Hot Topics Impacting Our Town
The Elementary School Building Project
Let’s face it, Amherst needs a new elementary school building. Our children and families deserve it. I have been a dedicated Member of the Elementary School Building Committee since 2021 and I want this project to succeed. Even my own two children will get to attend the new school when it is completed, which I’m so excited about!
My concern has consistently been about the financial impacts to low-income and other vulnerable residents who cannot afford increased housing costs and other expenses that trickle down from our important capital projects.
My vote for the funding of the Elementary School Building Project was never a “no” vote for the school building, but rather an opportunity to take an equity pause and to take the intentional time to develop creative solutions to the funding issues behind the school that would require the town taking on more of the costs rather than residents and families. My goal is that we can both build an incredible school AND sustain Amherst as a community that families can afford to live in. I plan to continue to advocate for the town to explore avenues of taking the additional financial burden off of families.
The Use of Town Reserve Funds
Last winter, I proposed that Amherst use $10 million from Town reserves to offset tax increases to families. Reserves are funds that residents have paid into over the years and are intended to be used, in part, to complete the four capital projects. Our Town is facing huge capital projects that need to get done including a new fire station and department of public works building, both of which I have visited and seen the poor infrastructure and working conditions first-hand.
My proposal reflects my dedication to coming up with collaborative, creative, community-based solutions for our budget, which I believe strongly in. This applies to use of reserves, prioritization of capital projects, and transparent communication and collaboration with the community. My goal is that our Town works together to identify fiscally responsible ways to fund all projects in parallel lowering the tax increase families are due to face over the next 30 years. If I am re-elected I would like to see progress on these projects and will continue to advocate to move them forward at both the council and finance level.