Selectman Robert Sweeney seeks a second three year term and
is being challenged by Katie Conlon. Sweeney is a retired teacher in the Boston
school system, a life- long resident, a town meeting member from Precinct 9 and
some years ago served on the Milton School Committee. Conlon was also raised in Milton. She’s an
attorney, a Town Meeting Member for 22 years and currently serves on the Boards
of Fuller Village, Milton Hospital, and the Cunningham Foundation.
Selectman Sweeney came to office with a key objective. He
wanted to block if at all possible the development of the Governor Stoughton
property. He enjoyed generous contributions from neighbors in Indian Cliffs who
also wanted to stop any development.
When the RFP proposals for the property were submitted, he supported one
that was essentially a gift to the Town, containing no development, and
offering substantially less money to the trust than two other proposals. When the Board met to discuss the options and
make a selection, Indian Cliffs residents packed the COA meeting room and in a
rare display of rudeness attempted to intimidate the Selectmen into ignoring
their responsibilities as Trustees of the Governor Stoughton Trust. Mr. Sweeney
was happy to oblige them, while the other two selectmen understood their responsibility.
re-election he’s built his campaign around political grandstanding over MWRA
water rates and an anti-tax stance. Although the campaign has not specifically
said he will oppose any tax increases, his supporters have been saying that and
you can be sure the underground campaign that takes place in all elections is
touting that as fact. Milton requires periodic overrides to make up for annual
revenue growth that falls short of comparable communities and even the state
average. Mr. Sweeney’s own co-treasurer,
long-time Town Treasurer Kevin Sorgi, has been noting for almost a decade the
town’s need for overrides from time to time. It’s disturbing to me that a
Selectman might not support the citizens making a choice by vote between lost
services and tax increases, as it should be to anyone concerned about Public
Safety and our Schools.
I worked with Katie on the Warrant Committee during my last
year on the committee. She went on to -serve as the Chair for three years and did an outstanding job
during her tenure. The Town Meeting respected her work on the annual town
budget recommendations and it was rare that those recommendations were not
followed. Needless to say, she
understands the town’s budget and finances very well.
Katie is one of those rare individuals who really is
objective in her approach to issues.
Although I don’t always agree with her, I always know that her conclusions
about things come from careful study, not a predetermined position. She understands that a Selectman’s role is to
represent the entire town, not a neighborhood or groups with whom one might
have an association. She’s forward – looking and will tackle difficult problems
and work collegially with fellow Selectmen to find solutions.
By nature, Katie is fiscally conservative, as anyone who’s
ever worked on a budget with her would know. But she recognizes the special
fiscal restraints the town operates under. She’s under no delusions about how
tight our budgets are. In the final
analysis, she will balance her fiscal instincts with the residents’ right to
make the final decisions on services and taxes.
I support Katie Conlon for Selectman and hope you’ll give
her your vote.
Incumbent Alex Whiteside seeks another 5 year term on the
Planning Board and is being challenged by Real Estate Developer Todd Hamilton.
Alex Whiteside is a personality. In his role as Planning
Board member he can occasionally be supercilious, and just plain
difficult. But he possesses a very
valuable skillset for his role on the Board. A large part of the Board’s
purpose is to apply the zoning laws contained in our own Zoning Bylaws and in
State law to land and development issues in Milton. As a career lawyer with special focus on these
very topics he offers an on the spot check of Board deliberations from a legal
perspective, and despite what his opponent says, this is a valuable asset.
Mr. Hamilton’s candidacy seems to have been spurred by the
Planning Board’s rejection of his development proposal off Hillside St. Now
both Alex Whiteside and the Board are capable of making mistakes, as would Mr.
Hamilton if he were elected. I don’t understand how this constitutes a
rationale for voting for Mr. Hamilton.
Mr. Hamilton is a developer. Besides the obvious concerns of
putting the fox in charge of guarding the hen house, Mr. Hamilton seems to
think that when development conflicts with zoning, things should be settled
like a business deal where everyone sits around a table and hammers out a
compromise. He’s referenced his
experience at dealing with Planning Boards in other communities, mentioning
Bridgewater for one. Now Bridgewater’s a fine place. However, I don’t think
anyone who’s ever driven through the town would confuse it with Milton. We have
a history of bias against expanding commercial development and this has
resulted in a heavier burden on homeowners than otherwise would be the case. But
this is not a reason to ignore current zoning.
And our beautiful town owes much of our attractiveness as a community to
long standing adherence to zoning laws.
This is no time to swap smart zoning for the art of the
deal. Please join me in supporting Alex Whiteside for another term on the