Political newcomer Mark Callahan says he is running for the Sandwich Planning Board to give something back to the town where he was born.
Although his family moved to Mashpee when he was a youngster and he attended Falmouth High School, Mr. Callahan said in an interview this week that he loves living in Sandwich, his home for the last four years.
The Gully Lane resident believes the town’s charm and historic character should be preserved, but he would also like to see some new development.
“I believe there’s a direct connection between historic preservation and the economy in Sandwich. If we can preserve that character and charm, it can turn into dollars,” he said.
But the development must be carefully planned, Mr. Callahan said.
“How do we balance the delicate historic area with business development?” he asked. “Maybe the solution is a mixed use of housing and commercial development.”
Mr. Callahan is a graduate of Northeastern University and has been an account manager for software company Citrix for the past 20 years. He works from home and, before the coronavirus restricted travel, he and his husband divided their time between Sandwich and Boston, Mr. Callahan said.
Affordable housing and developing wastewater systems will be the main issues for the town in the coming years, Mr. Callahan believes, and he would like to be a member of the planning board to help find solutions to those issues.
“Allowing more accessory dwelling units will help with affordable housing, but that change in bylaws has been postponed, along with Town Meeting, by the coronavirus,” Mr. Callahan said. “That zoning change, and more zoning changes like that, will help Sandwich and all of Cape Cod.”
He said he would bring years of administrative experience to the table if elected to the planning board, his first foray into serving on a town board.
“I just feel it’s time to volunteer to put my life and work experience to help meet the town’s current and future needs,” Mr. Callahan said. “I want to give back to Sandwich.”