Sunday, June 9, 2019

Tuesday is Longmeadow's Annual Town Elections

This LongmeadowBuzz post was created by Jim Moran.....

Annual Town Elections- Tuesday, June 11.
Polling hours at the Longmeadow Community House are 8 am - 8 pm.

There are contested races for both Select Board and School Committee in Tuesday's annual town election.  There are also two important ballot questions. This is an important election that will influence the future of Longmeadow.

Make sure that you take the time to vote on Tuesday.

Select Board Elections

The Select Board race has two incumbents (Mark Gold + Bill Low) and two newcomers (Jeffrey Mueller + Marc Strange) vying for the two open seats. This election is particularly important since our Town Manager Stephen Crane has submitted his resignation and be leaving in mid-August.  Based on past experience the Town could be without the services of an experienced permanent town manager for up to 6 months.

Mark Gold is the most qualified candidate with 10 years of active leadership on the Select Board + 10 additional years as a member and chairman of the town's Capital Planning committee.  His engineering degree and work history as well as analytical thinking and financial know-how serve him well and will be extremely important as the town tackles the gas pipeline issue, expected difficulties with Proposition 2½ levy limits as well as other issues that are likely to occur.

As someone who has watched many Select Board meetings over the past 10 years I have always found Mark to be the most prepared member of the board.  He is not afraid to spend significant personal time outside of board meetings to research an issue or situation so that he can bring solutions and a path forward to the Select Board for consideration. He is stand-up individual and will listen to your concerns and will always take the time to answer your questions.

For the second seat on the Select Board, Marc Strange appears to be the next best qualified candidate with relevant municipal experience as the Director of Planning and Community Development for the Town of Agawam, MA.

School Committee Elections
    4 candidates vying for 3- 1 year seats
    Gianna Allentuck, William Mitchell, Kevin Shea and Armand Wray
    (James Ryan is also running as a write-in candidate.)
    3 candidates vying for 2- 3 year seats
    Susan Bell, Jamie Hench and Kevin Ryczek

With all of the events including five resignations that have taken place during the past year, voters may be confused with the 5 open seats on the School Committee.  As someone who has followed all of the turmoil, I can say without any reservations that the town residents who stepped up for appointments to fill the resignations (Wray, Allentuck, Shea, Bell and Hench) are outstanding candidates (see highlighted names) and should be elected to the Longmeadow School Committee.

Ballot Questions
Question #1
Shall the Town of Longmeadow be allowed to exempt from the provisions of Proposition 2½ so-called, the amounts required to pay for the bond issue in order to make improvement to the Wolf Swamp fields and parking area?
Vote YES

Question #2 (Non-binding)
Shall the Town of Longmeadow consider exercising its rights under Massachusetts General Law Chapter 61B for the first right of refusal relative to Tennessee Gas Pipeline's agreement to purchase an easement over four parcels of land currently zoned for recreational use,  The pursuit of 61B rights will not guarantee the use of the land for open space.
Vote YES

As many of you may know I have been following and commenting on Longmeadow issues related to our schools and to our town government through the LongmeadowBuzz blog for over 10 years.  I have watched many Select Board and School Committee meetings and attended numerous public forums and other town meetings as well.  I have done this in order to provide the average town resident updates of what is happening in our town.