Friday, May 9, 2003
Candidates for town office introduce themselves
Tom Raftery for Moderator
Tell us about yourself. Jan and I have lived in Carlisle since 1975. Our three daughters attended the Carlisle School and Concord-Carlisle High School before going on to college. I have drawn the cartoon Carlisle Capers since the inception of the Carlisle Gazette and continued after the merger of that paper into the Carlisle Mosquito. I am a Vietnam War veteran having served aboard the USS Truxtun, CLGN-35, and in 1989 I retired from the U.S. Naval Reserve with the rank of Captain. During my years in the Naval Reserve, I spent 14 years in Special Warfare and commanded two CB units (the "Seabees"). My Seabee units helped construct the Carlisle Castle. I am an attorney who concentrates in corporate reorganization, bankruptcy and insolvency matters. My practice is primarily in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
Your background and experience? I served 14 years as a member of the Planning Board and 3 years as a Selectman. I was involved in the creation of the Carlisle Land Trust and served as a trustee of both the Carlisle Land Trust and Carlisle Conservation Foundation for several years. I have been a member of the Long Term Capital Requirements Committee and a director of the Carlisle Performing Arts Foundation. At present, I am a director of the Carlisle Elderly Housing Association.
What changes would you make? With respect to better understanding of complex issues at Town Meeting, I am in favor of the present rule that provides an eight-minute limit for the initial presentation and four minutes for responses. I believe that this week's Town Meeting was well-managed as a result. On the other hand, I believe that presenters should plan and rehearse their presentations well in advance of Town Meeting with an eye toward focusing issues, keeping presentations simple and presenting legible slides. I also believe that it is time for the town to retire its overhead projector; few, if any, townspeople beyond the first few rows could read the slides. The LCD projectors used by other speakers were far more effective and legible.
Sarah Andreassen for Town Clerk
Tell us about yourself. I live at 85 Cross Street and I am a native of Carlisle. I have two grown children.
What are the biggest challenges? The biggest challenge to my job is keeping all facts and events recorded properly as required by Massachusetts State Law.
What changes are needed? The major change I foresee in this office is finding enough time and money (on a meager budget) to restore and maintain our written artifacts. Some of the records are handwritten and go back to 1754.
I hope to continue to run an open and efficient office, supplying information and documentation to the public as required by State Law. This includes a smooth flow of information about Town Meetings, elections, town committee meetings, dog licenses, births, deaths, marriage, business certificates, cemetery information, annual census, the Annual Street List ("Nosy Book"), voter registration, genealogy information requests from all four corners of the country, and other miscellaneous information, such as: where's the dump, why is my water turned off, what is the town going to do for my child this summer, as well as whose dog is in my yard? All information is cheerfully and time-consumingly given.
Douglas Stevenson for Selectman
Your background and experience? I am a Carlisle native, having lived the better part of the last 40 years in Carlisle. I bring to Board of Selectmen a perspective of someone who has grown up in town, worked in and for the town and is currently raising his children in town. Over the years I have participated in many volunteer and community-related activities including: the Old Home Day Committee, the Celebrations Committee, the Carlisle Fire Department, police and fire dispatcher, youth basketball coach, the Republican Town Committee and the Boy Scouts. I am currently serving on the Board of Selectmen and am seeking re-election for a third term.
I value the rural character of the town of Carlisle, its excellent school system and the many wonderful people I've met here over the years. We have a unique community that requires hard work to preserve and maintain and I am committed to helping shape the future. I consider myself to be fiscally conser-vative, but also fiscally practical. As a community, we must spend our limited tax dollars wisely, remembering well the old adage — you get what you pay for.
I hold a Bachelors Degree (majors: physics and political science) from Boston College. I am employed by Kistler and Knapp Builders, Inc. of Acton as an operations manager. My wife, Mary Beth, our three children and I reside on Cross Street.
What are the biggest challenges? The general challenge we will face in the coming year is the allocation of limited resources to the many valuable programs before the town. We must continue to work to maintain stability in the tax rate and keep Carlisle affordable for long-term residents, while, at the same time, maintain and build upon the many positive aspects of the town.
More specifically, we must face the challenge of: 1. siting cell tower(s) — it's inevitable, either we decide as a community or it will be decided for us; 2. dealing with 40B developments — once again, it's inevitable — the law is flawed, but we must work within its parameters to maintain our rural character; 3. continuing strong communication among the financial officers of the town; and 4. supporting our dedicated volunteers and employees.
Do you support the override for the high school? I am supporting the operational override for the regional high school with qualifications.
1. The Selectmen and Finance Committees of Concord and Carlisle worked very hard with the Regional High School Committee to establish a budget that both preserved the quality education at CCHS and was achievable from a budget perspective. I respect this partnership with Concord and believe, after last year's mismatch, we need to do all we can to coincide.
2. One of the primary reasons for the override is the reduction in state aid. The towns of Concord and Carlisle should do their part to make up some of the difference. If, however, state aid is restored or increased once the state budget is finalized, the Regional School Committee should return those funds to the communities, thereby allowing an "underride" vote to be taken before the tax rate is set.
3. Support of the override should not be construed as an endorsement of the CCHS teacher's contract. The Regional School Committee needs to be challenged to advocate for the taxpayers of Concord and Carlisle and to control the compensation line items of the CCHS budget.
Do you support funding footpaths? I am not supporting the debt exclusion override of $150,000 for footpaths. Although the footpaths are a nice idea and will be used by a number of avid walkers, I do not believe the benefits outweigh the costs. During a year when we have asked most departments to cut services, I do not believe it is prudent to embark on such an ambitious new program. We still do not have a handle on the total costs of the pathway plan, nor the true costs of maintenance and snow removal. I have supported the pathways committee in their endeavors to develop the "school loop," and believe that the completion of that portion of the plan only would be more fiscally palatable.
Tony Allison for Selectman
Tell us about yourself. I am running for the elected position as a member of the Carlisle Board of Selectmen. I've been a resident of Carlisle for 12 years. My wife and I have two children attending Carlisle Public School with the oldest planning to attend the Regional High School next year. I work as a consultant to the University Advancement Office of my alma mater, Brown University.
Your background and experience? My qualifications for the position of Selectman are derived from both a commitment to maintaining Carlisle's rural uniqueness and my five years of experience as a member of the Carlisle FinCom and FinTeam. This volunteer work has taught me that while Carlisle taxpayers will support anything they will not support everything. I've also learned during the last 12 years the town has consistently displayed strong financial and volunteer support for three core priorities:
1. Carlisle Public School and the Concord-Carlisle Regional High School;
2. Municipal services, especially police and fire;
3. The preservation of open spaces to maintain Carlisle's rural character.
What are the biggest challenges? The most significant challenges that will face Carlisle in the near future are financial. Several big ticket items, all necessary in one form or another, that the town will be considering over the next three years are the waste water treatment facility for the CPS, significant renovations and rebuilding at the CCHS, a facility expansion at Carlisle Public School, approximately $2,000,000 in capital improvements and constant pressure to grow the Town's operating budget by more that what is allowed under Prop 2 1/2. Developing a budget that supports these significant capital expenditures while maintaining a tax rate that the town will support is difficult but not impossible. Positive outcomes to complex problems can be achieved by the BOS actively soliciting and listening to opinions from all town residents and then crafting balanced solutions that reflect their input. While Carlisle is a wealthy town, not everyone in Carlisle is wealthy, especially anyone living on a fixed income or that has had a job affected by the current economic malaise. As a Selectman, I will work hard to understand everyone's perspective on the many issues facing the town and based on citizen input, try to develop a consensus for or against any particular issue.
Other pressures the town will face include affordable housing, the location of cell phone towers, maintaining the only on-call volunteer fire department inside of I-495, the continued growth of new extraneous fees, keeping roads in good shape in the face of declining state funding and possible commercial developments will all have to be dealt with by the town and its leadership in the not too distant future. The solution to these problems lies in understanding the collective will of all the citizens of Carlisle and I will make every effort to maintain active and open communication with our town residents, and work to encourage town residents to become more active and involved in our government.
Do you support the override for the high school? Do you support funding footpaths? If elected, I will use the understanding gained by working closely with all of the town's departments, committees and schools to support the core priorities while at the same time I will use my FinCom experience to advocate for the prudent and reasonable budgets that the town's taxpayers will support. This is why I support strongly the CCHS override budget but don't believe, other than a path from town center to Banta-Davis, that the timing is right to allocate money to the footpath project.
Francene Amari-Faulkner for Selectman
Tell us about yourself. I was born in Boston and grew up in Malden. I received a degree in Architecture from UC Berkeley in 1983 and returned to the Boston area in December of 1987. I have always had an interest in people and the environment and see them as mutually supporting. I feel a sense of responsibility to give back something and to try to improve the lives of others. We all have to take responsibility for our lives and the governing of our community.
What are the biggest challenges? One of the biggest challenges for our current government is to be able to think beyond the conventional box. Government on both a local and state level needs to be creative in generating revenue to maintain services without raising taxes. Good governance requires thoughtful, planned actions, with identified goals and citizen input. In doing this, we take care of ourselves and each other and create a future for the good of the whole community. I am determined to maintain the beauty that makes Carlisle the special place that it is.
Do you support the override for the high school? I support the override of $189,429 for the CCHS operating budget for FY04. Maintaining a first-rate school system not only benefits the individual but the entire town. It is essential to sustain this great resource in Carlisle. I support the idea of establishing the position of a town Finance Director to oversee town operating accounts and who could work together with Concord's Finance Director so that we are not faced with a mismatched budget crisis every year. I believe that there are many ways to approach our school budget that have yet to be explored.
Do you support funding footpaths? I support the debt exclusion of $150,000 for the construction of footpaths. The footpaths are a public safety issue. I witness people walking in the center first- hand and have seen too many close calls. Once in place, the footpaths will be enjoyed by many and will help build community.
I have mixed feelings about the expansion plans for the Carlisle Public School. We need more statistical evidence justifying the need for such extensive plans. The town might be better served with a multi-use facility. This issue ties in with what I call "thoughtful development." How we manage our development will trickle down into how we will need to manage our school expansion.
I think it is critically important to realize that these issues are about more than just the "bottom line." It is not about numbers, but balance. Balance in this case is not just about accounting books but about gaining perspective on a multitude of issues. Balance for Carlisle is the ability to consider all the things that make Carlisle the special place that it is — its natural beauty and conservation lands, its outstanding schools, its tremendous property values, its rich history, its love of its past, its community of young and old as well as its need to move into the future.
Bruce Hendrickson for Board of Assessors
Tell us about yourself. My wife, Stephanie, and I have lived in Carlisle since 1986. We have a son and daughter. Justin is a senior at CCHS and will attend Stanford in the fall. Katie is in fifth grade in the Carlisle Schools and looking forward to middle school.
I enjoy Carlisle for its small-town feel and open space. I garden, play basketball, and have been active in coaching youth soccer and basketball.
I am seeking office as an opportunity to contribute to Carlisle.
Your background and experience? I have worked for the MITRE Corporation since 1989 in a variety of technical and management positions. In these capacities I have participated in or led the technical planning and budgeting process for several large system acquisitions.
What changes are needed? I believe the process for assessing property value in Carlisle is fundamentally sound. However, rapidly changing real estate values (higher or lower) make the budget planning process difficult for the town and individual property owners. The Board of Assessors can play an important role in developing and communicating information that will help the town and individuals anticipate the impact of market effects on the tax base.
Michael Holland for Board of Health
Tell us about yourself. My wife, Tricia Smith, and I moved to Carlisle in 1993 and live on the corner of Indian Hill Road and Concord Street, where we raise dairy goats, bake sourdough breads and grow vegetables.
Your background and experience? As a graduate of Tufts University and a Registered Professional Civil Engineer. with over 30 years experience, who has been continually involved in the design of on-site sewage disposal systems, water supply systems and stormwater management systems, I am well versed in all matters pertaining to site-permitting in Massachusetts.
I am a Senior Vice President and Director at Symmes Maini & McKee Associates, an Architecture & Engineering firm in Cambridge of about 150 people, where I am responsible for our Civil Engineering, Landscape Architecture and Planning groups.
I was on the building committee for the Town Hall. I am the chair of the water quality committee, and a consultant to the school building committee for the Wastewater Treatment Facility design.
In the early 70s (1970 to 1976) I was the Board of Health consultant for the Town of Lincoln and from 1972 to 1976 was the board of health consultant to the Town of Carlisle.
What are the biggest challenges? What are the animal management issues? While the recent discussions regarding licensing requirements and regulations for livestock have received a lot of attention, I believe the town faces more serious issues regarding the water supply and sewage disposal issues that affordable housing developments might bring with their potential for increased development density.
I look forward to continuing to take part in town government.
Jack Bromley for Housing Authority
Tell us about yourself. I've been a resident of Carlisle for more than 25 years. My wife Christina and I live on Brook Street with our two children who attend eighth grade in the Carlisle Middle School. I graduated from Ithaca College in 1967 with a degree in Economics. After college, I worked for IBM Corporation in New York City in administrative and sales positions.
Your background and experience? For the past 21 years, l've been in the real estate industry, working eight years for a developer and 13 years with Coldwell Banker. My position as a local realtor gives me a different perspective on affordable housing.
The term "affordable housing" conjures up an inaccurate and unfortunate image. We can all see the image: boarded-up, graffiti-covered apartments in the South Bronx or Dorchester. Section 8 housing in Lynn, Lowell, Lawrence or New Bedford with the attendant crime and drug problems. This perception problem is further exacerbated by linking the terms, "affordable," "low income," and "Section 8" housing.
I ask you to substitute the term "working class" or "moderate income" housing for "affordable" housing to get a more accurate picture. After all, some of the homeowners we are talking about are policemen, firemen, teachers, nurses, municipal workers, children of Carlisle families, senior citizens, divorced parents of school-age children, even mid-level corporate employees.
Here are a few housing issues and solutions I support. These are my own, not necessarily those of the Carlisle Housing Authority:
· The Housing Authority must work closely with conservation groups in town. Conversely, conservation groups need to look at the Housing Authority as an ally, as a joint-venture partner for high-priority land acquisition targets, not as an adversary.
· We need to reorganize a non-profit affordable housing group to take the lead in development.
· We need to re-investigate town-owned parcels which could be used for affordable housing. Otherwise, land acquisition costs alone could run into the millions.
What affordable housing will the town support? I support the local initiative program under Chapter 40B wherein the Selectmen and developer work together to develop projects which serve the best interests of Carlisle, a friendly 40B. I don't support a gold rush, 4OB-developer mentality with total disregard for local zoning and control.
The National Association of Realtors and the Greater Boston Board of Realtors, of which I am a member, support development of affordable housing.
I favor home ownership over rental housing:
· Owning a home, increases personal wealth. Home equity comprises greater than 60% of the average homeowner's financial worth.
· Homeowners move less frequently than renters and tend to care for their property wtih higher standards.
· Homeownership provides a sense of control over one's life, improves self-esteem, raises personal satisfaction, adds value to all manner of families. It's the American dream.
· Homeownership generates economic growth. The homeowner purchases appliances, computers, TVs, furniture, rugs and lighting.
Affordable housing is an integral part in the health of the residential real estate market. We can't have a shortage of crisis proportions in one segment of our industry without negatively affecting the entire industry.
Developing affordable housing in Carlisle will protect the equity in your homes, not place them at risk.
Look at the price structure of any of the area's high-end towns, e.g., Lincoln, Weston, Lexington, and Concord. If anyone can show me a high-end town that has developed affordable housing where the housing values have decreased as a result, I'd be interested in the analysis. The fact is you can't. The 1980s real estate collapse came from the bottom, i.e., the entry-level buyer couldn't afford the entry-level house, which curtailed the entire move-up market. This could happen again.
Your support of working class housing initiatives will insure a healthy real estate market in Massachusetts.
Brooke Cragan for Library Trustee
Tell us about yourself. My husband Mark and I moved to Carlisle 15 years ago. We have four children: Wyatt, 19, Oliver, 13, Brooke and Alexander 10. All have attended the Carlisle Schools. Prior to my decision 10 years ago to stay home full-time with our children, I was in my 16th year of a career as an Account Executive in marketing and communications. I wrote marketing plans for all our clients as well as serviced their advertising, branding and marketing needs. Prior to that I was an English literature major at Wheaton College. I remained at Wheaton for five years working as an Assistant Director of Admissions.
Your background and experience? Since living in Carlisle, I have been an active member of the Carlisle School Association (CSA.) I served as the CSA Vice President overseeing the grants solicitation and review board. I have chaired the annual CSA book sale and most recently served as a member of both the nominating committee and
the acquisition committee for the very successful CSA/CEF auction. I was also fortunate to have served on the Carlisle School Council for three years which was very much an exercise in teamwork, long-range planning, and assessing the needs of the school.
In addition to my school activities, I am a member of the Concord-Carlisle Community Chest T3 initiative which solicits grants from the middle and high school teachers for special programs and events offered outside the schools' curriculum. This connection with teachers has only solidified my confidence in their commitment to our students' well-being.
My three-year experience as a Gleason Library Trustee has been a wonderful complement to my school activities. I feel the role of a Trustee is to serve as an ambassador for the library. I feel my tenure has been successful due in large part to the Trustees close working relationship with the dedicated staff, Director and Friends of the Library. It was my job as President of the Board to head up our recent search for a new Director. With the help of my fellow Trustees, I am happy to report that we shall be welcoming Gary Mason, a well-experienced Director from Woodstock, VT, on Monday, May 12.
What are the biggest challenges? I feel there are several challenges facing the Trustees today. One of our primary objectives is to build up the library's endowment. Now that we have moved successfully through a very rewarding building project and are enjoying our beautiful new space and landscape, we are faced with the next 'building' project — to build the endowment. Our second challenge is to maintain the current level of service and programming to our patrons in light of a very tight economy. It is our hope that in the not-too-distant future we will be able to allocate staff resources for a full-time children's librarian and to open our doors on Sunday afternoons. Our third challenge is to establish library policy for the Patriot Act, an issue with broad privacy implications.
What affordable changes would increase library use? I believe the library is currently doing an excellent job of maximizing its resources: its budget, its personnel and its new physical plant. It is always a challenge to stretch limited resources across an expanding set of needs. With a beautiful new facility now in place, we need to continue to look for opportunities to maximize its use through new programs. I see several affordable opportunities for the library to pursue. We will continue to implement the directive from our 2002-03 Long Range plan to increase our Public Awareness Campaign in the Mosquito via a weekly events and activities calendar. We also have an opportunity to apply for more State and Federal grants for programming and collection development. Finally, we can continue to tailor in house programs for specific constituencies such as information literacy workshops for seniors and students, to name a few.
Ted Read for Library Trustee
Tell us about yourself. My wife, Norma, and I are residents of Carlisle, living on Indian Hill. We have three grown-up children, all residing in other Massachusetts communities. Norma and I are both retired.
Your background and experience? I have a BA degree in Economics from Harvard University. Before retirement, I spent 40 years as a technical writer for a number of Massachusetts Hi-Tech industries. These included Avco, Wilmington; RCA, Burlington; Lincoln Lab; American Optical (Medical Instrumentation Division), Burlington; Megapulse, Bedford and Cryogenics, Mansfield. At CTI, I was Manager of Technical Publications for 13 years with a staff of up to eight employees.
Today I am blessed with very good health, am an avid tennis player and walk the neighborhood when weather permits. Other interests include classical music of all types, playing the piano, and photography. I have a fully equipped darkroom but alas, it has remained unused for two years, in deference to digital photography. My computer and color printer have replaced the darkroom, for now.
Currently I am in my third year as treasurer for the Carlisle Council on Aging. I believe that my 13 years as a technical publications manager at CTI have given me a background that is directly relevant to the duties of library trustee. This background included hiring employees, financial administration and determination of department policies. My current position as treasurer for the Carlisle COA further enhances my experience with financial matters, especially in these difficult times. As a COA board member I have gained a fuller appreciation of the needs and interests of our senior citizens. As this relates to the library, it means consideration of large print books and ease of handicap access. Privately, I feel strongly about the on-going importance of maintaining good public relations, especially with our senior population.
I am excited about the prospect of becoming involved in the expanding library arts programs. I would hope that my life-long interests in classical music and photography would position me to make significant contributions to these programs.
What are the biggest challenges? I believe the greatest challenge for library trustees during the next term in office will be financial administration. Like most other town functions the library will inevitably face rising operating costs, particularly with a rising town population. Confronting these rising costs is the understandable reluctance of Carlisle citizens to accept a higher tax rate (already stretched to the limit) plus the great uncertainty about the future level of state aid to the community. It will be a challenge to maintain the present very high level library services.
Another challenge that I perceive is the rapidly filling library space. The newly renovated library reopened less than three years ago but already the shelves look nearly full, to my eyes. The future challenge will be to maximize the utilization of available space to meet increasing demand.
What affordable changes would increase library use? Gleason Library is doing a superb job, in my opinion. Don't let anyone say otherwise. I don't want to change it. I only aspire to make it even better! My suggestions are affordable and I believe they would lead to increased use of the library.
1. Provide a prominently-displayed suggestion book on the entrance level floor.
2. Every month, have handouts available of newly-acquired library items.
3. As a writer by training, I would volunteer to write and present a series of articles to the Mosquito entitled "Know Your Library Better." No cost.
Daniel Holzman for Planning Board
Tell us about yourself. I was born in New York City in 1954, at a time when Carlisle was still a farming community. I grew up in Queens, and eventually attended high school at the Dalton School in Manhattan on a chess scholarship (at that time I could play pretty well, by now I have entirely lost those skills). Dalton was most famous as the scene of a perfume ad by Givenchy, featuring students hanging out at the front gate. Needless to say, I was not one of the students so favored.
Your background and experience? I went to college at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry at Syracuse, which likely holds the record for longest college name in the United States. Name aside, I majored in forestry engineering, a field so obscure that the name was subsequently changed to environmental engineering to reduce the obvious potential for confusion (what exactly does a forestry engineer do?). In order to rectify problems created by my degree, I eventually got a master's degree in civil engineering from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, a city so cold they had a song about it ("Out in Wisconsin, the weather isn't very nice. Out in Wisconsin, they got to fish right through the ice.")
I worked for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Bureau of Water Regulation and Zoning (likely holding the record for longest name of a bureau in Wisconsin) for five years, specializing in water regulation and zoning. Actually, I inspected lots of dams, earning the nickname "the dam engineer." That joke got old after five years, so I moved on to a private engineering company, Barrientos & Associates, where I worked from 1983 until 1987, when they asked me to open an office in Massachusetts. Of course, by then I had gotten married, and we had our first child in tow (brand spanking new at that time), and Jackie had just finished Vet school, so we decided to move. It seemed like the only way to escape the brutal Wisconsin winters!
I worked for Barrientos until 1997, working mostly on very large engineering projects like the Boston Harbor cleanup and the Big Dig. I suppose I could have worked on the Big Dig forever, except Barrientos decided to sell off the offices and retire, so I ended up managing an engineering office in Northboro, Mass., specializing in wireless infrastructure, otherwise known as cell towers. You have undoubtedly seen some of my projects along the highways, although once you have seen one cell tower, you might as well have seen them all.
Jackie and I moved to Carlisle in 1991, acquiring a house that had a broken septic system and a posse of various animals living in it. I understand that it was the victim of the worst recession the area had seen in many years, and had been vacant for several months before we moved in. This was undoubtedly the best move we have ever made, and we have been living there ever since.
What are the biggest challenges? I joined the Planning Board five years ago, and was planning to gracefully retire after five years, based on the belief that we had solved all the problems of the town. However, there appear to be a number of very significant projects either upon us, or just around the corner, including several 40B affordable housing projects, several wireless applications, footpaths, school expansion, and some potentially difficult subdivisions.
Tom Schultz for Planning Board
Your background and experience? I am in my fifth year living in Carlisle, on Carleton Road, with my wife. I am a corporate software architect with IBM where I'm involved in strategic vision and planning. I have an educational background in both biology and geology from the University of Rochester. I have not spent years on town planning boards, but I have been responsible for strategic planning in a corporate environment. I feel that this ability to articulate a vision, and develop a plan based upon that vision is the important quality for the future of the planning board. I believe that having an understanding of hydrogeology is also going to be a critical need with the issues surrounding topics such as high-density housing.
What are the biggest challenges? The balances between our respon-sibilities (legal and other) and the desire to keep the rural nature of the town. An example is the current cell tower dilemma. The next will be the arrival of condominiums.
How can we meet cell tower needs and concerns? We are often under the impression that the federal Telecommunications Act of 1996 requires that an application for a permit to build a cellular phone transmitter must be approved. What does the law really say — do we have rights?
Section 704(a)(7)(B)(i) of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 reads: "The regulation of the placement, construction, and modification of personal wireless service facilities by any State or local government or instrumentality thereof —(I) shall not unreasonably discriminate among providers of functionally equivalent services; and (II) shall not prohibit or have the effect of prohibiting the provision of personal wireless services."
Does this law give us any rights? Yes, if we plan. Our courts have ruled, "A local government may reject an application for construction of a wireless service facility in an under-served area without thereby prohibiting personal wireless services if the service gap can be closed by less intrusive means." [Sprint Spectrum, L.P. vs. Willoth et al., 176 F3d 630, 2nd Circuit May 24, 1999]
What we need is to plan and create regulations for a less intrusive approach to wireless that meets our legal responsibility but keeps the rural character of Carlisle. The law does not stop us from rejecting what we think is wrong for Carlisle, only that we must provide "right of way" as we see fit. There are alternatives that are much less
intrusive. Rather than us fretting over how many 90-120 ft. towers we need (and the new digital PCS has shorter range and needs even more towers), let us not assume towers, as we know them. We should adopt regulations for pole top boxes that provide service to a localized area without needless exposure in areas not needing the service. Think pole towers on top of buildings (school, library, town hall) and on utility poles.
Many people also believe that we need to saturate the town with coverage. Dead spots are okay — we need not saturate the town: "A local government may also reject an application that seeks permission to construct more towers than the minimum required to provide wireless telephone services in a given area. A denial of such a request is not a prohibition of personal wireless services as long as fewer towers would provide users in the given area with some ability to reach a cell site." [Sprint Spectrum, L.P. v.Willoth].
People also believe that we need to provide for any or all carriers. This too is wrong: "[Once an area is sufficiently serviced by a wireless service provider, the right to deny applications becomes broader: [Sprint Spectrum, L.P. v. Willoth, Id at 643].
Which would you rather look at? Several cell towers that will harm the aesthetics of the town and decrease property values, or a few pole top units? It is up to us to plan responsibly but keep Carlisle rural. This is the plan I would follow if elected to the Planning Board.
David Freedman for Planning Board
Tell us about yourself. Some five years ago I moved from midtown Manhattan to Carlisle with my wife and two children. Aside from volunteering as a little league baseball coach and for the past two years serving on the Youth Commission and writing forum articles for the Mosquito, the best sign of my long-term commitment to Carlisle is the family plot we've purchased in Green Cemetery. For the past seven months I've been serving on the Planning Board, completing an unfulfilled term.
I have a Masters degree in Communication Design. I am a self-employed graphic designer, working at home, in contact with clients over the Internet. This training and work experience have taught me the value of good planning and the difficulties involved in the planning process. In my former life in New York, I was head designer and project coordinator for an internationally renowned design firm and the president of my co-op board. These experiences honed my abilities to take in and respond to diverse opinions and formulate a consensus among groups with different agendas.
Your background and experience? My experience with the Carlisle Planning Board began as a petitioning citizen when I attended many meetings over several years and researched planning issues pertinent to the roads and other aspects of the completion of the Tall Pines development in which I live. Though I found the process somewhat frustrating, I also came to appreciate the difficulties the Planning Board faces when trying to balance the public good with private rights and interests. As a board member, I will do my best to remain aware of how the board appears from the other side of the table.
Since joining the board I have learned first hand the commitment of time and energy this board requires. There's a daunting amount of homework to prepare for the two regular meetings each month. To help fill my knowledge gap, I attended a seminar given last fall by the Citizen Planner Training Collaborative on developing successful community plans. Subsequently, I have been deeply involved, as a member of the Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee, in the Planning Board's ongoing efforts in the creation of a new plan for the town.
What are the biggest challenges? This will be among the biggest challenges facing the board over the next year, along with advising the Zoning Board of Appeals on 40B applications, working with the ZBA and the Selectmen to review and improve Carlisle's zoning bylaws, reviewing and updating some of our own rules and regulations to better empower the board to control development, and continuing the important work we have undertaken in the past half year with the help of outside consultants to bring to the town a solid basis of information on wireless coverage in Carlisle and possible locations for cell towers.
How can we meet cell tower needs and concerns? By taking a comprehensive approach to the cell phone issue, rather than dealing with individual applications on a case-by-case basis, the board hopes to create an atmosphere in town where everyone can respond cooperatively to the issues surrounding towers.
Richard Colman for Planning Board
Tell us about yourself. I am first, a husband to my lovely wife and father of two wonderful children in Carlisle. That means I spend most of my spare time (I never feel like I have any) schlepping, encouraging or coaching them and their friends in their various activities whether it is band, chorus, girls scouts, soccer, baseball or karate! I have owned property in Carlisle since 1988, lived in Carlisle since 1991 and have worked with almost everyone who has been involved with the schools, planning board or town government for many years. Except for two people, I have never found anyone from Carlisle I did not like. I run a financial planning business from my home with my wife as my partner for the past 15 years and when I am not away on speaking engagements, love both living and working in Carlisle!
Your background and experience? First, having been on the planning board for 5 years from 1991 till 1996 is probably my best qualification. I was chairman of the planning board for 3 years during that period because no one else would accept the position and each time I was asked to accept being chairman. I am now running again because I was asked to fill the position so that the board had as one of its members someone who remembered first hand what happened back in the early 1990s. I can help the board today because the board is coming across properties that the board dealt with years ago and I may remember why the board made certain decisions back then so the board will have a context from which to decide what to do today. I am an attorney but I think my best work was helping to bring George Mansfield on to work for the planning board. My greatest pleasure will be to work once again with Bob Koning and see Sarah Andreassen, two people I have the utmost respect for and consider two of our town treasures (we are fortunate to have many). I have also been past president of the Carlisle School Association. I served as chairman of the bylaw review committee for three years. I was hoping that 2003-4 would be another break year, but it won't.
What are the biggest challenges? My biggest challenge is to get back into the swing with working till midnight again in a volunteer position where half the people who come before you hate what you decide. John Lee once said. "Those of us who volunteer must be a bit crazy." My wife agrees with him especially for me agreeing to serve now! The reason I am running unopposed, I suspect, is that you have to be a bit crazy to serve in such a demanding position that is purely volunteer and no one at the moment is crazy enough to serve in my stead! In the past, it has been my sleep that has suffered. I hope the people who come before the board today remember that.
How can we meet cell tower needs and concerns? The cell phone issue has plagued our town from my last year as chairman of the planning board when Susan Yanofsky shouldered the burden of creating bylaws almost single handedly. There is not an easy solution to meet all the demands but we need a tower in town and if we cannot accept some compromise, it will be imposed upon us. I hope the competing forces are not so entrenched that I can assist in a compromise.
David Dockterman for School Committee
Tell us about yourself. I grew up in Rock Island, IL. I received a BA in History and my teaching certification from Yale. I taught high school history for several years before coming to Harvard to pursue my doctorate in education. Since 1982 I've worked with Tom Snyder Productions, where, as Editor-in-Chief, I've guided the creation of dozens of award-winning educational products and co-created Science Court/Squigglevision, a highly-acclaimed educational television series that ran for three seasons on ABC Saturday morning. In addition, I'm a Lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. My wife, son and I have lived in Carlisle for11 years.
Your background and experience? As you can see, I've spent my life in education, including working for the last six years as a member of the Carlisle School Committee. I've served as CSC chair twice, been part of Carlisle Schools' teacher contract negotiations three times, helped organize the Education Forums, chaired the Carlisle Technology Advisory Group, and been an active member of the community. After all that, why would I seek a third term?
What are the biggest challenges? What school expansion plan do you favor?
First, our superintendent, along with a number of wonderful, veteran teachers, will be retiring soon. We will need to transition to new leadership within the administration and faculty.
Second, our budgetary woes look likely to continue. We have added fees and used outside funding to sustain crucial parts of our overall educational program. Some important components, such as curriculum leaders, have been temporarily eliminated. The School Committee, Finance Committee, Board of Selectmen, and other town groups will need to work together to find creative ways to meet the community's commitment to quality education. We had a very successful collaboration this year. I look forward to maintaining that collaborative effort in the coming years.
Third, once we get our wastewater treatment plant settled, we need to move forward on school expansion. Although the growth of the student population slowed this year, Carlisle remains an attractive place to raise children. We are at the edge of our capacity, and parts of the facility are aging. We can't keep using a band-aid approach to solve these issues. The school building committee has considered several options, and their current proposal creatively maintains a single campus, which I like very much. While some parts of the expansion can be done over time, the plan does require some costly first steps that are likely unavoidable, but necessary. We've already expanded play space into the bus drop-off area, done what we can to speed long lunch lines, and pushed some class sizes beyond our targets. We need more space.
Maintaining a successful educational program is a community effort. Fortunately, Carlisle residents, both those with children and those without, have consistently shown a commitment to quality schools. We will need to continue to work together to maintain that quality as we confront the challenges of the coming years. I thank you for your support.
© 2003 The Carlisle Mosquito