Editor’s Note: Per the SOURCE election policy, each candidate is allowed to submit an announcement in their own words for the election. Town of Natick election is March 29.
NATICK – I’m Bruce Evans and I am running for a seat on the Natick Select Board to serve you and to make Natick the best community it can be.
I’m the son of immigrants who came to this country as young adults and who emphasized the importance of being active in the community. When I moved to Natick with my wife Terri in 1995, we felt we had come home, a sense that has only grown stronger with time.
With more than a decade serving on the Natick Finance Committee (FinCom) and as a Town Meeting member, I have acquired a depth of knowledge about the Town’s structure, resources, constraints, and capabilities. While on FinCom, I thoroughly reviewed all Town and School budgets and all articles to be presented to Town Meeting. Now I am ready to utilize this expertise by serving all of you on the Select Board.
Natick is facing financial, environmental, and civic challenges that call for thoughtful and experienced leadership. Advancing the interests of a community requires leadership, but it’s not a solo act. As a member of the Select Board, I will seek out all points of view and work collaboratively to define goals and paths to their successful completion. This is how we strengthen our community.
My platform has seven interconnected elements:
The current Select Board has begun discussing a possible override to address a likely funding shortfall in FY24. I will review financial details to make informed budget decisions that balance short- and longer-term needs. I’ll press for COVID recovery money to be spent on time-limited projects that do not obligate us to future funding and will work to maintain Natick’s AAA credit rating, ensuring the lowest costs when the Town borrows money.
While serving on the Finance Committee and Town Meeting, I’ve advocated for water conservation, energy efficiency, and waste reduction, and supported the ambitious projects identified by the Sustainability Director. I serve on the Building Committee for the KennedynMiddle School, which is Natick’s greenest municipal building and under budget. I support Natick’s NetZero action plan goals and will press the Town to employ clean energy when replacing existing systems or installing new ones. I will advocate for state legislation and policies to decarbonize electricity and lessen fossil fuel use.
A Thriving Community
Natick’s financial success relies on our commercial sector, and smart business development is central to our economic vitality. I support a single tax rate to keep our businesses, both large and small, competitive. By maintaining a strong commercial base, we can reduce the burden on residential taxpayers with revenues that help fund town services without increasing school enrollment. I’ll work with Town staff and committees to remove obstacles to responsible development.
Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI)
The 2020 census showed that 21% of Natick residents identify as non-white. I’ll do all I can to make Natick a fair, equitable, and inclusive community, with equal access to services, housing, and opportunity, including participation on Town boards and committees. I support the creation of the DEI Committee and look forward not only to hearing its recommendations, but to ensuring their implementation.
Transparency in Town Government
It is vital that Town government be accessible and available to all. I will see that Town information can be accessed easily online and in person, expanding the use of physical and digital platforms. I am eager to hear the findings of the Town Governance Study Committee concerning changes, if any, that will improve how we govern ourselves.
I’ll work to keep taxes from driving residents away and seek strategies to increase diversity in housing options. Rising property values and taxes are making it difficult for seniors and others to remain in Natick. I support expanding the scope of existing tax relief programs and broadening eligibility, and evaluating means-tested property tax exemptions. I support the efforts of the Affordable Housing Trust and Planning Board to foster development of a housing mix to serve a range of income levels.
We have many dedicated professionals who deliver the services we count on in our daily lives. I’ll ensure that the town can attract and retain staff by fairly compensating them and creating a positive work environment. I’ll also identify those areas that are not adequately resourced and work to correct those situations.
I look forward to responding to your questions on March 8, and respectfully ask for one of your votes for Select Board on Tuesday, March 29.