Candidate profile: Richard Nunes
Rochester — Incumbent Richard Nunes has served residents for 15 years and says continuity in government is important.
“It’s very important for stability. It’s important for consistency,” he said. “You don’t know where you’re going unless you know where you’ve been.”
Over the course of five selectman terms, Nunes said he’s worked hard to maintain a few specific principles: ensuring the town can sustain working families and senior citizens, ensuring that taxpayer money is spent appropriately and maintaining the town’s rural character.
“I’m very cautious with taxpayer money, whether it’s with contract negotiations or regular expenses,” Nunes said. “It’s part of the job. You have to take care of the taxpayers’ money almost like it’s your own money. It’s not just a slush fund where you can just spend money willy nilly and there aren’t any consequences.”
Nunes also said when it comes to town government, being able to say “no” is important. “Sometimes it’s so much easier to play Santa Claus and say yes and give everyone what they want,” he said. “It’s sometimes very hard to play the Grinch because you have to say no. But you can’t always play Santa…”
The time to play Grinch, Nunes said, is when departments ask the town for things they don’t really need.
“People can always find something new that they need,” he said. “And again, it’s a want rather than a necessity. So in trying to keep a government small, sometimes you have to say, ‘I don’t think that’s a good idea.’ I don’t think we need to spend taxpayer money to fix something that’s not broken.”