SeeClickCommunity: Protection & Pride

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Scenes from the May 2014 Walk Along the Greenway/ Bikeway

Protecting Tax Payers’ Interests… Public Safety Improvements… Community & Town Pride Enhancements… Collaborations with Our Schools & Town Assets… Community Beautification… Long Term Planning… Transparency… Town Planner… Long-Awaited Bikeway / Greenway Progress

What do all of these achievements have in common?

Tom Boussy made them a reality without a tax increase on residents, all through a new approach to town government.

In continuing with why Stoneham residents should re-elect Tom Boussy, beyond the uphill battles he faced in his quest to better our community, let’s take a closer look at what Tom’s “Protecting Tax Payers’ Money” efforts over the past three years looks like:

* Identified mitigation funding at Fallon Road, reserved a portion to invest in a Town Planner, recently hired. Stoneham was the only community in the area with a vacancy in this important role. Hiring a Town Planner was one of Tom’s initial campaign promises;

* Negotiated $100K in mitigation money from a new developer. Tom ensured that the town would realize direct benefits and specifically set the money aside for new concrete and granite sidewalks and some road safety improvements;

* Recognized an unused portion of the Town Planner’s salary due to her later-than-anticipated hire date and utilized it to fund an innovative Downtown Façade Program. Tom conceptualized this program as initiative to encourage business owners to invest in a cohesive exterior creating a visually pleasing downtown and giving our new Planner a tool for success;

* Secured outside grants from private, state and federal sources. Utilized funding to launch Open Checkbook to residents which allows anyone to see all municipal spending;

* Protected taxpayer trash fee by establishing a dedicated revolving account to isolate this money. In the past excess funding was moved to other parts of the budget. Tom mandated this money to be used only for trash related items. A result was the reduction of the trash fee to residents with a goal of eliminating it completely;

* Protected the financial stability of retirees on fixed incomes. Tom will continue to protect the financial interests of our seniors who have worked so hard for us.

* Continued to advocate for internal efficiencies and new sources of revenue to reduce the town’s dependence on residential property taxes.

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Coming in June 2015: Stoneham’s Brand New Farmers Market! Thank you, Tom.

While Tom has been cleaning up dollars and cents, he also has made strides towards creating a closer sense of “Community and Pride”:

All residents love to hear outsiders express their love of our town. It is important to our economy that we attract young families to invest as homeowners and to provide incentives for new businesses to set up shop. Both of these sectors help raise tax revenues and alleviate the tax burden placed on property owners. In addition, Tom wants to internally build community by creating opportunities for residents to come together for celebration and fun. To accomplish this Tom has:

* Worked hard to build community within Stoneham by bringing more programs and events to the Town Common for all ages, including a proposed winter ice skating on the Town Common and seasonal events like the new Halloween pumpkin walk;

* Coordinated the impending launch of the Stoneham’s new Farmers Market by petitioning for the reinstatement on the Town Common, soliciting resident input by sponsoring and manning a table at Town Day and assembling a Farmer’s Market Committee with the goal of a Spring, 2015 launch;

* Single-handedly launched an exciting Fall, 2015 Food Truck Festival scheduled for October. Not only will this increase community spirit but it is also a great economic opportunity for local businesses to increase visibility to those that attend from outside of our community;

* Recognizes the importance of reinstating the Stoneham Parks & Recreation Department.

* Tirelessly advocated for the Bikeway / Greenway (BWGW) Project. Tom recognized the value this new asset brings to our community. Not only will Stoneham capture the major portion of a $5.5M state investment, but we also obtain an enviable new asset that will connect schools and neighborhoods. This asset will come with major safety enhancements and is a valuable business development tool. Tom worked to overcome obstacles of this proposal and communicated benefits to residents resulting in an overwhelming approval.

On Tuesday, April 7, 2015 vote for continued, steady progress. Re-elect Selectman Tom Boussy.

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SeeClickRevitalize: In Progress

411Main 2012 copyBefore Tom Boussy, there were a number of eye sores around Stoneham. And when I say eye sores, I mean out-and-out, long-time holes in the ground (ie- EIGHT YEARS of the 411 Main Street “crater” in Stoneham Square). Tom was literally beaten up in his quest to better our Town.

Fast forward to a successful, winning campaign and more-than-fulfilled promises that we all are enjoying as residents today, I’m excited about the continued progress of the Stoneham Square Action Plan Advisory Committee! (Note: Tom Boussy is the only Selectman on this committee) The Stoneham Chamber of Commerce held its first Stoneham Square Merchants Group introductory event on March 26 at Doucet Remodeling & Design. All Stoneham Square businesses were invited to learn about new initiatives and share ideas for revitalization of the town’s center.

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Speakers from l-r: Rachel Meredith Warren – Chair of the Stoneham Square Action Plan Advisory Committee, Erin Wortman – Stoneham Town Planner, and Chamber VP Chris Senna of C&S Capital Properties.

It’s incredible to think that just a few short years ago, taking Stoneham in this direction wasn’t even possible. But now we not only have a cleaned up 411 Main Street

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…We also have made progress on what was a several decades-long fight for the Greenway/ Bikeway.

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“It was amazing to see 650 people fill town hall to vote on the Greenway. Thank you to all the residents, town officials and business who spent countless hours working to make this happen. Monday January 12 was a great day for the town and for the TriCommunity Greenway.”

So, as Election Day (April 7, 2015) gets steadily closer, let’s summarize why we need to re-elect Tom Boussy: He is for what’s in the best interest of Stoneham- and has the proven track record for making it happen:

Long Term Planning

*For too long Stoneham has operated without a well-defined plan in place that would put us in charge of our own destiny instead of being reactive and taken advantage of by outside developers. Tom’s future goals to combat this deficiency is:
*Develop a housing plan so that we are no longer at risk of undesirable 40B development projects like Weiss Farm. A housing plan will enable us to preserve and develop housing for the needs of all residents, from young singles looking to start their lives, to families, to retirees looking to age in place with dignity.
*Tom has already begun to create a Downtown Revitalization Program that will identify and define business goals and revitalization. A solid plan will help attract businesses that are a complement to our community goals and values and not be vulnerable to possibilities that will forever change our culture.
*Develop a well thought out Open Space Plan to ensure the future of our Parks and Recreational Space including a plan to bring back the Parks & Recreation Department. Tom has made it a priority to work with our Town Planner to update our plan and position Stoneham to become eligible for thousands of dollars in state grants. For the last several years our local parks have only received a minimum of attention. Parks tell a community how we value ourselves and our community. They are a resource to young and older alike. The importance of community social opportunities in well-maintained and invested upon resources attract active life within the community and repels opportunity for crime and other undesirable activity within a depreciating area.

Bikeway / Greenway

Tom needed no convincing to recognize the value a new linear park and bike path would bring to Stoneham from both a social perspective and as a business development tool. The passage of BW/GW provides Stoneham with an enviable amenity in the form of open space and recreation. Economically Stoneham businesses have an opportunity of visibility and of capturing the business of users. Most important Stoneham gained the lion’s share of $5.5 million in state funding. All of this at no cost to Stoneham.
*The Bikeway Greenway Committee actively sought the support of Tom when they faced opposition by town leadership. Tom got involved early to lend his support to the project. He rose awareness of what was at stake should Stoneham lose this opportunity. Tom’s strong communication and outreach skills brought the issues to the public’s attention so voters could make an informed decision.
*Tom worked hard to educate the public and encouraged residents to have a voice in their community. The result was one of the largest turn outs in recent town meeting history with 650 people in attendance to overwhelmingly support the greenway.

“Tom has always Supported the Bike Path / Greenway Project and not by just saying that he does but by attending meetings and arranging meetings with the abutters as well as knocking doors and calling people to support the project.” Anthony Wilson Chairman of the Bike Path / Greenway Committee”

Let’s keep all of the positive momentum going, Stoneham! On April 7, 2015 vote for continued, steady progress: re-elect Tom Boussy.