As your Selectman, I would prefer debt exclusions to overrides for all four capital projects – High School, DPW, library and police station. Yes, each of these projects, in addition to the community path, skating rink and a remediated incinerator site, requires experienced attention. However, we must have a plan which prioritizes and balances the town-wide need with the ability to pay and public safety. I strongly believe that a high school feasibility study should include a comprehensive campus that includes athletic facilities and parking. The soon-to-be proposed community path must not be forgotten.
The cost for any of the considered options for a high school and the other listed capital projects will be great even if it becomes necessary to phase construction. Nevertheless, I am committed to these projects in thoughtful ways that balance the needs for facilities that reflect best construction practices (LEED) while not further burdening our taxpayers. My experience in engineering and building construction will complement the available expertise for these efforts. I will also propose Public Private Partnerships using non-profit entities as the fiscal mechanism as currently used to finance and protect state projects. Additionally, I will foster wise commercial development that does not damage, conflict or interfere with our neighborhoods in order to broaden our tax base.
Ultimately, I strongly support public education and believe in building a state-of-the-art facility that will last into the next century. Given Belmont’s competing needs, I will ensure that together we make balanced decisions that will not unnecessarily burden you.