Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


March 13, 2014

Oberto: A fresh set of eyes

Believes Andover's a nice town, with a few problems

Jodi Oberto thinks Andover is pretty much OK. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have some problems. And she wants to be part of the solution.

“We have a good town,” said the 46-year-old manufacturing sales rep during a recent interview at The Townsman. “I’m not running to say ‘We need to perk up Andover.’ ... We have good schools.”

The married mother of two, school-age children is running for a seat on the Board of Selectmen because she would she said she will bring a “fresh pair of eyes” to problems, like what to do with the Town Yard.

“Do we need to spend $4 gazillion dollars or can we keep it simple and make it work?” asked the 11 Hartford Circle resident. “Like the saying goes, ‘Keep It Simple Stupid.’”

Oberto, who has a 16-year-old at the high school and a 10-year-old at South School, said “our schools are vital. We need to have our schools well-equipped.” But she also stressed the importance of parent involvement.

However, she admits she hasn’t had much time for that kind of involvement.

“You can go to meetings, it’s very open, but I’m like everyone else, you don’t,” she said, admitting that she hasn’t been to a governmental meeting since last May, when she went to Town Meeting to argue against a ban on bow-hunting deer on town-owned property.

“I don’t hunt, but my husband (John) would like to,” she said. “People who do should be able to do that. People should be allowed. They were trying to squash it.”

Her main experience in the political realm was in 2010 when she ran as an Independent for the state Senate seat vacated by longtime Andover Democrat Susan Tucker. She ran against former state Rep. Barry Finegold, D-Andover, and Republican Jamison Tomasek. She took more than 2,000 votes — or about 1 percent — in the three-way race. Finegold won by more than 10 points over Tomasek.

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