Why I’m Running for Selectman By Shawn Craig


Shawn Craig - Head Shot Picture.jpg

Submitted by Shawn Craig

Our community has experienced robust market growth in recent years but still faces a challenging financial future driven by increasing costs and demand for services.  We need to grow responsibly and maintain affordability for residents while continuing to provide adequate programs and services, being ever mindful of the impact on our environmental resources.

 My name is Shawn Craig and I am running for the Board of Selectmen in Upton, MA.  My wife, Debra, and I live on Thayer Street with our newborn daughter, Sarah.  A selectman should represent all voices within the town, not just those of a select group with a single agenda.  Moreover, they should have the integrity and courage to provide opinions in the best interest of our community, even when actions may be to their own personal disadvantage.  I firmly believe that the current makeup of the board would benefit from greater diversity in having a member with a financial background.

Over the last 20 years I’ve served as a U.S. Marine, ran a fee based financial planning practice, been a regulatory examiner in the U.S. securities markets, and worked in the compliance department of a large brokerage firm.  I have extensive experience in researching rules, regulations, and industry best practices; developing policies and procedures; testing controls; providing guidance; delivering training; and actively listening to people to help find solutions.  Given the foregoing, you can expect that as your Selectman I will take the deep dive on researching issues and asking relevant questions before making decisions.

 I believe in a life of service.  In addition to a professional career that has attempted to help and protect people, I have given much of my time to volunteer opportunities.  I have served on the Upton Finance Committee since 2013 and been its liaison to the regional school system.  I have served on the Mendon-Upton Multi-Board to further lines of communication between town departments and the school, explore opportunities for shared services, and identify cost efficiencies.  Other activities have included teaching four years of CCD (religious education) at my last parish, and working to improve programs offered by our local post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars to benefit and recognize our students and public servants.

Each year it seems the Finance Committee begins its work with a budget shortfall.  We need to stop thinking from a position of short-term deficit reduction and think about long-term financial planning.  If elected, I will help drive an initiative to develop five-year projected financials to aid in operational and capital expense planning to help smooth the budget.  The objectives should be developed through the input of both citizens as well as decision makers.  By projecting revenues and expenditures, we will be able to model the impact of various policy changes, i.e., “what-if” scenarios; and better understand trade-offs necessary to achieve financial balance and assist in making sustainable financial decisions in line with community expectations.

In conjunction with this plan, I intend to re-establish and enforce a ceiling for the annual principal and interest expended on debt financing.  As debts are paid off, we need to carefully consider how much of that debt we are willing to replace according to need and priority, and how much we can return to the taxpayers.

 By undertaking this multi-year effort, I am committed to ensuring fiscal strength and accountability while delivering results that the community values. I ask for your vote on Monday, May 1st.

For additional information, please visit www.facebook.com/RShawnCraig

About Jennifer Doyle

Trackbacks

  1. […] Shawn Craig, Stephen Matellian, and Brett Simas are hoping to capture your vote for the three year selectman seat. Jim Brochu, who held the seat since 2011, is not seeking re election. […]

Comments are encouraged! If this is your first time commenting (welcome!). Your email is required but not displayed. I ask town officials to use their real names.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: