Dear Fellow Upton Residents,
As Monday May 2nd quickly approaches, each of you has an important opportunity to facilitate positive change both within our town government and, in so doing, in the fundamental way that town government serves you…its residents. And it’s my strong hope that as many of you as possible embrace this opportunity, because as we near this year’s election, it is, without question, time for a change at Town Hall.
The current members of our Board of Selectmen have been in power for, on average, 9 years. And while I cannot and will not make any attack against the character of any of the gentlemen on the current Board, it is my strong contention that the length amount of time they have served together has resulted in an increasing level of complacency as well as a disturbing disconnect from the very reasons each of them first ran for the offices they hold today.
In the last five years, we’ve born witness to the Board of Selectmen taking a backseat with regard to how this town is run, opting instead to relinquish a bulk of their powers to a single individual, that person being the Town Manager. Issues come up and situations arise, but our elected officials no longer step forward to on behalf of the citizens of Upton. In fact, many residents I’ve had the pleasure of speaking to as I’ve walked from neighborhood to neighborhood during this campaign have spoken specifically to their belief that their opinions and viewpoints are no longer solicited or heeded by our current administration. And that’s troubling to say the least.
We hear about opportunities for input into various issues. But when Upton residents attend public meetings to express a view that may run counter to the wishes of the Town Manager and the BOS, they often leave that meeting feeling ignored at best, and scorned at worst. And not only isn’t that right, it also runs counter to the way a town like Upton needs to run.
We’ve heard talk of transparency. Yet it appears many votes are decided in advance of input. And when things don’t go as planned, no one seems to be held accountable. For instance, did you know:
- Our new $3.6-million water well had to be shut down last summer because it ran dry?
- That the Clear-Gov program that was rolled out quickly as a campaign tool to brag about transparency, because it was not thoroughly vetted, contains a multitude of inaccurate information?
- Or that the Upton Strategic Leadership Plan report cards were never completed for either 2014 or 2015?
And let’s look at our skyrocketing taxes. A recent report listed Upton as a town with one of the fastest growing tax rates in the entire state!
If all of the above makes you frustrated, you are not alone. I’m frustrated to. In fact, it’s the reason why I’m willing to raise my hand and say, “I would like to be an agent of change on our Board of Selectmen.” Because it is time for a change!
If elected, I will bring authority back to the Board.
If elected, I will enact and enable a policy for 360-degree reviews of ALL department heads, including the Town Manager.
And if elected, I will work WITH department heads, our FinCom, and YOU the taxpayers of this town, to find new and creative ways to curb tax growth.
Because, if elected, I will know that a majority of you agree with one simple premise…it is time for a change.
Thank you for your time. And please make the time to have your voice heard on May 2.