[Ed note: My Southborough accepts signed letters to the editor submitted by Southborough residents. Letters may be emailed to email@example.com.]
To the Editor:
I am honored to have served Southborough as a Selectman for the past nine years. I have not lost my desire to work hard for the Town. I believe my knowledge and work ethic will allow me to be a key contributor to the Board over the next three years and I ask for you support on Monday May 11th to re-elect me for a fourth term. I’m a fourth generation resident. My wife Caitlin and I have three children who are attending or are graduated from Algonquin Regional High School.
In my nine years, I believe I have a strong record of voting on issues that were in the best interest of the Town. We hired a new Town Administrator, Mark Purple, who is doing an excellent job and worked toward giving him more authority. The way we currently operate is far more efficient than it was three years ago. The Selectmen and the administration have worked hard to continue to provide the excellent services that our residents expect while keeping our tax increases to a minimum. We started a new streamlined budget process with a goal of providing more information to the residents in advance of Town Meeting. We have realized substantial cost savings by working with our employees to reduce insurance and benefit costs which have significantly lowered our OPEB, or post employee benefit costs. We also established and have contributed to a Trust Fund to set aside funds which can only be used to pay costs associated with these benefits.
We have established sound fiscal policies and procedures and have provided our Finance Team and Department Heads with clear expectations for budgets that keep tax increases low. While some towns are facing overrides,our budget is over $2 Million below our levy capacity.
I am very proud to say that the hard work of our Finance Team, lead by Mr. Purple under the direction of the BOS and support of the Advisory Committee and Town Meeting has been rewarded by just being advised by Standard & Poor’s that they have upgraded our Municipal Bond Rating to AAA. This is the highest available rating and only about 10% of municipalities in Massachusetts have received this rating.
We also have hired a new Police Chief, Building Commissioner and Facilities Manager who are all doing a great job making improvements in their departments.
We are actively working on attracting new business to Town as well as retaining those current businesses to increase our commercial tax base and keep our residential tax rate stable. We are implementing a new Town website that will be more user friendly and provide better communication and easier access to information for our residents.
In the coming years, we will need to maintain our focus on the budget in order to preserve our top bond rating. We will need to prioritize attention to the Town’s Capital Plan, especially facilities for Public Safety, our Seniors, Transfer/Recycling Center and final design for our Main Street.
As a Selectman, listening to the opinions of our residents is most important. It is discouraging to see how few people attend public meetings, however, I’m encouraged when so many people tell me they watch our meetings on television. I always try to make time to speak with our residents as many would rather share their opinions privately in person and not via letters and email. Unfortunately, the hardest part in listening is occasionally telling someone that, although you appreciate their view, you believe there is another option that better serves the needs of the Town.
Thank you for your support over the last nine years. I ask for your continued support to re-elect me on Monday May 11. For more information see facebook.com/billboland2012 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Southborough Selectman candidate for re-election.