Get to know Roxbury first selectman candidate Patrick Roy

Patrick Roy

Patrick Roy

/ Patrick Roy

Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of two auestion and answer profiles on the first selectmen candidates in Roxbury.

Patrick Roy, a Democrat, is running against Bruce Tuomala, a Republican. Current Roxbury First Selectman Barbara Henry is retiring after 24 years of service.

Below are answers from Patrick Roy.

Tell us about yourself.

Recently retired, I spent the last 16 years as manager of a retail big box home improvement store in charge of $40 million in yearly revenues, managing 180 employees.

I grew up in Southington where my father still lives. I am single and share my home with my cat, Oliver. I am blessed to have my sister and brother-in-law also in Roxbury, and my brother nearby.

What elected offices or community groups are you involved with?

I serve on Roxbury’s Board of Finance, Board of Directors, and am chair of the Farms Committee for the Roxbury Land Trust. As a member of Christ Church, I have been very involved, including serving on the Board of Vestry for many years. Campaign website: patrickroyforroxbury.com.

What is your background, experience and credentials for this job?

I have owned or managed businesses for the last 35 years, starting my first company at age 15. Beyond my dedication to the town, I feel that my work has trained me to be an organizational, inclusive, and enthusiastic leader.

In addition to my professional career, I have dedicated my life to helping the community, starting when I became an Eagle Scout at age 16, captaining projects from the Boys & Girls Club, Channel 3 Kids Camp, Master’s Manna Food Pantry and Resource Center, Make a Wish Foundation and Habitat for Humanity.

I see myself as a servant leader who is equipped to grow, develop and lead the town with a responsibility to all residents. In everything I do, I lead by example and set clear expectations in order to follow through on them.

What is your reaction to and what will you do about the state government’s current initiative to influence and change local zoning?

I would resist any sweeping zoning changes that are not appropriate for our town. We live in a beautiful place, I would not support any measure that would destroy the town's rich rural character. I continue to support decades of work accomplished by the Roxbury Land Trust and Historic District Commission to protect the scenic beauty of our town. Roxbury has always been farm-centered, and over the years we have seen change and more development. But working with the town's boards and commissions, volunteers and the Board of Selectman have worked very hard to preserve the unique landscape through a careful, measured response to change.

What are your top three commitments to Roxbury?

1) Safety of our residents - Provide those that live and work in town with the public health and safety they deserve, as well as maintain roads and bridges, and improve traffic issues.

2) Fiscal responsibility - Keep our mill rate low and make sure the government works for our citizens in the best manner possible

3) Transparency - Enhance open communication with town employees and residents to create unity in the town’s mission to serve its people.

How do you feel about affordable housing in Roxbury?

I feel that it's important to have housing options for our residents. Roxbury's Zoning Commission has already taken the initiative to allow two accessory dwelling units or ADUs, above the state’s requirement based on House Bill HB 6107. ADUs will create a steady source of new housing options for many of our residents that wish to stay in town. The town has also begun the process of developing an Affordable Housing Plan that is due by June 2022. This plan will help give the town direction on how to proceed in providing more housing options for our residents.

Do you think Roxbury should have a housing authority? Please explain.

I don’t believe a housing authority is necessary, however, I do feel a housing commission should be created to study and analyze housing options and look at the current and long-term housing needs of our community. The commission would provide a forum for housing issues, seek public input, and make recommendations.

With multiple infrastructure repairs on the horizon, do you think Roxbury should look into bonding? Please explain.

I feel that bonding is a last resort. My experience on the Board of Finance has given me a unique perspective on town issues and through proper planning we can avoid long-term debt and continue to keep our tax rate one of the lowest in the state. While fiscal planning is a large part, I realize that following state and federal rules and regulations is critical, especially now. This will help us get grants and more aid to our town when it comes to our larger expenses.

How do you feel about the new marijuana legislation and its impact on Roxbury?

As First Selectman, there is a responsibility to protect the quality of life for all our residents. I support town legislation to restrict marijuana usage on public property. Although there has been no interest brought forward, I don’t believe a dispensary or growing facility is economical, viable or appropriate for Roxbury.