On Tuesday May 10, you and Wayland will have an opportunity to address a considerable number of questions we face. These are local issues and we need local solutions. They include: budgets, communications, organizational structure, playing fields, building maintenance, unfinished projects and the overwhelming need to build a warm, welcoming and unified community.
I am Clifford Lewis. I am running for Board of Selectmen because I have an established track record of tackling and solving issues like these – not running from them and not hiding from them even though they may be difficult. And I am running for Board of Selectmen specifically because these issues are not and have not been addressed and they are not “just going away”.
We need to change the mind-set of the Board of Selectmen. And we need a new Selectman who has a solid background in Town along with a very broad horizon, an ability to listen, learn, communicate and a Selectman who has a proven track record for actually solving particularly thorny issues here in Wayland.
It’s easy to toss around terms like creativity, out-of-the box thinking, collaborative, transparent, but it is an entirely different matter to demonstrate those characteristics again and again with real-life results.
The Board of Selectmen is currently comprised of former Finance Committee members and lawyers. These people are trained to analyze detail, but they have completely missed the big picture. The Town has no financial plans, no long-term capital plans, no serious budget analysis compared to surrounding towns. What we do have is superficial and we need a whole lot better than a superficial understanding of budgets, or of any issue for that matter, if we are to make a serious change in our upward spiraling property taxes and serious change is what we need as a Town.
Those of you who know me in Town know my background. I’ve been a Wayland resident for 43 years. I have built a high-tech company from scratch – a company that achieved $15 million in sales and created 50 jobs – real jobs right here in Massachusetts. To do that you need a diverse group of empowered and capable people at all levels – people who can complete tasks, people you can count on and people with different areas of expertise who trust each other, communicate openly and who work together in harmony.
In Town, the committees I have chaired have worked like this. In business, the companies I have built worked like this – with dedicated, capable and collaborative people and my goal is to have an organization like this at every level of our Town government.
As Chair of the Town’s OPEB Committee, I led a collaborative, team effort to consistently fund the Town’s obligation to provide medical insurance to our retirees, which is about a $70 million obligation. Setting money aside to invest and grow ignited a very contentious debate on Town Meeting floor but following the recommendations of the OPEB Committee, it finished with broad support from every member of the community. This committee work stands out as an example of how to get a good result, how to develop a consensus quickly, how to bring the community together and how to show a substantial reduction in the annual budget allocation at the same time.
During my chairmanship, the Board of Public Works implemented a program for the removal of PFAS from the drinking water at the Happy Hollow wells. The PFAS solution has gone from concept to completion in less than one year – one of the very, very few major projects in town that has ever been completed in less than one year.
You can find my support for the schools on my website www.electcliffordlewis.com along with plans for school bus parking and more details on my background, the issues we face and developing ideas to address them. You can also send me an email at email@example.com.
I am looking forward to being your next public servant on the Wayland Board of Selectmen and to help build a warm, embracing community that will be the envy of the Boston metropolitan area.
Clifford Lewis (he, him, his) Candidate, Wayland Board of Selectmen