Wareham Selectman candidate profile: Mary Bruce

Mar 27, 2018

With a track record of community involvement, lifelong resident Mary Bruce said she’s ready to take a seat on the Board of Selectmen, with an eye on economic development.

“I just love this town,” said Bruce. “I’m excited about the new challenge, and I’ve proven that I work well with other people and actually get things done.”

Bruce is running uncontested for the seat formerly held by Selectman Judith Whiteside, who abruptly resigned earlier this year for an unspecified personal reason.

Bruce said Selectmen should make business owners and community leaders feel welcome when appearing before the board for permits or licenses for a variety of activities, such as the Oyster Festival or summer events in Onset.

“These are people who trying to do something positive for the town,” said Bruce. “Selectmen should be there to help them out.”

Board members should also do what they can to attract businesses to town, ideally ones that will add value to Wareham, said Bruce.

“We need ones that will be good stewards of our community,” said Bruce. “People that want to be here and want to contribute.”

In addition to attracting new business to Wareham, board members should consider promoting the town, said Bruce. As a member of the Beach and Tourism Committee, Bruce said she has some experience in that area. The committee has done some small advertising campaigns for Wareham, put together pamphlets and launched a website: www.discoverwareham.com.

She said she’s also proud of her work with the Wareham Garden Club. Over the past few years, club members have set up planters on Main Street in Wareham Village filled with flowers that members care for throughout the spring and summer. The club started with a small budget of a couple hundred dollars for the plantings. That number has increased to $3,000 through the years.

Bruce also co-founded Don’t Trash Wareham, an all-volunteer group that organizes several roadside and beach cleanups throughout the year. Bruce said the need for such a group became apparent after budget cuts reduced Municipal Maintenance staff years ago.

That mindset, to identify and then correct problems, will serve voters well, said Bruce.

“I’ve been going to Town Meeting for 20 years,” said Bruce. “How else do you fix a problem if you don’t know what’s going on.”