Ernie Fernandez of Taftsville is seeking a two-year Woodstock Select Board seat, currently held by Mary Riley, who is not expected to run again.
Fernandez, 33, said he hopes to improve quality of life for Woodstock’s year-round residents and address the town’s ongoing economic and infrastructure challenges.
Fernandez moved to Taftsville in September 2020 with his fiancé Alexandra and their cat Leela after earning masters degrees in both education and divinity from Harvard University. Fernandez now works remotely as an associate director of business solutions at Harvard Business School.
Fernandez said he knew he wanted to get involved in local government when he first moved to Woodstock. He considered the Select Board seat in July based on conversations he had with other elected officials.
“We’re committed to establishing our lives in Woodstock,” Fernandez said. “We are, from this point on, members of the community.”
Fernandez has volunteered and served as president of the Cambridge Masonic Temple — an historic 45,000-square-foot, active community center in Porter Square, Cambridge—since 2006. There he executed fundraising campaigns, managed a major interior renovation and led the organization through the Covid-19 pandemic.
Fernandez, a Cuban-American, grew up in Miami, Florida. Outside of public service, Fernandez is a woodworker and is currently remodeling his 1834 house in Taftsville. Fernandez is building his own custom cabinetry, a dining room table and countertops.
Woodstock Town Clerk Charlie Degener said Fernandez is the only person to submit a petition so far for the Select Board. Petitions are due Jan. 24 for a vote on Town Meeting Day.
“That’s just the way I am, I like to get ahead of things,” Fernandez said.
More information about Fernandez can be found at voteforernie.com