Candidate profile: Tricia Wurts for Selectman
Tricia Wurts grew up spending her summers on Briarwood Beach, and for years, spent as much time as she could in town while working for a number of technology and strategic consulting firms that required extensive travel.
In 2018, she retired full-time to Wareham. She began to get more deeply involved in town business, and saw that many citizens weren’t aware of what the town’s government was up to — something she hopes to change.
She was deeply involved in the “No to Notos” movement that culminated in the Hospitality, Recreation and Entertainment District’s landslide defeat by a record number of Town Meeting voters on April 10.
During that campaign, she said several people asked her to run for Selectmen, and she decided to take the plunge with a write-in campaign.
“We have to look at involving our whole citizen base,” Wurts said. “It can’t just be one section anymore.”
Wurts said that decisions about the town should be made more holistically. She said the town currently seems to consider two factors when working with developers: whether land is available, and whether the development would be profitable. Beyond that, she said, there are many more questions to ask: How will the decision impact citizens? How much do citizens know about the process? How will it impact their homes? Is the development aligned with what citizens want from the town? And is the town optimizing its land and protecting natural resources?
Wurts said she is in favor of development, as long as it is thoughtful. It should align with the town’s vision for itself and the idea of Wareham officials are working toward and trying to create.
She’s been reading the town’s Master Plan, which was developed in 2020, and said it’s “incredibly on target.”
If elected, she said her overall focus would be on bringing in revenue while retaining the elements of town that people love, and growing those positive elements.
To get there, she hopes to set up neighborhood councils. Those groups would allow greater cooperation among neighbors, she said, and could work together to more effectively allow town officials to understand the concerns and priorities of citizens.
She also hopes to explore adjusting the tax structure, in part by looking at what similar towns have done, and make sure that seniors get the service they need.
Wurts said she plans to take the needs of all Wareham’s citizens — including seniors, families, and those who are homeless — into account. She said that Wareham’s residents are diverse, with various talents, economic situations, and different needs.
“Nothing happens overnight,” Wurts said. “But if we don’t start working towards it, you’re not going to get there.”
Wurts said her background in tech has given her tools she could use if elected. She was inducted into the Technology Hall of Fame for her work developing a standardized system and certification exam for technicians, which allowed people to be certified to work on computers made by any manufacturer. To date, more than 2.5 million people have taken those exams through CompTIA — the first step to a solid career in technology.
She also worked with large companies as a consultant, helping them develop a vision for the companies’ future, and a roadmap to get there — big picture planning skills that she could use at the town level.
She said she’s dedicated to the work, along with a team of fellow activists who worked on the No to Notos campaign.
“I know it takes time,” Wurts said. “And now, I have that time to commit to a town that I’ve been involved with my whole life.”
Wurts is running a write-in campaign, so voters won’t see her name on the ballot on May 4. To vote for Wurts, write in “Patricia A. Wurts, 30 Taft St.” or use a sticker campaign volunteers will be handing out outside polling places.