The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, April 25, 2008

News

John Williams

Board of Selectmen

Three-year term

Although I have business and financial experience, I think the fact that I am a current member of the Board of Selectmen (BOS), having served for the last three years, is my most relevant experience. If the voters of Carlisle approve of my contribution and leadership and vote to re-elect me I will continue to give my time and energy with enthusiasm and with a sense of being honored by your confidence.

Challenges

Some of the biggest challenges for Carlisle’s Selectmen include:

1. It is imperative that we significantly lower the annual increase of all operating budgets in every town department. This includes the schools. We are currently taxing about 6% of median income. If we do not lower the increase of operating budgets, in only four years the average tax of $9,754 would likely rise to $12,697 – a 30% increase. Clearly this is unsustainable as we go forward. Furthermore this does not consider any additional capital projects. (c.f. Report of Special Committee for Long Term Financial Planning, Feb. 2007)

2. Affordable housing is a mandate not of our choosing. In round numbers we need to produce 150 affordable housing units or be prey to developers indifferent to our concerns. Done the developers’ way, Carlisle would be irrevocably changed with 600 additional housing units representing a 35-40% increase over current housing units.

In my role on the BOS as the point person for affordable housing, my approach is to vigorously oppose unfriendly projects and proactively promote projects that conserve more open space, conservation land, our rural setting and precious resources, especially water, by having a higher percentage of affordable unit count per project. The additional goal is to benefit Carlisle residents first and foremost to the fullest extent allowable (example: seniors seeking affordable housing in Carlisle).

3. We must make decisions within the context of a changing demographic in Carlisle: we are getting older with different emerging needs and less earned income. We want seniors to stay in Carlisle with a sense of community.

4. Town Hall must continue to improve how all work together. Because each department is a reservoir of substantial expertise it is not just communication that is needed it is consultation – there is a difference in that consultation acknowledges and is pleased to be guided by the expertise of another.

Funding priorities

Over the next few years we will have to responsibly and pragmatically fund the building needs at CPS and CCHS. These are the two most obvious and pressing capital projects. We will be able to fund capital projects only if we contain the annual growth of our operating budgets.


© 2008 The Carlisle Mosquito