CHARLESTOWN — Town council candidate Bill Wilson, who has longtime family roots in Charlestown, said he would use his research skills to approach decisions affecting the town from an analytical perspective.
“I like to do the research on projects because I have a medical technology and science background,” he said in a phone interview. “I like to do analysis on and find out what are the real costs, what are factors involved before I make a real decision.”
Wilson, 66, has lived in Charlestown full-time for four years but grew up summering in the house his grandfather bought in town in 1951. Eventually his parents retired in Charlestown and now Wilson is “a third generation retiree.”
“I’ve spent every summer from when I was born and all my vacations and weekends here my entire life,” he said.
Wilson, who is endorsed by the Charlestown Citizens Alliance, the political action committee, said his first entree into town politics was in 2014 when he volunteered to be part of the Ad Hoc Bicycle Committee.
“The goal was to look at the long-range plan for the town, look at a statewide pathway, all very long-term initiatives,” he said. “The group decided it could get something done short-term in Ninigret Park.”
In a townwide survey, multiuse trails in Ninigret Park were the top choice of how residents wanted to use the $1 million recreation bond that passed in 2015, Wilson said.
The concept “morphed into something bigger” when an engineer was hired to evaluate the plan and the Parks and Recreation Commission expressed concerns about the cost and whether the idea was consistent with Ninigret Park master plan, he said.
“I’m kind of a research guy so I researched the 2008 Ninigret Park master plan and found there were all sorts of references to trails for service joggers, the handicapped and the disabled,” he said. “Eventually the town approved the plan, we got the money approved and built the multiuse trail.”
The experience showed Wilson that getting involved with the town could yield results.
“Based on that, if you put in some time and you work within the political system, then a small group of people can have a positive impact on the town you live in,” he said. “I decided you have to get involved and then you can make a difference and if you don’t get involved then you have very little to say.”
If elected, Wilson said he would support the CCA platform, which advocates low taxes, protection of the environment and growth that supports preservation of the community’s character.
“I don’t know what the hot topics will be in the future but I think the CCA has a good track record of supporting what their platform says and for the most part I’ve been in favor of the actions they’ve taken for the last couple of years,” he said.