As always, I prepared beforehand by reading the warrant, attending the Town Manager's information session, and spoke to authors of the articles for clarification. Before Town Meeting, I wrote out questions or points I thought were important to note. I've never been one to grandstand, it's why I would never run for an executive office. Thankfully, all the articles I supported passed and we made some positive changes for the Town.
Some of the highlights:
Teachers and Paraprofessional's hard fought contracts have been fully funded
DPW is on a path to better fiscal management practices and I look forward to seeing the results.
North Billerica Fire Station is going to FINALLY get needed upgrades - the assessment has been funded and I will keep an eye on their findings. One thing I want to see is better protection for our firefighters such as in the new Pinehurst Station.
Billerica Substance Awareness and Prevention will also have more diverse appointments in the future. The addition of a member of the Youth Advisory Council is especially important. BSAP has great programing for parents but they need to be able to reach our youth, before there are problems. I also hope that the planned after school activities and programs for at-risk youth quickly get off the ground. BSAP is waiting on a grant and an infusion of funds from the Sackler lawsuit to get these program off the ground. Our leaders need to work with a sense of urgency to address the need for wrap around services and preventative practices outlined by BSAP.
One last note about Town Meeting, we need more members! A lot of people did not show up for night two and we barely made quorum. Please let me know if you are interested. It takes a commitment of about 30 hours a year and we're always looking for new ways to stay engaged with each other.