The successes and failures of government, even at a local level, greatly impact our lives. When you pull on one string, for example to raise or lower property taxes, you must delicately, resourcefully, thoughtfully, and realistically deal with a spider web of impacts. Be it schools, police and fire departments, parks and recreation, road/bridge maintenance, etc., the funds are limited and they must be used to create the most value. These choices are not easy.
A similar train of thought can be applied to financing and spending in a political campaign. For example, a candidate can focus on big ticket donors and their outsized interests or on raising funds from the whole community, which is the real life blood of Framingham.
On the expense side, a candidate can easily spend thousands of dollars or more on online/print advertising, mailed flyers, lawn signs, shirts, buttons, outside assistance, etc. Some spending is reasonable, as it would be near impossible to knock on every single door. The key though, is spending wisely and appropriately.
For candidates with large reserves, they can spend more freely. They can pay others to design a website or mail a flyer for them. They can simply put up hundreds of repetitive lawn signs thinking it will do the trick. This may certainly help them achieve the most name recognition, but it does not mean they have the best ideas.
Fortunately, all candidates must submit campaign finance reports that identify their donors, how much they contributed, and where those funds were spent.
You can find these reports at http://www.framinghamma.gov/1331/Campaign-Finance- Reports.
The pre-preliminary reports, due on September 18 and which cover activity through September 8, will hopefully be available online before the September 26 election (at least for those over $1,000, if not all).
Visiting the site and reviewing the reports can be eye-opening. As you educate yourself on the candidates, I implore you to wonder, for those who seem to be spending so freely with their campaign’s funds, how will they handle your precious tax dollars?
I will not be one of those free spenders. Like our taxes, I have found that every campaign dollar is valuable.
For example, instead of paying a company to address, stamp and mail flyers, my campaign is using a personal touch, by self-addressing and stamping each postcard. It is certainly time-consuming, but also saves significant funds. You will also only see a limited number of my signs around. Instead of impersonal and expensive signs, I find that knocking on doors and talking directly with you is the best approach. By the September 26 preliminary, I will have knocked on close to 1,000 doors.
This dedication and hard work is what I want to see from any candidate that I vote for and I hope you do as well. With the vote of those in District 6 (precincts 10 and 11), on September 26, I hope to continue on the path to become your first City Councilor and work just as hard for you, as I have been on the campaign trail.
Candidate for Framingham City Council – District 6