Friday, May 5, 2006
Write-in candidate for Selectman Don Rober introduces himself
The Mosquito asked candidates to share their views on major issues they would deal with as town officials, and many candidates' statements were printed last week. The following questions were posed to those running for the Board of Selectmen:
1. Tell us about yourself including what educational background, experience, or special interests you have that are relevant to the position you are seeking.
2. What are the three biggest challenges the Selectmen will face during the next three years?
3. What town services do you consider most important to reduce, preserve or expand, given the competing needs for limited tax dollars?
Fourteen years ago, my wife and I moved to Carlisle to start a family. We came for the same reasons as most people: good schools, a rural atmosphere and proximity to the services of a large city. I have quietly supported the town by volunteering on various committees over the years. I did not enter the race for Selectman during the town caucuses since there were several people whom I highly regard who I thought were going to run. When they didn't, I felt it was important for me to run so the people of Carlisle would have a choice.
I have spent the last two years on the Long-Term Capital Requirements Committee allocating precious resources and have spent many hours attending the School Building Committee meetings. Before Long-Term Caps, I was on the Household Waste Committee for four years. I have also done the requisite volunteering in the classroom, and I am a Little League coach this year.
Many people in town do not have the desire or time to invest in town government; they assume that the people on the boards will do a good job for them. I have spent the last 14 years in business, developing and encouraging people to both work as team members and perform to their best ability. As Selectman, I want to work together as part of a team dedicated to preserving and enhancing the best of Carlisle.
I grew up in Belmont, earned a bachelor's degree from Rice University in Houston, Texas, and spent the next 13 years in California at various computer and electronics firms. I returned to New England to run the family business. Until I sold it in March, I owned a family business in Billerica supplying tile to contractors and dealers. I live on Rutland Street and my two sons, Michael and Vanthy, go to the Carlisle Public School.
Carlisle is not a museum. It is a living, breathing community and change will happen. Our task is to manage change wisely to maintain our core values: a shared community, broad-based support for town activities and a strong commitment to education.
The most pressing issue is the impact of Chapter 40B developments. We must continue to work to develop a wide range of affordable housing solutions that fit into the fabric of the town. Affordable accessory apartments, a scattering of 40B developments, town-supported affordable housing and others are all necessary. We developed a road map and we must keep it moving forward.
Our second challenge is taxes. They cannot keep rising faster than people's ability to pay. I believe you develop a budget within the guidelines, and any new initiative is given to the voters to decide.
Our responsibility is to provide a wide range of services so that everyone in town is supported. We need to implement proper infrastructure and planning tools so that we can use our tax dollars as efficiently as possible.
© 2006 The