Dr. Kirk Shilts is a Candidate for the Office of Hingham Selectman

kirk

I am running for the open position on the Hingham select board to help steward the shared aspirations my fellow residents have for our town.

I was born in Hingham and aside from college, spent my entire life on the South Shore.  I’m married with two interesting children.  Whoopie pies is my favorite food.

I’m a small business owner, operating a chiropractic practice for nearly 40-years.  Being successfully self-employed requires proficiency in many areas.  They include setting realistic goals, managing staff, conservative budgeting, perpetual investing, and honest transparency.  Self-sufficiency forces one to consider the consequences before acting and most of all, always showing up.

I have served on a state licensing board since 1999, developing public policy and adjudicating cases for public protection.  I’m a past president of the Weir River Watershed Association.  I’ve been a director to an international test assessment corporation with a $12 million dollar annual budget.  I’m also a writer of educational standards for a national college accreditation council.

I’ve been part of Hingham town government since 2002.  I serve on the Water Supply Committee, the Master Wastewater Planning Committee, the Board of Health and the Sewer Commission.  Most every Thursday I visit the various offices at town hall to learn what’s going on and elicit/offer ideas.  I see the role of the select board as educating the community on what the townspeople are thinking, coordinating consensuses, providing public oversight and when needed, leading team Hingham.

So what’s my vision for Hingham?  I see two principle areas of focus, economic development in South Hingham and Hingham harbor becoming a vibrant destination.

Most residents acknowledge that ‘far’ South Hingham (the Derby St. corridor) represents our town’s best opportunity for economic growth and business development.  Fortunately, we just completed the most important step in determining what, where, and when development moves forward by purchasing the water company.  Without this ability to control our most important public utility, South Hingham was largely at the mercy of others in shaping our future.  The completed South Hingham study is available on the town’s website which describes the area’s current conditions and identifies potential growth scenarios.  I believe South Hingham is prime to support mix use development.  Broadening our commercial tax base is an important goal.  Down the road, I think far South Hingham has a potential for additional housing, particularly affordable housing for young families and seniors.  Whether or not we do any of these, we need a plan for growth.  Let’s hope the current master plan project will capture a big picture.

The harbor is our most beautiful natural asset.  I’m thrilled we’re creating a harbor boardwalk and rebuilding the wharfs.  What if antique/museum ships and show vessels would dock for a week or so for public viewing?  I believe the vehicular speed around the harbor needs to be slowed by reducing travel lanes on Route 3A as well as Summer St. to create more pedestrian-friendly crossings.  Our harbor shouldn’t be a speed-through but a point of arrival – similar to how Route 1A functions in Swampscott.  I would also like to see Saturday night fireworks of July 4th week return as part of our town’s celebratory identity.  There’s so much potential to make the harbor truly extraordinary.

If you want to call and express your own aspirations, here’s my number: 781 749-2580.

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