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Kyla McSweeney: “I will Listen to the Concerns of All Residents”

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Earlier this month, resident Kyla McSweeney announced that she is running for the Hopkinton Select Board. McSweeney is seeking to fill one of two vacancies left by outgoing board members Muriel Kramer and Irfan Nasrullah in a contested race against candidates Brian Herr, Joe Clark and Peter Mimmo.

Born in Vernon, Connecticut, McSweeney resides in Hopkinton with her husband, James Burton and their two children. Burton also serves on the Zoning Board of Appeals, first elected in 2021.  McSweeney serves on the Cemetery Commission, elected to her first term in 2022.

She holds a graduate degree from Wheelock College and a law degree from Suffolk University, and is a licensed attorney. McSweeney is employed by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care, overseeing contracts and state grants to fund education programs, primarily focused on per-Kindergarten.

McSweeney hopes to represent the needs of all Hopkinton residents, not just a vocal minority.

“Right now we’re hearing a lot from groups that are very vocal, but I know there are also people out there that are quiet and aren’t giving their opinion,” said McSweeney. “I may not agree with everyone’s perspective but I feel it’s important to listen respectfully to all concerns, and not just those who are the loudest,” she added.

McSweeney pointed to the recently well-attended public forums at the Select Board meetings as evidence. “The board can’t respond to individuals, but I can see that people have a desire to really be heard. I think that’s something I can bring to the table.”

In her work, McSweeney says that she deals with a lot of people with diverse perspectives, particularly around Governor Maura Healey’s “Gateway to Pre-K” initiative.

“There are many diverse perspectives,” said McSweeney. “There are private education providers, public schools, community groups and individual childcare agencies. They’re all at a crossroads, and I work to bring them together.”

As to the question of why now?, McSweeney says that running for Select Board is something she’s considered for a long time. Her interest in government and policy sparked her desire to go to law school, which she completed while working a full-time job. “I just felt like right now is my time to step up and make a bigger contribution to Hopkinton.”

McSweeney and Burton moved to Hopkinton in 2007 after they were married. Coming from Boston, they were attracted by Hopkinton’s slower pace of life and recreational opportunities. They initially resided in Woodville and later moved to a home they built on Ash Street.

“During the pandemic we used the trails a lot,” said McSweeney. “I hiked with my kids daily; we were on a mission to do all of the Hopkinton Area Land Trust (HALT) trails. It was a great experience.”

Kyla sees diversifying Hopkinton’s tax base as a big opportunity for the next Select Board. “I know some people who have been in town for a long time are really upset about the development in town. But they’re also very concerned about the taxes. There needs to be some sort of balance of commercial development to keep Hopkinton an affordable place to live.”

According to McSweeney, the most pressing problem facing Hopkinton is clean water. “I know we’re already addressing the PFAS problem, but getting reliable, clean water is almost everyone in town’s biggest concern,” she said. After that, McSweeney wants to focus on ensuring Hopkinton is positioned to attract and retain talent at our schools, town hall and police department.

“What I love about Hopkinton is the sense of community,” said McSweeney. “It’s a place where you can get to know people very well, and when you go out, you often have a chance to meet somebody new. Hopkinton is a great place to live.”

To reach Kyla with questions, comments, or to lend your support, send an email to kyla.mcsweeney@gmail.com or find her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/kylaforhopkinton

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2 COMMENTS

  1. In 2022 she posted on Facebook to endorse the democratic ticket in our local elections. Many of these candidates which she named individually were elected and are now facing controversy, some of which have a very strong connections to Darleen Hayes.I didn’t see any evidence that she has or will vote outside of her party line now or in the future. I’m sure she is a wonderful person, but I will not be supporting Kyla McSweeney for a seat on the select board.

  2. Hopkinton citizens in general, and particularly the Select Board candidates, need to disabuse themselves of the myth that increasing our commercial tax base will significantly reduce residential taxes. Like many suburban communities, Hopkinton has long been an 80:20 residential-to-commercial town. In fact, in recent years our ratio was 82:16. A few years ago, our then Chief Financial Officer Tim O’Leary ran some numbers. Figuring on Hopkinton adding 25% more businesses –which is clearly a VERY generous estimate — the resulting reduction on the average homeowner’s tax bill was, literally, a couple of bucks. Of course we want to keep and encourage our businesses, for a vibrant community and because they draw far less in public services than residences do. For many years, the Select Board has voted to maintain a single tax rate so as to keep and encourage businesses – not punish them and drive them to other towns by implementing a dual rate. So while wanting to bring in more commercial enterprises is a good thing, it should not be used as a misleading or uninformed campaign slogan. A dose of realism is needed.

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