other municipal light departments through Mass Municipal Wholesale Electricity Company (MMWEC) to fund this $62 million dollar project because all our requests for state tarp money funding were denied.  West Boylston’s former light department manager, Brad White headed up this demanding project from start to finish.

Business reform needed

The Deregulation of the banking industry, the deregulation Wall Street and the deregulation of electric generation in have all been deceptive “too big to fail “schemes that have prayed upon consumers, tax payers, small business owners and energy rate payers.

Most recently the fraudulent bond ratings for municipals department by banks has been exposed . This corporate greed has cost every state billions of dollars and it has taken funds from our schools and funds from repairing our nations infrastructure . It has also taken its toll on consumer confidence.

I have ideas and plans, I am a team player and a good listener. I work to see relevant projects completed. I want to see more transparency and term limits in our state government. I want to see the permitting process for small business pre done so only weeks pass and not years before a new business can open and hire employees in Worcester County. 

 

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