Friday, April 20, 2007
Three people have stepped forward to run for positions in Carlisle's local elections since the Town Caucus on March 12. Carol Nathan and Marc Lamere have joined Kenneth Hoffman to fill the three vacancies on the Planning Board. Kevin T. Smith has entered the contested race for two openings on the Carlisle School Committee. Another contested race is for the Board of Health, which has three competing for two spots. Candidates were given the opportunity to submit statements, which begin below.
Board of Selectmen
I have a BS from MIT and an MBA from Harvard. I was formerly involved with general management (CEO, COO) of emerging technology companies in their founding and development. I retired from operating responsibilities in 2000. We currently have re-oriented our lives to service activities. I have served in a variety of positions in Carlisle, including two terms as a member of the School Committee and two terms as a Selectman.
I believe that Carlisle will face two great challenges during the next few years. First we must grapple with maintaining the level of town services that we enjoy while undertaking some significant capital expenditures for both schools. This will not be easy because our taxes are already high and our population is aging. To accomplish this we will need to moderate operating expense increases, prioritize projects carefully, make sure the projects are sized and timed well and, ultimately, probably pay a bit more in taxes. This will not be easy and will require cooperation from all.
Secondly we will continue to struggle with the issues of affordable housing and the 40B legislation. In this area I believe we need to carefully but deliberately move forward with town-generated smaller projects distributed throughout the town that reflect the character of our community while providing needed moderate income housing. I believe the Housing Trust can play an important strategic role in guiding and facilitating this process. In addition the town must strongly protect the health and safety of our citizens in the event that large projects present threats. This is another area that requires us all to work together.
I believe the Selectmen should determine reasonable guidelines for ongoing increases in the major components of the budget (Town budgets, CPS and CCHS) . The Finance Committee along with the appropriate departments should review budgets annually in light of these guidelines.
I believe that we need to take a hard look at what services are necessary for the most rapidly expanding segment of the population, our seniors. This is an area where we need to expand our services. I believe it extremely important to preserve the excellent quality of our school systems, but we must find a way to control the unsustainable recent increases in school costs. It is also inevitable that we will be spending money on affordable housing. <Top>
I am running for School Committee because I believe wholeheartedly in the importance of providing excellence in education for our children. As in all things, balance is necesssary and as a member of the School Committee, I would try at all times to make decisions that were in the best interests of our children while maintaining fiscal responsibility.
My husband and I have two children at the Carlisle Public School. I have been an active volunteer at the school for the past eight years serving as CSA President, Room Parent, in leadership positions for the Spaghetti Supper, the seventh-grade play, assisting in the classrooms and serving on ad hoc hiring committees. I am deeply vested in the school because I believe that it is an outstanding institution with enormously talented faculty and staff. As a member of the School Committee, I would work to ensure that our children's education is at all times a priority and that the communication between the School Committee and the faculty and parent community is open, respectful and collaborative.
I believe that the biggest challenge facing the School Committee is finding ways to continue to improve the quality of education we provide our children in an increasingly difficult budget environment. This challenge can be met, I believe, if the members of the committee work in partnership with staff, faculty and parents to arrive at creative solutions. In these difficult fiscal times, I would be most concerned about keeping class size small, retaining our talented faculty members and focusing on excellence in the core curriculum.
Having lived in Carlisle since 1992, I have a deep appreciation for the school and its very special place in our community. I believe that the attributes I would bring to School Committee would be commitment and investment in the Carlisle Public Schools coupled with an ability to problem-solve, listen well and follow through and work with others to build consensus. I am confident that if elected, I could make a difference. <Top>
Carlisle has always had schools that rank with the best. It is the result of a collaboration between parents, teachers and the entire community. This is something that should never have to be questioned. We must maintain the educational core to provide the appropriate education for all our students. Additional elements should only be added when there is a long-term funding source that can be maintained. We also need to encourage and support the after-school programs. They are a wonderful and cost-effective element of our children's education.
I am a firm believer that the physical environment affects behavior and attitudes. Buildings, such as Spalding, with water cascading through the ceilings during the recent hard rains, detract from education and send a message to teachers and students alike that they are unimportant. As a member of the school board, I will do everything I can to get a practical replacement for this building.
I am presently Chairman of the Long-Term Capital Requirements Committee, a member of the School Building Committee and the School Technology Committee. I have seen ideas for the future and they are exciting, but how can we afford to put them into place? It is going to require a long, focused journey where each step needs to be designed as the building block for the next. We don't have unlimited resources and we have to get maximum value for our investment.
My wife and I have lived in Carlisle for 15 years and we have a personal interest in the schools, with children in the second and fifth grades. I have seen some of the uneven results over the last few years and I believe it is my time to step up and do my part to help our schools maintain their excellence. <Top>
Committee Experience: Scituate, School Committee and Library Committee; Carlisle School Committee, School Building Committee, Long-Term Capital Requirements Committee, Cell Tower Subcommittee, and School Council; MIT Regional Educational Councilor, Northwest Region.
Professional Experience: Scientific and Management Consultant to Industry and Government.
Education: MIT: SB Chemical Engineering, Northeastern University: Evening Postgraduate Courses in Math and Physics.
Military Service: US Navy, US Army.
I believe that effective public education, matched to the ultimate capabilities of each student, is and will continue to be essential to the economic future of this country as well as its governance. I have considerable personal experience in public education and feel that maintenance of continuity, as well as the injection of new blood, is important in long-range planning for improvement and cost-effectiveness.
As a Carlisle resident since 1982, I have noted that efforts towards long-term planning can be overcome by short-term concerns, so maintenance of a balanced and inclusive approach towards the solution of major issues is needed if we are to preserve the unique nature of the town. If realistic cost-benefit analyses of alternatives are provided to the town, I believe that the decision process can be facilitated. My participation during the procurement of the developers of the Master Plan and its creation assisted in the development of realistic school housing alternatives.
Given the possible variation in the demographics of the town in the next few decades, I believe that planning for school housing needs is both difficult and critical. The amount, schedule and even availability of state funding is murky at best, sequential additions to capacity on the present site will be difficult without serious impact on education during the building process and unless the most optimistic projections for reduced school housing demand are correct, we now and in the future will not meet the needs of the school population with our present facilities. Beyond this, the Spalding Building has reached the end of its useful life, has safety and issues of habitability for young children and will continue to require more than normal maintenance.
Clearly body count is probably the largest component of school costs. It is possible that a greater level of computerization in
education may impact this area. Since much of my professional experience has been in the design of adaptive person-machine interaction in computation-intensive situations, I feel that I can bring useful insight when such approaches are considered. <Top>
Board of Health
Carlisle is a town that has become home for the Bedrosian family. It seems as though we have always resided here. Over the years Carlisle has changed in some ways, but, over the next five to ten years, with continued development and growth, this town will undoubtedly face challenges that have the potential of making noticeable change. Carlisle is a unique town; totally dependent on our natural resources. Its Board of Health has a tremendous responsibility to uphold state and local supplemental regulations, to heed the guidance of our wise forefathers and to work together to protect public health and safety.
Today, the Board of Health has an expanded role and is actively involved in guiding the Zoning Board of Appeals through its 40B hearings, supporting the Planning Board in determining subdivision approvals, following up on nursing care and tracking communicable diseases and granting emergency permits for beaver control. Currently the Board of Health has five members, with backgrounds in Engineering, Science, Education and Nursing. Our experiences and expertise complement each other, thus providing the Town with a volunteer resource that has helped to reduce engineering costs and has allowed us to focus on public health issues and concerns. I will continue to support funding to provide those services necessary to insure public health and safety and educational outreach.
Thorough and diligent in our decision-making process, I am proud of our board and its members. We have worked on your behalf and will continue to do so through the commitment of individuals who hold Carlisle near and dear to them. I am one of those individuals and I love Carlisle. A Science educator for over 28 years, I am highly qualified and hold the following degrees: B.A. Biology, M.Ed. Natural Science, and Ed.D. Instructional Leadership/Staff Development. Currently, I serve as the K-12 Science Curriculum Director in Marblehead. I want to continue to help this town in meeting the needs of its residents and future residents by keeping a watchful eye on public health and the welfare of our town, its environment and our people. <Top>
Board of Health
I have lived in Carlisle since 1987, residing on Wolf Rock Road. My wife, Nancy, and I have two children, Chris and Heather. Both have attended the Carlisle School Program.
Currently I am on the Board of Health. In the past I have helped the community with Cub Scouts, baseball and the "Pig & Pepper." I have been a board member of the Carlisle Education Foundation and am a member of the School Building Committee.
I am a Civil Engineer and have been active in the profession for over 30 years. I obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Northeastern University in 1979. I have worked for the United States Government where I was a manager of the Boston National Airspace System Implementation Center which is responsible for the engineering and construction of facilities owned by the FAA in New England. Being a Civil Engineer I am familiar with soils, surveying, perk tests and construction techniques. I have had training on septic design and installation. I am familiar with interpreting and applying federal, state and town regulations.
The biggest challenges that face the Board of Health in the next few years are: to preserve the quantity and quality of the town's water supply, be prepared for a town- or region-wide medical emergency and to continue to provide level services to the town with rising non-discretionary costs.
I am aware of the town's competing tax dollars and have supported the BOH's budget staying within the Fin Com's guideline budget. This has caused a reduction in the Board of Health's discretionary costs. To offset the increase in operating costs I have also supported increasing the fee structure which the BOH charges for permits and inspections. This increase would bring fees in line with what our neighboring towns charge. <Top>
Board of Health
My name is Christopher Deignan and I am a candidate for an opening on the Carlisle Board of Health. I, along with my wife Maryann, have lived in Carlisle for 21 years. We have four children, James, Caroline, Connor and Hannah. I attended Boston College and Merrimack College and received a B.S. in Business Management. I have worked in the construction/real estate development business for 30 years. I am currently the general manager of construction activities for Duffy Properties, in Waltham, and have responsibility for three million square feet of commercial space and 800 residential units. My decision to run for the Board of Health, very simply, is driven by a sense of obligation to give back to one's community. To that point, my hope is to help members of our community to navigate the sometimes difficult process of gaining approvals. My job experience has taught me to listen, to apply standards in a fair and equitable way, to take a "common sense" approach the first time and to produce results. I hope to apply these attributes in the most positive way possible if I am asked to serve our community.
Clearly, there has been tremendous growth in housing in the past two decades, and more recently that growth has taken on a new dimension with 40B housing. Because of the unique character and infrastructure of Carlisle, safe drinking water is the single most important issue facing the Board of Health. Simply put, without a safe water supply, there can be no Carlisle as we now know it.
Not having the privilege of prior service to the Board of Health, I, like all newcomers to the various boards and committees, will have to learn the specifics of the financial pressures facing the Board of Health. Municipalities across the state are facing difficult choices and the situation, in the short term, will probably only get worse. However, I look forward to the challenge of finding creative ways of doing more with less. I sincerely thank you for your consideration.<Top>
Ed. Note: Candidate Raftery was out of town and did not respond to questions sent by the Mosquito. The response below is reprinted from his 2006 candidate statement.
I am an attorney who concentrates in insolvency and corporate law. Jan, my wife and I have lived in Carlisle since 1975 and our three daughters have attended the Carlisle Public School as well as Concord-Carlisle High School. I have been a member of the Planning Board (14 years) and one term as a Selectman. I am a member of the Board of Directors of the Carlisle Elderly Housing Association. I am also a veteran, having retired from the U.S. Navy Reserve with the rank of Captain. I believe that one must contribute to the community in which one lives, and I view being Town Moderator as my contribution. <Top>
James C. Marchant
Board of Assessors
A professional real estate appraiser for over 20 years, for the past 14 years I have owned and managed a real estate appraisal and consulting firm, Minuteman Appraisals, Inc., in Chelmsford.
I have lived in Carlisle 26 years and know the town well. As professional real estate appraisers, my firm performs an average of 2,000 residential appraisals in the local area, each year. The scope of our client-work gives me a broad overview of the real estate values and what creates and influences value. An area of specialization for my firm is consulting assignments for real estate property tax abatement, which is of assistance to my work on the Board of Assessors. I have very much enjoyed my tenure on the Carlisle Board of Assessors these past nine years. My experience in valuation has been an asset on the Board. I look forward to continuing to serve my neighbors and my town.
My wife, Liz Thibeault, and I moved to Carlisle in 1980. Our son, Jon, graduated from CCHS and is attending college. I have been active in the religious education program at Saint Irene Parish for the past 19 years and coached for the Concord Carlisle Soccer Club for seven years.
The biggest challenge facing the next term on the Board of Assessors will be a continuation of the major issue we faced over the past five years, namely, the revaluation of the properties in town as a result of the rapid increase in real estate values in Carlisle, followed by a decreasing market in 2006. Last year was our "revaluation year" which is every third year. The FY 2007 revaluation relied on real estate sales in calendar year 2005. Next year, FY 2008, we will be utilizing real estate sales from calendar year 2006. If the Board sees a trend in decreasing property values, as we did in increasing property values a few years ago, we will decide if an "interim" adjustment is warranted. As we did when values were increasing, the board will regularly contribute to articles in the Mosquito to inform property owners what is coming and why. These articles will be informative and will describe the direction of assessments for the town. I think that this pro-active approach has worked well in the recent past and has allowed Carlisle to escape much of the controversy that has plagued some of the surrounding towns as local property assessments fluctuate. <Top>
Kenneth R. Hoffman
I am running for a seat on the Planning Board because I believe I have a unique combination of professional expertise and personal experience that
would allow me to serve our town well in that capacity.
I was born, raised, educated, and have spent my entire life within the "495" loop. My wife, Terri, and I completed our house on Spencer Brook Lane in 1984, and have raised our two sons, now 18 and 21, in that home. As our youngest prepares to leave us for college, and we relive these past 23 years in Carlisle, we realize that settling and raising our children here was the best decision we ever made (or should I say second best, Dear?). We have tried to be active citizens, which, for me, has included being Cub Scout Packmaster, and ten years as a Little League coach.
I hold an MS in Civil Engineering/ Construction Project Management, and have worked for 28 years for larger, Boston-based general contractors in estimating, purchasing and project-planning. My present position (13 years) is VP -Preconstruction Services for CWC Builders of Newton. We are a substantial builder, mostly of multi-family affordable housing projects in and around Boston. I believe that my understanding of project-planning and construction, and in particular, affordable housing, will allow me to be a valuable resource on the Planning Board.
Recently, my knowledge of, and support for, affordable housing has been
tested and effected by a twist of fate, when the infamous Coventry Woods 40B proposal was filed for a parcel abutting our property.... you have no doubt read about it in the Mosquito. That experience has provided me with further expertise that I believe will allow me to serve our town as a Planning Board member with a clear perspective on the 40B process and its ramifications.I ask for your vote so that I may put my experience to work for our town as
a Planning Board member. I assure you that I will honor the trust represented by your vote with faithful service dedicated to preserving our wonderful Town. <Top>
My family and I are new to Carlisle. We moved here Thanksgiving weekend 2005. We chose Carlisle because our younger son is attending Minuteman Regional High School and found ourselves in an absolutly delightful community.
Prior to Carlisle, we lived in an antique colonial in Foxborough that we restored and placed on the National Register. I served on the Foxborough Planning Board as an elected member for approximately eight years. During that time, we reviewed numerous residential subdivisions and commercial developments. Most of the subdivisions ranged in size from 15 to 25 units. Common shared driveways were not allowed under Foxborough subdivision bylaws, so this will be a new experience for me here in Carlisle.
The ongoing challenge of all planning boards is encouraging the implementation of the best land development possible. The trick of course is identifying a "best" that is acceptable by all affected parties. As a member of the Carlisle Planning Board, I will bring my prior planning board experience in negotiation solutions and resolving issues.
I currently work at the Council on Aging as the Transportation Coordiniator. I was recently appointed to the Conservation Restriction Advisory Committee. Although I have enjoyed being on this Committee, I believe I could give back more to this great community, sitting on the Planning Board. <Top>
Thank you for this opportunity to submit a candidate biography for the up-coming Carlisle Town Election on May 8. I am running as a write-in candidate for the Planning Board.
I have lived in Carlisle for nine years and am an active volunteer. I am a microprocessor design engineer by trade and hold a MS in Electrical Engineering. I am currently the technical lead and project manager for an embedded microprocessor design project at IBM. As a volunteer, I have been on the Carlisle Trails Committee for four years, two as Chairman, I am an active Boy Scout Troop 135 parent, currently chairing the Adventure Committee, and I was a member of the Land Stewardship Forming Committee.
My positive experience on the Trails Committee, project management knowledge, problem solving ability, organizational skills, detail-oriented nature, open mindedness, and my interest in working with plans and maps are the chief reasons I want to be on the Planning Board. As a member, I will be eager to learn on the job, assist home owners and developers with their projects, and in the end, hope to be able to influence town development to preserve the natural beauty this town has to offer.
I have no unique insight on the Planning Board's biggest challenges nor do I understand the town's finances well enough to recommend specific changes. But I am offering my time and energy to represent the town to the best of my abilities.
Please consider writing in my name for a Planning Board position. <Top>
In a quarter century as an educator at the high school and college levels, as a writer and as a volunteer, I have enjoyed a long and rewarding experience with libraries. After three years on the board of the Friends of Gleason Public Library, I became a library trustee. The staff, the volunteers, the Friends and my fellow trustees are a wonderful and dedicated group of people and I have found many friends among them.
In years of fiscal constraint, the library's first test will be to staff and maintain the level of services Carlisle expects. The staff must manage the hundreds of thousands of items in annual circulation, record rates of inter-library loan and the large numbers of patrons of all ages using the facilities. Second, the physical plant combines a modern addition with an historic building that is showing its age and demands a special kind of maintenance. Finally, as a center for information in a growing town, the library must remain current in technology, equipment and collections.
If necessary, the library may have to reduce its Saturday hours, but I am proud of the record of fiscal responsibility that has allowed it to operate at a high level with very limited funds. We are committed to growing the Endowment, reduced for the building project in 2000, to keep the library's growth and development commensurate with Carlisle's needs. We seek the advice of the FinCom annually when assessing budget needs in order to be sensitive to the town's financial climate, pinpoint essential expenses and find alternative funding sources for other requirements. We are actively forming partnerships with other boards and organizations in town to share resources for services and programming, and we depend upon the assistance of dedicated volunteers.
The Gleason is a rare jewel in a rare town: a small, but mighty public library that is treasured and patronized by a highly educated and vibrant population. I am deeply grateful to be a part of it, and I hope the people of Carlisle will permit me to continue to work hard for it. <Top>
Alan P. Lehotsky
I have lived in Carlisle since 1998, and I am an enthusiastic believer in the concept of small-town direct government and citizen involvement. I have been a Massachusetts resident for 38 years; beginning with four years at MIT and continuing through a series of jobs with New England-based high-tech companies.
Our daughter is a graduate of the CPS and CCHS. She currently attends UMass Amherst. My son graduated from the Lexington schools, Dartmouth and Harvard Law; he's currently employed by the US Department of Justice.
I am running for re-election to the Housing Authority because I believe that affordable housing is not just ethically right, but will be beneficial to the town. Implementing the long-term plan to increase the affordable-housing stock will maintain our independence and prevent Comprehensive Permits that would not be in our best interests. It's better to proactively manage growth than to reactively cope with outside forces.
What are the biggest challenges facing the Housing Authority in the next few years? How will you contribute to meeting these challenges?
Developing housing on the Benfield parcel is the biggest near-term challenge. We need to build Benfield without any additional subsidy (beyond the land and road infrastructure). Next, implementing the Affordable Housing Planned Production Plan over the next decade and creatively juggling the need for additional land and financing is a huge challenge. My efforts on the CHA and other task forces such as the Benfield Planning Committee, the Town Forest Committee and the Planned Production Plan Committee help to prepare me.
My engineering training has taught me to seek practical solutions to problems. My management and consulting experience has helped me to understand how to compromise and focus on critical issues.
Which Housing Authority expenses might be reduced, and which should be preserved or expanded?
Carlisle should continue to look for opportunities for multi-use land acquisition, or for partnering with residents who want to donate land for affordable housing. <Top>
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