I’m Justin Evans and I’m excited to run for Selectman in my hometown. I grew up in this community: playing town sports, going to Winterfest, and performing in OnStage Theater.
It was actually a teacher at Whitman Hanson Regional High School that inspired me to pursue engineering, and after graduating from Northeastern University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, I worked at a clean energy startup. I continued that passion by returning to grad school to study Energy Systems Engineering at night, while working as a manufacturing engineer during the day. Late last year I began a job with the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities as a Pipeline Engineer, working to make sure the incident in the Merrimack Valley doesn’t happen again.
Along the way, I married a girl from Hanson. Although both of us had gone to school in the city, we couldn’t think of a better place than Whitman to start a family. After our wedding at Camp Kiwanee, we put down roots in the town we both love.
When I moved back to my hometown in 2017, I joined the Finance Committee, where I’ve served through two very difficult but rewarding budget seasons. I’m a member of the Whitman Think Tank, a brainstorm group working as citizens to solve local problems, and I also serve on the Selectmen’s Budget Working Group with several Selectmen and department heads. As a subcommittee, we aim to reform the town budget process, and proceduralize some of our best practices.
Above all else, family is extremely important to me. My wife and I have weekly dinners at my parents house each Sunday, and drive hours to see my brother play college football in the fall. We stick together, and you’ll see my wife Kathleen, parents Mary Lou and Tom, brother Matt, and sister Kasey out on the campaign trail supporting me this spring. You’ll also be sure to see my in-laws, Breida and Ralph Collins of Hanson, and brother Tom from East Bridgewater, by my side.
I’m not running against anyone; I’m running to solve problems. It’s what I do as an Engineer and that’s why, with your help, I would be thrilled to serve Whitman on the Board of Selectmen.
For all our successes and strengths, there is work to be done in Whitman. Unfortunately, our town suffers from a lack of planning. We often opt for the short-term fixes over longer solutions. I’m beginning to see this mentality change on the Finance Committee, but the Board of Selectmen lags behind. Instead of preparing for the future, we’re operating without a concrete financial plan and reacting to budget problems as they arise.
I know that we can do better. We can be proactive and anticipate these challenges. I care about the quality of life here: about the quality of our schools, our public safety, and the burden on our residents. It’s frustrating to serve on an advisory committee when the problems that we’re facing can only be solved by a policy board.
I also hope that just by running, I can inspire young people to get involved at the local level. We have a dozen boards that are always looking for volunteers, incumbents constantly unopposed in municipal elections, and we struggle to hit a quorum at every town meeting. We can do better! I’m asking for your vote because it’s time we elect and inspire the next generation of leaders.