SeeClickVictory: A New Era for Stoneham

VictorsSigns LGWow, what a day! Actually, what a past few years!! The hard work and tireless passion for our Town has paid off with three victories tonight. Congratulations to Tom Boussy, Caroline Colarusso and Larry Means!!

And what these election results really translate into is a HUGE win for The Town of Stoneham. Our community deserves to keep moving in the right direction. It started three years ago with one man saying, “Hey, we deserve better.” That was followed by one woman saying, “I agree.”

Today marks a huge leap forward with the continued work of Larry Means as Town Moderator and the addition of Caroline Colarusso as Selectman. Tonight I’m even prouder to be a part of the Stoneham community.

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SeeClickClear: We Deserve Transparency

TransparentVoteBoussy LGTomorrow is Election Day in Stoneham! I’m excited to get out and vote to re-elect Tom Boussy because he’s the one with the proven track record for transparency and delivering on his promises:

In Tom’s words:

Upon my election in April of 2012 I pulled up my sleeves and began to work.

Town Website

The first problem I wanted to fix was the town’s website which was outdated, featured stale content and hampered communication with our residents. I formed a sub-committee with former selectman Rich Gregorio to re-launch the website.

I worked with our team to improve functionality and make the website more user friendly and relevant. Once we had the web site rebuilt, we could work to keep citizens informed on matters large and small. We were able to launch email alerts and we strive to make information more accessible.

SeeClickFix

Next, I sought to give residents a more direct voice. I discovered a web-based tool called SeeClickFix. I formed a team with Selectman Ann Marie O’Neill to launch this tool, which gives residents an opportunity to report issues online and then follow their issue through to completion.

Open Check Book

Soon after, I saw that the City of Woburn had received a grant to implement a new program called Open Checkbook. I learned there was a second round of funding available that would allow new communities to use this too. Open Checkbook allows residents to access and view each and every financial transaction that takes place in the municipality.

I worked with our Town Administrator and Town Accountant to win the grant for Stoneham to access the Open Checkbook program. As a result, at our most recent annual town meeting we had a 45 page budget available for review before the town voted on a $67,000,000 Budget. I continue to work to bring Stoneham current with today’s technology so that we will maintain our competitiveness in the future.

Fees / Trash

Last year I worked on a sub-committee with Selectman Vallarelli with the goal of containing trash removal costs, which were spiraling out of control.

Trash is contentious in any town and Stoneham was no different. Stoneham needed to reform its program and through hard work and compromise we were able to increase services by adding unlimited weekly recycling and save the town over $200,000 a year.

A great byproduct of this initiative is promoting environmental conscientiousness by increasing recycling from 13% to approximately 25%. Further, we were able to reduce the trash fee from $260 a year to $150. I worked with our Town Attorney to have a home rule petition passed by the State House to put the trash fee directly into a revolving account so that the trash fee would only be used for trash and not funneled into our free cash account or used for any other purpose.

Remember, my fellow Stoneham neighbors, we get the government we deserve on Election Day when we choose whether or not to vote. We deserve a Selectman that works in the best interests of our community. We deserve a leader that has gone above and beyond to fulfill his promises during his first term. We deserve the one candidate that has tirelessly worked to move Stoneham in the RIGHT direction.

We deserve to re-elect Tom Boussy.

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.

SSCCPhoto

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

New411MainBoussy

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

BikewayPass

“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.

SeeClickBullied

womens-rights copyOn April 7, 2015 we will be voting on two seats for the Stoneham Board of Selectmen. There have been a lot of positive changes that have propelled our Town forward over the past several years. I was very excited to see a wider pool of Selectmen candidates this year, which means the excitement about contributions to continued progress is growing!

However, I was shocked and dismayed to see who is running for re-election. Ordinarily I’d never be so bold as to call out someone by name in a negative way, but I have had personal experiences that make me feel it is my duty to do so. As a resident, woman, and Mother, I am asking my neighbors not to vote for Bob Sweeney.

A year ago I was an active part of a sitting Selectman’s re-election campaign, serving as her Communications Manager. As I had stated then, up until that point I had not been active in anything Town-related. The Selectman candidate’s hard work had inspired and compelled me to change that. This, of course, made me and my activities visible, thus opening me up to criticism from the opposition’s supporters, which was perfectly normal and expected, as with any political campaign.

What I feel was not appropriate was what Bob Sweeney said about me in regards to his, shall I say, “deeply passionate dissatisfaction” with my efforts of supporting a candidate he was against, both to community members and on one occasion within my earshot. To have called me a b*tch, as well as made homophobic and misogynistic comments about me was not only disgusting, it was downright disturbing conduct for a public official.

Bob Sweeney has a documented history of such outrageous behavior and it’s time the community puts an end to his ability to adversely affect our Town. I mean really, the arrogance to act out in an explosive way during a meeting, as reported here:

Veteran Selectman Robert Sweeney cursed an elderly Larson Street resident and stormed out of a public hearing this Tuesday night on designating George Street as a one-way street.

With the Town Hall hearing room packed with area residents frustrated by the impacts of the one-way change, Sweeney’s outburst followed a suggestion by Larson Lane resident Art Bourrell that one of the Selectmen may be related to a George Street resident.

Even though Bourrell was the first speaker of the night, that suggestion of impropriety was enough for Sweeney, whose daughter (Erin Sweeney Sinclair) resides on George Street.

“Hey guy, why don’t you kiss my ass, alright?” interrupted the longtime Selectman in a raised voice, before storming out of the side door in the hearing room.

This is not the only occasion in which Bob Sweeney has disrespected residents during public meetings. But what was more disturbing to me was an incident that took place on June 10, 2014 in relation to a Board of Selectmen meeting. This was a matter of public record, so I most certainly invite and encourage residents to contact Town Counsel Bill Solomon (781-438-4543) to discuss and obtain further information, as warranted by the Request for Public Information Act.

As a result of that incident, there has been a police presence at every public meeting. This is what our Town has come to because of Selectman Sweeney’s actions, and I feel it’s absolutely unacceptable for Bob Sweeney to be permitted to continue in a Stoneham leadership position.

There have been many incidents beyond these that have involved Robert Sweeney, but I wanted to only speak out regarding my personal experiences and these two readily accessible ones that are of public record, as I respect my community neighbors’ safety and privacy.

I want to make it VERY clear that this post is of my own accord. While I’m an open and vocal Selectman Tom Boussy supporter, my overall point is that I feel Tom Boussy, Caroline Colarusso, and Erin Sweeney Sinclair are a refreshing candidate pool for the two open Selectmen seats- WITHOUT Bob Sweeney. It’s time for change away from Sweeney’s boorish brand of Town ‘leadership.’

I greatly hope that Stoneham residents make responsible and clear choices on April 7th, 2015.