Wareham Selectman candidate profile: Alan Slavin
After six years as a Selectman, Alan Slavin is asking voters to choose him for another term, saying his experience and the connections he’s made at state and regional agencies adds value to the board.
“With my positions, I can lobby for the town on several fronts,” said Slavin. “It doesn’t mean we’re going to get everything. However, I know in the last five years we’ve received more opportunities that we’ve taken advantage of than we have in the past 20 years.”
Slavin, who moved to town full time in 2003 with his wife Sandy, a Wareham native, pointed to his roles with groups focused on planning and addressing municipal issues. Those groups include: the Southeastern Regional Planning & Economic Development District, the Massachusetts Selectmen’s Association and the Massachusetts Municipal Association.
For the Massachusetts Municipal Association, Slavin serves on the board of directors for the district that covers Plymouth County, the Cape and the Islands. That position gives him early notice about issues that may affect Wareham, he said.
“We have access to the lieutenant governor. We talk to different state officials,” said Slavin. “We’re getting early information on everything. That’s really valuable as far as I’m concerned."
He said that role benefited the town this spring regarding the upcoming sale of recreational marijuana. He learned that state law regarding how much control cities and towns would have on the number and placement of pot shops was murky, so Slavin notified Selectmen. The board then coordinated with the Planning Board to enact new rules, approved at a Special Town Meeting, that capped the number shops in town to three. Without the local rules, an unlimited amount of marijuana retailers would have been able to open locally.
Slavin also touted one project he’s been working on for years:Helping to bring commuter rail service to town. That project is chugging along slowly now, but received a boost in 2013 with the arrival of summer rail service from Boston to Hyannis, known as the CapeFlyer. At the time, Wareham wasn’t being considered as a potential stop.
Slavin said he used his connections at the state level to lobby for a local stop. Transportation officials agreed -- and built a $200,000 platform on Merchant’s Way at no cost to the town.
If re-elected, Slavin said he would continue his efforts to bring year-round commuter rail to Wareham.
“I can’t guarantee we’re going to get commuter rail here, but I’m working hard on it,” he said, adding that a stop would be a benefit for residents and businesses.
In addition to his role as Selectman, Slavin is involved with numerous events, committees and organizations, including the Wareham Historical Society and the Onset Blues Festival, among others.