Here are my positions and comments on the issues:
- Fiscal Responsibility – 11 years into the longest economic expansion in U.S. history, a recession in the next two years is a real possibility. Fiscal discipline now can prevent the deep cuts to education and fire service that we experienced during the last recession.
- Education – I support the Superintendent’s strategic approach to School District funding. Through consultation with parents, teachers, and administrators the plan identifies those needs that are specific to our children’s needs.
- Trash – I support the “pay as you throw” proposal which will save us money but believe it should be amended to allow an adjustment period for families with children.
- Marijuana – I supported retail in Council votes. I will personally vote in favor of retail marijuana shops in Newburyport on the ballot question, but, if the voters oppose it, I will support their decision.
- Brown School – The eventual use of the Brown School must meet the somewhat divergent and competing needs of abutters, Newburyport Youth Services, and advocates for senior affordable housing in a financially responsible manner.
- Waterfront West – My preference would be that the Waterfront Development not take place. However, I am well aware that this might not be a realistic option and we might have to settle for a “lesser of two evils” result.
- Senior Tax exemption – I sponsored and supported a property tax exemption for seniors. I think it’s the right thing to do and will attempt to get it through the next Council.
- Streets and sidewalks – Over the past 20 years, Newburyport has addressed many deferred capital projects (water treatment facility, wastewater treatment plant, new elementary school, etc.). It is time to address the deferred maintenance of our streets and sidewalks. However, this should be undertaken in a fiscally responsible manner.
- Fire Station – Station #2 in the West End needs to be replaced. It poses a health threat to our firefighters.
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