Friday, April 11, 2003
Allison to run for selectman
To the Editor:
I would like to thank Doug Stevenson, Chairman of the Carlisle Board of Selectmen, for nominating me as a candidate for the Board of Selectmen.
As a brief personal background you should know I live on School Street and I've been a resident of Carlisle for 12 years. I have two children attending the Carlisle Public School and the older of the two is on his way to the Concord-Carlisle Regional High School next year. My wife Nicole serves on both the Carlisle School Committee and the Regional High School Committee. I work as a consultant to the University Advancement Office of my alma mater, Brown University.
I believe my qualifications for a Selectman position are straightforward. For 5 years I have been a member of the Carlisle Finance Committee, serving as chair twice and I have been a member of the Carlisle FinTeam for the last three years. During this time, I have had the privilege of working closely with the Town's professional and volunteer leadership and believe I've developed an understanding of the priorities articulated by our schools, departments and committees and have learned how these organizations interact and operate in our Town on a day to day basis. The Finance Committee has also been a great forum for listening to what the citizens of Carlisle consider important, and admittedly, while these citizens opinions varied on funding levels, all voiced strong support for three priorities: continuing the excellence of CPS and the CCRHS, protection of persons and property and a commitment to preserve open spaces as integral to keeping Carlisle the special Town that we all appreciate.
I am asking for your vote to elect me to the Board of Selectmen. I will support the above priorities, use my FinCom experience to continue to advocate prudent and reasonable budgets and work to encourage town residents to become more active and involved in town government.
Thank you for your consideration of my candidacy for the Board of Selectmen.
Schultz to run for planning board
To the Editor:
I would like to introduce myself and explain why I am a candidate for the Carlisle Planning Board.
I am entering my fifth year in Carlisle, living in a 25-year old Deck House with my wife Shelley Reeves, and working as a product line architect for Rational Software, IBM Software Group.
When I was moved to the Boston area, I had the choice of living anywhere. I was looking for a special place, and found it in Carlisle. I fell in love with this town, its open space and its small-town feel. I'm running for the planning board because I'm concerned with how to retain Carlisle's unique character while living in the 21st century.
I also feel we need to have discussion and debate about the issues we confront, and we should have the right to select who becomes our voice in this democracy. Unopposed candidates for office are the best way for us to lose our voice, hence my decision.
So why vote for me? I have not spent years on the town Planning Board but I am responsible for strategic planning in a corporate environment. I feel I have the ability to articulate a vision, prioritize, and develop a plan in a spirit of compromise as the essential qualities for this position. I also have a science background in biology and geology from the University of Rochester.
I believe Carlisle needs to remain a place for farms and animals, that its two-acre lots and open space are important for our quality of life. I want to keep Carlisle as one of the "Healthiest Towns" to live in (ranked by Boston Magazine) and to have Carlisle be master of its own development.
I know that it is hard to reach everyone, so if you have a comment or question on my positions, please send them to me via e-mail with the subject of "Planning Board" to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for this opportunity. I hope you get involved in what is happening to your town by voting in the next election, and that I will be your selection.
REC wants input
To the Editor:
The Revenue Enhancement Committe (REC) was formed recently by the Board of Selectmen, upon the recommendation of the Finance Committee. The REC's remit is to examine existing and new potential sources of revenue for Carlisle. Specifically, we are looking for funds to be raised outside the property tax base. Such revenues could provide relief from tax increases and potentially enhance services provided by the town.
The REC invites you to share your thoughts and ideas on how this might be done. Please come to one of our meetings. We will meet every Tuesday night at 7:30 until Town Meeting. Or write to us at Town Hall. Or send e-mail to email@example.com.
Thank you. I am, sincerely yours,
Lisa Jensen-Fellows, Co-Chair
Revenue Enhancement Committee
40B projects present health threat to neighbors
To the Editor:
I don't know how many homeowners in Carlisle are aware of the condominium development project "Laurel Hollow" that's proposed on four acres at 302 Lowell Street, but I think it's time to bring it more fully to the town's attention.
Not only does the proposed project violate long-established Carlisle community standards and local zoning regulations, it also violates common sense regarding what is reasonable and appropriate to build on that parcel. This 8-unit condo complex is equivalent to building four 4-bedroom homes on four acres. It squeezes two shared wells and two shared septic systems in between three existing homes at lower elevations, with at least two existing wells just a couple of hundred feet away from the leaching fields.
This project could only be allowed under the degraded standards of Chapter 40B comprehensive permitting, put in place by the state to encourage development of affordable housing.
Of course, one of the reasons Carlisle has two-acre local zoning is to protect the one and only water source each of our homes depends on. My own well is within 200 feet of one of the proposed condo-sized septic systems. That's too close. And what happens if we find out during drought times there isn't enough water for us and the condo next door?
The question for us all is: should a developer be allowed to use Chapter 40B as an excuse to build too much condo on too little land, threatening the wells and well-being of immediately adjacent neighbors?
There's a second 40B project "Carlisle Woods" proposed for 4.37 acres elsewhere in town with even larger septic and water systems. These projects definitely open the door for hurtful development in Carlisle's future. At the state level there is a passionate debate going on right now over the harm these projects may be doing to towns like Carlisle. For our part locally, we need to make absolutely sure that we don't let any project proceed that would present a health threat to its neighbors. There is enough controversy about this to justify local pushback. Let's not try to do a good thing in a bad way.
There is a meeting of the Planning Board on April 14 and a meeting of the Appeals Board on April 17 regarding this project. See you there?
John and Jane Brewer
High school teacher salaries defended
To the Editor:
CCHS teacher compensation structure is under criticism for its seeming extravagance. In a recent letter, I presented factual information concerning the salary schedule and its implementation. This time, I am presenting my own salary history which spans a 28-year career at CCHS. Because my final compensation placed me near the top of the 2001-02 CCHS payroll, it reflects the category of greatest concern to taxpayers.
I commenced my CCHS career in 1974 with an M. S. (Biochemistry), 106 additional graduate credits (Molecular Biology) at Dartmouth Medical School, and 10 years' teaching experience. I was hired on M+30, Step 10, at a salary of approximately $16,000. In last year's dollars (CPI-U Boston), this would be $59,868 although the same step was funded at only $56,445 by the 2001-02 contract.
When I retired in 2001-02, my CCHS salary was $87,713 [$77,901(M+60, Step 17 salary) + $6,643 (dept. chair stipend) + $3,019 (exp. stipend) + $150 (retained merit)]. This represented a 46.5% increase in buying power over my 1974 compensation (+1.7%/yr). Without the stipends, my buying power would have increased 30.1% (+1.1%/yr).
Without the evolution of the salary schedule's ladder structure through numerous negotiations, combined with the stipends listed, I would have experienced a 6.1% reduction in buying power during my 28 year career at CCHS. Meanwhile, during only 20 of those years, Carlisle's inflation-adjusted per capita buying power increased 97.7% or 5%/yr (1979-1999 U. S. Census data).
The data presented by the Carlisle Committee for Tax Fairness (CCTF) is alarming because it focuses upon isolated spikes in the compensation of individuals. For example, my salary jumped 16.1% when I assumed the science department chairmanship in 1996. However, proper interpretation of this information requires a careful review of real-life, long-term scenarios such as the one provided here.
When appropriately evaluated, it's clear that the many years of negotiations between the Concord Carlisle Teachers Association and the Concord Carlisle Regional School Committee have carefully protected taxpayers' interests while generating compensation that is only mildly rewarding to teachers.
© 2003 The