Sunday, June 7, 2015

Lachiusa wants your vote for Select Board

The following was submitted by Tom Lachiusa who is running for election to the Longmeadow Select Board.

As voters make their voting decision on the Select Board candidates, I ask you to consider my request for your vote.  

Having been a homeowner in Longmeadow for 16 years, and a small business owner in town for 19 years, I offer the perspective of an average taxpayer.  My wife Jeanne and I have raised four children and understand the struggles of young families and the concerns of individuals who are, or will soon, be living on a fixed retirement income.  These perspectives, combined with my track record of successfully resolving group conflicts, providing leadership during a period of transition at a local college, and bridging political divides are the reasons why I want to be your next selectman.

I believe the first and most important question facing our town is: Will the Select Board be able to follow the town charter and work cooperatively with the Town Manager?

My first priority is to support the charter and improve the relationship between the board and the Town Manager, Finance and School Committees. Many have commented to me that the board is not serving the town effectively due to infighting and selfish political grandstanding. I have listened to residents who expressed that they do not see how the board can serve the best interests of our town without a change in its membership. As a teacher, I have taught graduate classes on group work process and I have been finding solutions to group conflict for over 40 years in various positions including currently at the Hampden County Jail and in my own private practice. I will use the skills I have acquired from a career in teaching and social work to make our town government more efficient and responsive.

What I offer is the experience of a seasoned professional who has academic and professional training that will guide my decision making during times of difficulty and transition. While I was a faculty member at Springfield College, I was elected by my peers to serve on the Vision Committee that would help guide the school in its search for a new college president. After my election to this committee, the interim president appointed me to be his co-chair because he saw my commitment to the school and what I could contribute to the project. Under our guidance, the committee was able to develop a vision for the future of the college, and therefore, the job description for the person who would lead that effort. Through exhaustive research at the departmental level, we were able to examine the goals of each area of the college and merge them into a unified vision of the future of the college. From this vision, we were able to choose a president that led the college in the direction that fit with the needs of the community. I have no doubt that I will have success using similar methods to lead our town toward a better tomorrow.

Town elections are non-partisan in nature, however, since I have announced my candidacy, I have been able to build bridges between the Republican, Independent, and Democratic factions in town. The support I have garnered from leaders from all parts of the political spectrum in Longmeadow is a clear sign that, even in our current time of hyper-partisanship, there is a common belief in the need for a change in the membership of the Select Board.  Please vote for me on Tuesday June 9th.

Tom Lachiusa/ Candidate for Longmeadow Select Board

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