Wrentham is facing what very accurately could be described as a perfect storm of crises. State aid is being cut. Real Estate values have plummeted. Revenue from taxes is dropping. Our economy is in recession. We have an affordable housing problem that will not be solved by lawsuits or assisted living facilities, or delay tactics. We have signed Union contracts we cannot afford to pay.
The Town Administrator estimates we will be some $1.6 million dollars in the red in the next fiscal year, 2010. Hard choices are ahead.
Unless we revisit leadership and discover creative ways to fund our services, we face a combination of service cuts, staff layoffs (including Teachers, Police, and Fire) and the possibility of digging into our pockets for a tax override.
Where many see insurmountable obstacles, I see challenges and opportunities for meaningful change. This is an opportunity for the people in Wrentham who possess individual courage, conviction and a sense of balanced perspectives to step in and lead the town.
Petty disputes, personality driven politics and the “not-in-my-backyard” attitude that has been the modus operandi of past leadership has no place in today’s situation.
Our leaders and local political commentators have to stop looking for the dark cloud for every silver lining and start using their energy to overcome our challenges and make Wrentham a better place to live.
There are two seats on the board of selectmen up for grabs. This is an opportunity to build on last year’s campaign of change. We have new problems. We need new answers. We need new community leaders to step up and bring fresh perspective and new energy to governing the town.
Planning Board Race
The Planning Board’s job is to balance the needs and wants of the community as a whole, abutters, and property owners. The process is almost completely governed by state, federal, and local laws. Contrary to what you might think or may have been told, there is very little room for subjective decision making in the permitting process.
There are four seats available in 2009. Three are three year terms. The fourth is for one. Incumbent Everett “Billy” Skinner is running and he has my wholehearted support.
For the remaining three seats, we need folks who, like the current Planning Board, respect the integrity of the process, who can scrupulously follow the rules while simultaneously balancing the interests of property owners and the community.
How to Run for Office
If you are interested in running, stop by Town Hall and speak with someone from the Town Clerk’s office. They can advise you about the process. Call me if you have any questions or want some help.