This morning, I delivered my nomination papers for Selectman in West Brookfield, Massachusetts to the Town Clerk's office.
I expect no problems gaining a place on the May 6 ballot. However, I also expect now that there will be a contest for the seat. A former member of the Quaboag Regional District School Committee has taken out papers - and I fully expect this person to be a candidate.
I plan to run a positive campaign that emphasizes my strong combination of experience, knowledge, and commitment to public service. This race should not be about individual political agendas - it should be about who can best work with Selectman Barry Nadon, Jr. and Selectman Tom Long to do the best possible job for the people of West Brookfield.
Even with its strong financial reserves, West Brookfield is facing tough budgetary pressures this year. With my background in municipal finance, I have ideas and solutions to protect the Town's financial position while maintaining Town - and School District - operations. One such idea is the adoption of a reserve policy - setting targets for upper and lower limits for free cash and the stabilization fund. Such a policy could be critical to maintaining the financial health of West Brookfield.
West Brookfield has recently had issues in a number of town departments, including the police department, that have shaken the confidence that townspeople have in their town services. With my background in local government, I have ideas and solutions to help restore confidence in town services. One such idea is that department heads be held accountable for the operations of their departments through goal setting and performance evaluations. As I envision it, this process would not be punitive - rather, it would be constructive in helping the department heads - and their departments - perform better for the people of West Brookfield.
With my professional and volunteer experience in local government - going back 24 years - I know what it takes to combine fresh ideas, strength of principle, and good working relationships in a way to be an effective Selectman.
As a Selectman, I will always seek to be approachable and available - I will always return a resident's phone call. I will never forget that the Selectmen are elected by the people to do the people's business. I will not always agree with everyone on every issue, but I will always seek to be responsive and respectful.
Winning this election will only happen if many hands participate. I appreciate the friendship and support already shown me - from within and beyond West Brookfield. We will need money and volunteer support - from within and beyond West Brookfield - in order for this campaign to be successful. Please contact me at the e-mail address in the upper left corner if you are able to help.