Serving Longmeadow a privilege
I have been privileged to serve on the Longmeadow Select Board for the past four years. During that time we have accomplished much, but there is work that remains to be done and I am again asking for your vote so that I may continue to serve the town as a member of your Select Board.
In each of the past four years I have been instrumental in the preparation of the town budget – balanced budgets that have maintained the level of services that town residents have come to expect, while at the same time keeping our tax rate within the limits of proposition 2 ½. As I promised when I ran for this position, I have come to each meeting prepared and having done my homework, bringing a common sense approach to resolving the town's issues. I have initiated compromises when I felt they were necessary yet was not afraid to assert my position when that made the most sense.
I am proud of my contributions to the town these past four years, not just in the role I played in four consecutive quality budgets, but in many other specific activities, including the following:
• Setting a payment schedule for the $44 million in high school bonds that minimizes their tax impact;
• Identifying and implementing an energy conservation and electric bill reduction program for the town buildings funded by utility grants and interest-free loans;
• Leading our October, 2011 storm recovery effort;
• Negotiating a six-figure reduction in the purchase price of replacement water meters;
• Initiating and passing the optional meals tax that will provide an estimated $80,000 in added town revenue each year;
• Leading the negotiation process that brought about a compromise with the school department resulting in the budget approved at this year's annual town meeting.
Despite these successes, there is much more to do. Chief among my goals remains the implementation of new cost saving and revenue generating programs for the community. The values that Longmeadow residents continue to express require that town expenses be able to grow beyond the constraints of property tax revenues. By seeking new revenue sources that are consistent with the character and priorities of the town, we can continue to fund the programs and services that are important to all our residents while minimizing tax increases.
To provide the balance that I believe we all realize is necessary to this town, I ask for your vote on June 11.
Mark Gold, Selectman
Comments From Our Readers: