The following is an announcement submitted by the candidate, per the Framingham Source election policy. As per the policy, the statement is published below as submitted.
As the Town Meeting Precinct 15 Chair, Clerk of the Ways & Means Committee, and member of the Rules Committee, I am deeply involved with our current government. While essential services like roads and schools are how most residents measure the effectiveness of government, South Side Districts face problems of environmental pollution and blight which have been ignored for decades. Having expended a great deal of effort on solving some of these problems, I would like to continue this work.
My education includes a B.A. cum laude from Harvard University in Biology and an M.A. in Teaching and Biology from Wesleyan University. In addition to teaching, I worked for 25 years in ophthalmology – assisting in surgery, training staff and doing research. My work demanded accuracy.
Interestingly, my research skills have been instrumental in my efforts to improve the lives of South Side residents.
At Town Meeting, Precincts 15-18 (Districts 8 and 9) have high vacancy rates and unequal representation.
My research showed that 100% of the Board of Selectmen and the School Committee lived about Route 9 and only 2 of 55 board appointments lived in Districts 8 and 9.
This unjust representation and lack of accountability by our Town officials was the primary reason I decided to support Framingham becoming a City.
Now we will have a Council and School Committee member from every District.
Here are some issues I have tackled:
- Mary Dennison Park – In 2013 I saw few children playing there. The park was dominated by baseball fields but the neighborhood children wanted to play soccer and ride bikes. Despite 600 signatures on my petition to improve this park, I got no response from Town officials. Further research led to my discovering that MDP was polluted with high levels of lead and other toxins which the town had failed to report to DEP when it was discovered in 1994. MDP was shut down in 2014. It is now being cleaned up and there are plans for an improved park for thousands of underserved children.
- Skatepark – MDP children talked about a skatepark that “almost got built.” My research found 2 failed attempts since 2002, the taking of their site for maintenance buildings and $15k raised by skateboarders given away. I started the Framingham Skatepark Committee, held skateboarding events, and had 7 skateboarders speak at a Board of Selectmen meeting. My Citizen’s Petition to Town Meeting resulted in $500K being allocated for a Skatepark which will be built on Farm Pond this fall.
- Pollution at a 20-acre superfund site ignored by the town – A business on this property had polluted the air with 15 mulch fires in 5 years and 10 companies had squatted there while paying no taxes. I co-founded Stop Toxic Operations and Polluters (S.T.O.P.). We attended ZBA meetings and held protests. This issue is now being addressed by DEP and new taxes are being collected.
- Cedar Swamp – I discovered this area is Conservation Land. At TM I presented a Resolution to clean it up and create walking trails. Work has begun.
- New Projects in the Downtown. I am knowledgeable about zoning by-laws, have spoken and written about development which will greatly affect the residents of South Side Districts.
While working on these issues, I have acquired a working knowledge of many departments: Assessor, Board of Health, Conservation, DPW, Fire, Inspectional Services, Parks, Police, Planning Board, and ZBA.
This gives me the necessary background to fulfill the primary responsibilities of a Council Member to vote on the budget, department and committee appointments, and zoning bylaws.