While working on the Financial Task Force with Mark Paolillo, I found it helpful to consider the following questions about the town: Where are we and how did we get here? Where do we want to go? How do we get there? These are good questions for Belmont’s campaign season.
Agreeing on where we are going as a town, deciding how to get there and how to pay for it requires vision and leadership. Fresh, new ideas as well as energy and enthusiasm are important. But, right now Belmont needs a leader with experience and perspective, someone who understands the process of municipal government and can work with others within the limiting parameters of that process. That person is Mark Paolillo.
We know that Belmont faces difficult financial times. Belmont is beginning a high school renovation project that will cost over $100 million and will consume the attention of most of our town departments. Meanwhile, we cannot forget the library, police station and DPW facility. Where will we find the funds to make those projects and other needed initiatives happen? Mark has provided sound financial leadership to the Town throughout his long service on numerous committees and the Board of Selectmen.
It is so easy to suggest that town government is not “transparent.” It is much harder to actually work within the system and be transparent. Mark’s actions, including holding frequent precinct information meetings, have created an atmosphere of integrity and accountability. Process can be tedious and compromise means that not everyone is completely satisfied. Belmont needs concrete solutions to the many challenges facing the town. Sadly, in this campaign, I hear criticism of town employees and impugning of sound decisions. I have yet to hear real ideas and solutions for getting to the future from anyone but Mark.
Anne Marie S. Mahoney
Anne Marie S. Mahoney is Chair of the Capital Budget Committee, a Town Meeting Member, Precinct 1 and a former Selectwoman.