And the nominees are...
I’m asking for your vote on Tuesday April 3, 2018 as I run for a seat on the Stoneham Board of Selectmen. Your support means the world to me and my family.
I know with certainty “we are better together.” I know, and hope to learn more about what Stoneham goes through on a day-to-day basis in support of our residents and our town. All elected and appointed officials have put themselves and their families out there to be publicly scrutinized. It’s not an easy job, and I know I will not agree with everyone on every decision, but I welcome the collaboration that’s necessary for us to come to a good decision about what’s best for our town.
Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted.
I feel like this is true for me as I have run before and in doing so, I have gained knowledge and insight that I may have otherwise missed. This time is different. We are in a different time and place in history. When I started this journey four years ago, I was ambitious and naive. After four years of attending meetings, volunteering with STAC, Stoneham youth and other groups my ambition to continue to make positive change remains.
I’m running for a position on the Board of Selectmen because there are many discussions that need to take place and I would like to be part of these decisions for our future. We still have many projects before us including: Weiss Farm, Eversource, MWRA, a New High School, affordable housing, mobility, the needs of our seniors and ADA compliance. There are many more wants and needs of the town that will only get accomplished if the boards and committees work in collaboration for the best end result for the taxpayers. We have a 70 million dollar budget that is supported by the residents, and it is the duty of the officials to be cautious but deliberate in spending the money wisely. We all have budgets within our own households that all of us take seriously. I would like the opportunity to do the same with our town budget.
I’ve been asked what my main objectives will be as a Selectwoman.
The three top areas I see in need of attention are
Infrastructure, Community Services, and Fiscal responsibility
Infrastructure: Between the entire major road and utility projects and the needs of our aging municipal buildings I believe our infrastructure needs attention. We need a new high school and a concerted effort by our residents to see this through. When Mass School Building Authority comes back with their decision, we should have a united approach towards the future of our high school for the betterment of Stoneham’s students.
Community Services: Seniors, Substance Abuse Prevention, Recreation. The services provided by our town are in need of support. The senior center is underfunded in my opinion. We can do better to support the ones who paved the way for us. We have beautiful historical buildings and new schools that need to be maintained. We need to work on maintenance of the buildings we have without putting that burden on department budgets.
Fiscal responsibility- Many of you know one of the reasons I got so deeply involved four years ago was because of the trash contract. A few weeks ago at a Board of Selectmen meeting, there was another very heated discussion surrounding free cash and the trash fee. We need to focus on the big picture and determine our priorities. We have a Recreation department now that is barely getting by. I mention this because this position was funded through mitigation money. Mitigation money should not be used for operational expenditures, but rather issues and updates that may result from the projects that the funding source comes from. Free cash should be looked at as a savings account for the items that may come up in the budget that we just cannot afford, like capital investments, and the unexpected emergency. How can we support the departments without breaking the bank? We need to be creative in how we use any of the revenue sources available to the town but need to make financially sound decisions that can be supported for the long term.
I am as energized as I was 4 years ago, but maybe just a little more seasoned this time. I can motivate people to get involved and work towards common goals. My involvement with the STAC committee is proof that good things happen when collaboration exists. I am service minded and have been volunteering in town for many years. I like to listen first, ask questions, and then formulate an opinion. I believe you have to listen to others, especially our trained professionals, to have a good understanding of what it is you’re aiming for.
I hope as I make this commitment, I can count on all of you to get to the polls and vote. I ask that you talk to your neighbors and friends and ask them to support my efforts.
Remember we have lots of work to be done. I am looking forward to joining the other members of the board of selectman who are also committed to making positive change.
The vision is visible if we collaborate, discuss, and weigh out all options, and I believe “WE ARE BETTER TOGETHER”