HomeNewsPoliticsMeet Select Board Candidate Joe Clark

Meet Select Board Candidate Joe Clark

Published on

Caroline, Ava, Natalie and Joe Clark
From L-R: Caroline, Ava, Natalie and Joe Clark

On Wednesday, March 20, Hopkinton resident Joe Clark announced his candidacy for Select Board. Clark is seeking one of two seats vacated by outgoing Select Board Chair Muriel Kramer and member Irfan Nasrullah.

The Clark family has deep roots in Hopkinton, many who have provided notable public service to our town. Clark’s father, Ken, was a firefighter in Hopkinton for more than 40 years, culminating with his role as fire chief from 2009 – 2015. Clark’s two uncles were also firefighters in Hopkinton, and worked for Chief Clark. His mother, Marie, is a teacher at the Hopkins school. Clark’s great-great uncle Ernest Fecteau served as Hopkinton’s Town Treasurer from 1961 – 1966 and his great-great-grandfather Francis “Doc” Hayward was the Highway Surveyor from 1967 – 1972. 

Joe sees his candidacy as a continuation of service that was ingrained in him as a child. 

“My dad loved his job and was proud of what he and the department accomplished during his tenure, specifically around fire prevention efforts. He often referred to his job as a ‘calling’. I feel the same way; Hopkinton is in desperate need of leadership at the Select Board level right now, and I am excited to help,” said Clark.

The Clark family in 2022

A three-sport athlete at Hopkinton High School, Joe graduated in 2006. He went on to captain the lacrosse team at Pace University in New York and earned an accounting degree. He spent the early part of his career in finance departments, including a three-year stint at Deloitte, before transitioning to the technology sector and joining EMC, now Dell Computer. The move offered he and his wife, Caroline – who also grew up in Hopkinton – an opportunity to move back to the town they love. Daughters Ava and Natalie joined the family in 2019 and 2022, and Ava will start Kindergarten at the Marathon school this fall.

Clark credits his skills in finance as a strength he can lend to the Select Board. He feels strongly that economic development should be a key priority for the Select Board. “The Board should be a shepherd and a champion for small business,” he said. “One of the things I think is missing is a template or a framework to help businesses that want to locate in town. We don’t have anything like that, but Milford, Ashland, and other towns do. They really help businesses, but in Hopkinton we make new business owners figure out all the steps on their own. It takes courage to start a new business, and our town should be doing everything we can to help.”

A goal of Clark’s is to bring tax relief to Hopkinton residents. “We have large school bills coming, which we all agree are important. I voted Yes for the Elmwood school. We are known for our schools and we want to continue that, but we can’t jeopardize hardworking people that are trying to make ends meet. Their tax bills are going up, but if we can bring more business to town, both on Main Street and South Street, we’ll ensure there’s some balance in the system.” 

“I spent a lot of my childhood at the firehouse, and I have a ton of respect for our firefighters and police officers. I’ve known many of them for decades. When I see the officers we’ve lost in the last couple of years, it hurts to think we couldn’t hold on to them,” he said. 

Joe stresses that transparency and attentiveness will be his primary goal as a Selectman. He says he hears from a lot of people that they don’t feel the Select Board is listening to them. 

“People speak at public forum and they write letters, but nothing ever comes of it,” he said. “It makes them feel that their voice doesn’t matter.” 

“I have a lot of pride in our town, and it has been difficult for me to see us struggle over the past several years,” he said. “Hopkinton used to be a place people wanted to work. With the turnover we’ve seen at town hall and in the police department, I don’t think that’s the case anymore. I intend to change that.”

To reach Joe with questions, comments, or to lend your support, send an email to JoeClarkForHopkinton@gmail.com.

11 COMMENTS

  1. I breathe a sigh of relief seeing a candidate that can appreciate the past roots of the town and is willing to come forward with a vision to where it can go.

  2. Run Joe, Run! I’m looking forward to getting to know you and your positions better in the coming weeks. Best of luck and thank you for running.

  3. I do not know Joe, However i know his parents well and if Joe is anything like them, he will be wonderful. Best of luck Joe!!

  4. I don’t know what to say. Tax relief? Shepherding and championing small businesses? Respect for firefighters and police officers?

    Recognition that nothing comes of speaking at a public forum, and it makes people feel their voice doesn’t matter? We need you, Joe.

    THANK YOU.

  5. I personally have not met Joe. But he certainly seems well-qualified and has all his chips in the middle of the Hopkinton table. Regardless of his political angle, we need more folks like Joe on our Select Board.

  6. Happy to see someone with a background in finance wanting to run for Select Board! So many of the issues that end up facing us have to do with money, so the more well versed a candidate is the better.

    One aspect of this candidate statement that I’d like to get some clarification on is tying new business owners moving into existing spaces –> helping lessen the burden on those wishing to stay in town for the long haul, because I don’t believe that attracting businesses to empty storefronts and office buildings does anything to help in more tax revenue for the town.

    While business revenue taxes go to the state, the town only benefits from real estate taxes paid, and we get those regardless of whether there are tenants in buildings. If there are truly ways to get more of a tax base from existing properties I’d love to be corrected on this matter! New buildings on undeveloped land would mean more taxes, but not current buildings.

    If I remember correctly our residential and business tax rates are typically the same. Raising rates on businesses would be one way to bring in more revenue, but the town hasn’t been willing to do that in recent memory.

    Empty storefronts aren’t great in general, and I know we’d all love to see a thriving main street. I applaud the effort to get more businesses into town, and make it easier for them to start up and stay long term, so that’s a great idea for liveability, but I think that has to be separated from tax equity.

    To conclude, thank you for stepping up to run! I look forward to hearing more from all of the candidates as we approach election day.

    • I think you are correct here, Kelly. The only way to generate new tax revenue from businesses and to reduce the burden on homeowners would be to either establish a business tax rate, or develop undeveloped land with new businesses. I could be wrong, but the existing building owners are already paying taxes regardless of whether or not they are occupied. Next door in Milford, they have a split tax rate. Maybe this is something that should be explored in Hopkinton.

  7. Joe seems like a great candidate, always good to see more people get involved. Will we see similar profiles to this one for the other two candidates who are already running for Select Board?

    • We requested interviews with Mr. Mimmo and Ms. McSweeney weeks ago, and they deferred us to a later date. We are hopeful they can make the time to sit down with us for a profile.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest articles

Faces at the Start Line

Hopkinton, typically a quiet town, comes alive each Patriots' Day as tens of thousands converge for the historic Boston Marathon. The 128th event drew 29,451 entrants from 129 countries; notable participants included Estonia's Roman Fosti and charity runner Zach Bilotta. Runners are supported by nearly 10,000 volunteers and cheered by spectators providing a vibrant atmosphere, with a record pace and large female pack highlighting this year's marathon.

Class of 2024 College Commitments, Part 2

HopNews celebrates the Hopkinton High School Class of 2024's graduation and invites submissions detailing graduates' future endeavors. Send photos, names, schools, and majors to editor@hopnews.com for a frequently updated page. Check back regularly for new updates.

Charlie Middleton passes at 90

Charles Francis Middleton, 90, passed away peacefully on Thursday, April 11, 2024 surrounded by...

The Untold Story of Judy Hoyt, Champion of the Disabled

Judy Hoyt was a relentless advocate for people with disabilities. Her work inspired and transformed the lives of thousands of Americans.

More like this

Faces at the Start Line

Hopkinton, typically a quiet town, comes alive each Patriots' Day as tens of thousands converge for the historic Boston Marathon. The 128th event drew 29,451 entrants from 129 countries; notable participants included Estonia's Roman Fosti and charity runner Zach Bilotta. Runners are supported by nearly 10,000 volunteers and cheered by spectators providing a vibrant atmosphere, with a record pace and large female pack highlighting this year's marathon.

Class of 2024 College Commitments, Part 2

HopNews celebrates the Hopkinton High School Class of 2024's graduation and invites submissions detailing graduates' future endeavors. Send photos, names, schools, and majors to editor@hopnews.com for a frequently updated page. Check back regularly for new updates.

Charlie Middleton passes at 90

Charles Francis Middleton, 90, passed away peacefully on Thursday, April 11, 2024 surrounded by...