I have lived in Framingham for almost 10 years.
It’s the community my wife and I chose for us to become homeowners, raise a family and send our kids to public schools.
For the first eight years we lived here I served in the office of the Governor and Lt. Governor working on issues like education policy and state government’s relationships with city and town governments.
Based on my work there and what I’ve seen living here, I support the stronger government, ethical, and accountability provisions we have a chance to adopt with a Yes vote on April 4th.
Working behind the scenes on Beacon Hill I was part of unique experiences at forums such as Local Government Advisory Commission meetings and traveling to more than 300 of our Commonwealth’s 351 municipalities. I’ll never forget what I witnessed and learned from public servants who brought people together to tackle problems.
What I also won’t forget are the wavering ways my hometown of Framingham is looked at. No accountability with no leader elected by the residents. No true vision about how we plan and strategize. Constant inconsistency in statements and actions from more than 200 committed people, yet different voices offering mixed messages to decision makers. I know of no other organization representing tens of thousands of people successfully managing operations with no accountable leader and 200 plus voices.
What I’ve seen in my career in government is that funding and policy solutions occur when people come together and speak with one voice to simply get the job done. Framingham is often times the opposite. We have many positive attributes, yet I don’t want to live in a community where often time the opposite of what should happen, happens.
In my decade living here, there has been a 35 percent increase in the average single family tax bill. Our water bills are now going up another $100.
Mass Bay Community College secured and then lost tens of millions in state funding for a new campus.
Too often we drive by empty shopping centers, many which have looked the same in my decade here.
When there is a crisis such as the recent devastating fire at Old Path Village, or a shelter in place order due to an escaped convict, I’ve seen no reassuring Mayoral leader speak about how we will address the situation and move our community on a path towards recovery.
And as a parent with young children just starting in our schools, I’m worried the current system is not appropriately planning for the need to build a new high school due to enrollment growth.
A Mayor’s call makes a difference. A Mayor’s collaborative efforts with federal and state government agencies can lead to new schools, roads, rail and bride improvements. A Mayor, with the check and balance of a City Council representing your neighborhood, can collectively deliver results. With our current form of governance we are missing that link. We need that link. We need a seat at the table. Who is representing Framingham at the Governor’s Mayors only meetings?
Having had the privilege working at the highest level of state government, I’ve seen firsthand that unequivocally municipalities with a Mayor and City Council form of government get the most attention, opportunities to secure funding, get their calls and emails returned faster and have a seat at the table on Beacon Hill to advocate and deliver for their community.
I support this charter and encourage a Yes vote on April 4, because it is time for Framingham to get the prime seat at the table its residents deserve.
Adam Freudberg is a former senior policy advisor to former Governor Deval Patrick and Lt. Governor Timothy Murray, the President of the Board at a preschool in Framingham and a longtime Framingham resident.