Election Day is next Tuesday and there has been a lot of discussion this year about our town being at a crossroads. I wanted to use my space here not only to introduce myself, but also to speak a bit on the status of our town.
There seem to be an inordinate number of shocking events happening recently. These events are shameful and unacceptable. I was not raised to hate and I don’t want to believe that the children who engaged in these distasteful behaviors were raised to hate. Instead, I hope, for all our sake, that they are not fully aware of the harm that their actions can cause. This is not to excuse the behavior, but to hope that there is time for these children to understand that words can hurt, symbols have meaning, and being part of a community means working to understand and accept your neighbors for who they are—maybe even learn from them.
In our home, my wife and I teach our two young daughters that the world would be boring if we were all the same. I see my oldest daughter in kindergarten and my younger daughter in preschool, making friends with children of all different backgrounds, and I am proud. It’s unfortunate that the children engaging in these actions are missing the benefits of different experiences their friends and neighbors can share.
It’s not just these unfortunate incidents that make this a time of challenges in town. We have pressures from the state related to the Governor’s financial mismanagement of the teacher pension system and other budget issues. In our town, we have the addition of major planning and zoning and budget issues.
Many people are just plain fed up with politicians and have a view that everyone is the same. They look at the platforms of the candidates and they see buzzwords: Fiscally Responsible, Transparency, Hard-Working, Experienced, Bipartisan.
I am not the same.
Yes, I pledge to be cautious with our town’s financial arrangements.
Sure, I believe in transparency, who doesn’t? But, I believe it’s nothing without accountability. That’s why I’ve already stated that we should look into making some of our other town boards elected positions rather than appointed. Let the citizens choose who decides on wetlands applications and sewer extensions; these boards make major decisions that help shape our town.
I am hardworking and have experience in town and business. We’ve lived here for 10 years, I’m currently chair of the Zoning Board of Appeals, and worked with the Board of Selectmen in choosing our new town counsel. I’m a practicing commercial real estate and finance attorney handling transactions for major corporations and international banking institutions. Previously, I was a partner in a law firm, so I know the pressures of having to bring in business and keep costs down.
I will represent all residents, no matter party affiliation. When people vote strictly by party affiliation, it is generally as shorthand for shared beliefs. It may work on national issues, but, locally, it doesn’t always translate. The focus of local parties isn’t the same as the national parties. And, local candidates aren’t the same either.
In local elections, you’re looking to your neighbors to volunteer. Whatever actions I take on the Board directly impact my family, as well as yours. The letter next to my name is less important than my understanding that we are all in this together. Vote for me because I can, and will, listen and respond to your concerns, bring fresh ideas and a new viewpoint to the Board, and do a good job for our town.
Along with the proposed review of appointed positions, I’ve also suggested a paid Economic Development, Tourism, and Film role that could be a combined services position with neighboring towns. We could prepare packages for businesses and compile a listing of our historic and beautiful properties, and private homes that want to be included. We could use these to seek out opportunities for businesses looking to relocate, or hold meetings or events, and for location scouts for film, tv, and commercials. These activities could be subject to permit, would drive use of local businesses, and give the town some public exposure, all ultimately leading to increased revenues.
When asked to run, I accepted in an effort to help our town face its challenges. I hope that I can count on your vote, as a vote for someone who will dedicate my skills, time, and effort for my family and yours.
You can visit my website for more or contact me via email.