The following LTE was submitted by Paul Santaniello- candidate for re-election to the Longmeadow Select Board.
While there has been a lot accomplished during my time on the Select Board, I believe there is more that can be done. This year for example, after attending the Massachusetts Municipal Conference, I brought back the idea of leasing large capital equipment for our DPW, when it makes sense versus buying. We will be leasing one of our largest dump trucks which will save the Town $144,000 in the next Fiscal Year.
A year ago, the Town of Longmeadow went to arbitration with MGM over the negative impacts to our community and we won our case. Under the direction of the Select Board, we fought together to protect our town from what we knew were the negative impacts to Longmeadow. We stood firm when other towns were settling for less than their citizens deserved. I believe we did what was best for Longmeadow.
At an upcoming Select Board meeting, the Finance Subcommittee, which I am a member of, will be recommending a Capital Spending Plan that will allow the Town to address our capital needs and also plan for larger projects to be developed in a more predictable and practical manner.
I voted for property tax relief for homeowners this year. I will continue to fight to control unnecessary spending and strive to keep owning a home and living in Longmeadow, an affordable option for all residents, especially seniors on fixed income.
We are in discussions currently to potentially purchase our street lights which could result in the Town saving substantial amounts of money going forward. This will help alleviate the pressure on rising costs in Town. This would not have happened without the persistence of the Select Board.
I, we, are all blessed to live in such a wonderful community. I don’t believe in the “Chicken Little” mentality that the sky is falling on Longmeadow. I do believe however, that the Select Board should look at every opportunity to reduce costs and increase income from non-tax based options. One goal if re-elected is to seek out these opportunities in a more aggressive manner.
I moved to Longmeadow over twenty eight years ago because I wanted to live in this great community, to raise my family here, and contribute to the ideal that Longmeadow is, for all of us. My perspective on the Select Board is that we need to preserve that quality of life, enhance it where we can, and do our best to ensure our residents can afford to stay here in retirement if they choose.
In those twenty eight years, I’ve been blessed to have coached youth football, soccer (boys and girls), baseball, and basketball. I have been a past President of the Center School PTO and LHS PAC, a member of the Center School Council, and former member of the School Committee and Finance Committee. I continue to attend other Boards and Committee meetings regularly so I can better understand the issues before them.
I work for you, and I have never forgotten that, nor take it for granted,
I humbly ask for your vote for re-election on June 9th.
Experience does matter.