Marilee Kenney Hunt, the Chair of Bridgewater’s Community Preservation Committee, winner of the Rotary of the Bridgewater’s Citizen of the Year Award for 2011 and recipient of the Robert Kuehn Statewide Award honoring Community Preservation heroes, has pulled papers to run for the 8th Plymouth District seat in the House of Representatives.
Ms. Hunt, a long time Democrat and former public servant who worked in the Executive Branch of Massachusetts State government, is well known in the Bridgewater community for her service on numerous volunteer committees. She is excited to enter the race and looks forward to participating in the democratic process. Papers must be returned no later than May 1, 2012.
“Part of what excites me is the opportunity to re-shape the contemporary campaign process in a small way,” says Hunt. Driven by her own frustration with excessive robo and live-generated campaign calls, Hunt promises Bridgewater and Raynham citizens that they will receive only two official phone calls from her campaign; one on election-day as a reminder to vote and the other, the day after the election, with thanks for voting. Other than personal calls from one friend to another, citizens will not be bothered by her campaign calls.
Hunt is also concerned about extravagant campaign spending. “In a time when people are struggling to make ends meet, I hope to model a restrained, disciplined campaign,” she says. Hunt intends to use electronic communication techniques and “old fashioned feet to the pavement” door-to-door campaigning. Hunt, who is regularly seen walking throughout Bridgewater, enjoys meeting people and is anxious to share her ideas face-to-face with citizens in both Bridgewater and Raynham. “I’m excited to get to know Raynham, like I know Bridgewater. Walking slows you down and lets you really appreciate a community” Hunt says.
Although she is a Democrat, Hunt built a reputation as an effective and practical consensus builder who works across parties lines. She served in the Weld, Cellucci, Swift and Romney administrations, worked with Attorney Generals Harshbarger, Reilly and Coakley and ended her State career as the Executive Director of the Governor’s Commission on Sexual and Domestic Violence where she managed over 250 statewide Commissioners whose professional capacities varied from Cabinet Secretaries to grassroots advocates. She is proud of commendations received from Governor Cellucci and Attorneys General Harshbarger and Coakley.
During her tenure with the State, Hunt created a successful statewide court advocacy program called SAFEPLAN Massachusetts, oversaw over $3 million annually in federal Violence Against Women Act funding for programs and helped to guide the State’s approximately $60 million annual budget appropriation for domestic and sexual violence programs and services. She worked with agencies, Secretariats and the Legislature to craft at least ten fiscal years’ State budgets.
On the local level, Hunt championed the Community Preservation Act (CPA) in 2002 and when it was narrowly defeated, championed it again in 2005 when it was enacted in Bridgewater. She has chaired the Community Preservation Committee since its inception and helped guide it to fund several projects including the new Girls Softball Fields, renovations of the Town Hall, temperature and air quality control at the Library’s historical room, replacement of the fence around Mt. Prospect Cemetery (the original was given to the WWII war effort), the preservation and binding of historic town records from 1656 through 1956 and the purchase of the historic Keith Homestead.
In addition, she served on the first site council for the George Mitchell School, chaired the 2005 School Study Committee and authored its report. She offered her home as the set for the Cable 9 television show Around the Table in Bridgewater and often participated on the show. Most recently, she served on the 2020 Town/University Committee as a member of the Downtown Revitalization sub-committee, worked with the Community Development Block Grant Advisory Committee to conduct a survey of the town to help secure funding for downtown revitalization efforts, supported the development of a Community Development Block Grant application for housing rehabilitation/downtown revitalization planning submitted jointly with Middleborough and advised the Town Manager on the hiring of a new Town Planner. She currently serves on the Municipal Building Committee which will guide the renovation and restoration of the Academy Building.
On the web: www.huntforstaterep.com