HARVARD -- The race for two available spots on the community preservation committee is filled with volunteers who all have experience working for the town.

Incumbent Beth Williams has been on the committee since December of 2012, and said she is running to continue the work she has been doing.

"I haven't really been on long enough to make a difference, and I just want to keep going," she said.

The committee is responsible for overseeing the Community Preservation Fund, which receives money from the state and from a surcharge on local property taxes. The fund can go toward buying or conserving land or historical town assets.

This year, the committee helped with the funding of the McCurdy track and the removal of trees at Shaker Cemetery, Williams said. Last year, they helped fund the conservation commission for the opportunity to purchase land. They also funded the municipal housing trust.

But the future still holds some challenges -- Williams said next year the funding the CPC receives from the state "won't be anywhere near as high."

"Our funding kind of remains static other than what comes in from the state," she said, referencing a 1.5 percent property tax surcharge. "That reduction's coming in so next year, it doesn't look like we'll have much funding."

Aside from serving on the CPC, Williams also spends her time volunteering at the Hildreth House. She said voters should elect her because of her current time on the committee and her knowledge of the process so far.


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Candidate John Lee has been serving on the Parks and Recreation Committee for over 20 years. Lee resigned last year after a controversial 3-2 vote that reduced the number of rowers in the Bare Hill Rowing Association from 100 to 80.

At the time, Lee said his resignation was not so much due to the vote but to the "tenor of the committee and the way they are approaching things," Nashoba Publishing reported.

But now Lee says he really enjoyed being on the committee, which was enjoyable to work on.

"I think it's a really important committee for the town," he said.

During his service, the committee proposed repairing the stone wall along Massachusetts Avenue, he said.

Lee also identified funding as one of the committee's major challenges. The cost for the town's historic buildings and conservation land are going up, he said.

"The costs are going up and the funding for CPC is not going up probably as much," he said. "So we have to find ways to fund those."

Lee said he enjoys serving the town, serving on either elected or appointed boards for decades.

"I just enjoy serving and helping out," he said.

Tina Allen, the third candidate, has spent time volunteering with the Parent Teach Organization, Fourth of July and Bromfield's after-prom "Celebration" party.

Allen, who has background in business operations and project management, said she can use her skills to benefit the town by working with a team.

She is also a mom with three boys, she said, and is big on people working together.

"I come from a perspective of managing a family and knowing what's good for the future with the kids and families who move to Harvard," she said.

Allen said she wants to be a part of preserving the town's character while not going backwards.

"I want to be a part of managing those funds with the team, putting them i the right place, and also with an eye for the future," she said.

Voters can make their two choices at the town election on April 8.

Follow Amelia on Twitter and Tout @AmeliaPakharvey.