My top priority is always constituent service. Our district has a large land area with a lower population density; therefore, my priorities are appropriate development and zoning, roads maintenance and safety, emergency services access, and communication and coordination with the Board of Finance and Education to ensure our issues are acted upon.
District 13 has some of the largest single-family home tax bills in the city. When we are told that a property tax hike will only impact the average homeowner by some modest amount per year, we know it is many times more for district 13. You must have a LOUD voice, ensuring that every dollar is wisely, prudently spent. I feel the pinch of those tax increases too.
I have been actively involved in four different schools through my children: Stillmeadow, Cloonan, Scofield, and AITE (where my daughter is a junior now). Our district is home to three schools: Westhill High School, Roxbury School, and Stillmeadow School; nearby are Westover School, Cloonan Middle School, and Hart School. Many district 13 families are sending their children to these schools. It is critical, as your representative, that I ensure your messages are getting heard and addressed by our partner boards.
My priority is to see that the Board of Education and Board of Finance have the proper support from the Board of Representatives (Board) to do their job; however, the Board needs to engage early and often with our partner boards to ensure that they propose solutions that we can put into action. By the time the solution reaches the Board, it can only approve, reject, or cut – but not change – the proposal. I plan to use my finance and risk management background to advocate for a sound plan to address the existing issues and not create new problems.
District 13’s representatives have always done an excellent job of being visible in the district, holding town hall meetings to inform and listen to our neighbors. I see continuing that tradition. I will encourage and support the efforts to get our other elected officials and town administrators to join us.
Social media is an important avenue to connect with people, and I plan to use it to both share my perspective and listen to your thoughts. While it’s an extremely effective method for reaching many people at once, I’m not naïve to its downside. I hope we will be thoughtful and engaging when we use this as a virtual town square.
I am a fan of telephone calls, supplemented with letter writing and email. In my experience, nothing takes the place of talking to people about what is on their minds or the help they need. Occasionally, though, things need to be written down, and I’ll ensure you know how to reach me quickly and efficiently when those events arise.
Lastly, you will see me around the district just living my life, much as you do. I’ll be at events in the schools, community centers, and out walking or biking. I hope you will feel comfortable coming up and saying hello and giving me a chance to know you.