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Letter: My qualifications

I am Hussain Hamdan, candidate for Hawley selectman in the election of May 5. Lately, I have heard, in conversations with supporters and others, that one of the concerns voters have about my running for office involves the perception that I am on the wrong end of an “experience gap” between myself and my somewhat older opponent, John Sears.

Without detracting from Mr. Sears’ record, I wish to correct certain possible misconceptions. Yes, being 22 years old DOES make me younger than the average Selectboard candidate. I possess, however, approximately seven years experience involving public service and municipal government.

From 2007 to 2010, I was student representative to the Mohawk School Committee. Make no mistake: this wasn’t a “show” job. I attended meetings and critically evaluated budgets, transportation plans, scheduling arrangements, etc., in the course of supporting my peers’ interests.

From 2009 to 2010, I served on an advisory panel to the Massachusetts Board and Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Among other things, I communicated and met in person with Commissioner Chester and Secretary Reville about education policies, additionally drafting resolutions and maintaining records. In 2009, I was elected by write-in to the Hawlemont School Committee; I was 17 and actually too young to serve! I consider this a great expression of confidence in my abilities. Since 2011, I have been a voting member of that committee, also sitting on the Policy and Budget Subcommittees. I know and occasionally correspond with several legislators, including Reps. Mark and Kulik and Sens. Downing and Rosenberg.

I understand the law, both because of my experience and my academic background, which additionally includes coursework in Public Policy and Economics. Like my opponent, I too possess some experience with grant writing. Please take my word for it: I am HIGHLY qualified for this job.

HUSSAIN HAMDAN

Hawley

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