This week, I wrote a letter to the editor of the Arlington Advocate, which was published. I talked about town spending priorities, a favorite topic of mine. In particular, I tried to explain why spending more of the town's reserve fund was a bad idea. There have been a number of recent, well-publicized calls for such a move. I think they are misguided.
The RMV, and Why I Can't Stand It
I bought a motorcyle in 1999. I didn't ride it too often, but it was fun when I did. It gave me mobility that my bicycle couldn't always provide. I put it up for sale last fall. I advertised it on craigslist, fielded a few emails, had a few visitors, and sold it to a nice woman in western Mass. This is where the story gets unhappy.
Tour de Mac
Bobby Mac is a minor legend in Boston/New York cycling circles. He's on the rainy side of 55 years old, legally blind, and bikes thousands of miles every year. He developed most of his reputation helping the Boston/New York Aids Ride. He still works vigorously for AIDS research, but there is a ride this spring in his name: the Tour de Mac. I'm traveling this weekend, but I ponied up some dough - don't you think you should too?
I was in New Orleans for JazzFest a couple of weeks ago. (It's an annual pilgrimmage that I could go on for pages about). I was standing in line at one of the food stands, waiting for the next batch of gumbo to be ready (mmmmmmmmm. gumbo.). Another guy walked up and asked if they had any gumbo, and I said it would be a few minutes. I was wearing my Red Sox hat, and he asked me what the score for yesterday's game was. He asked if I was from Boston, and I told him I was from Arlington, just outside Boston.
Town Meeting 2006
Here are my notes for Town Meeting 2006.
Article 20 - Venner Road
I learned a lot more about this article (which will probably be voted on May 8) from people at tonight's Selectmen's meeting. I haven't heard the whole story yet, but I'll relay it as I understand it at this time.
The Cost of Symmes Settlement
The Symmes lawsuits are settled. It appears that the last major obstacle to the development on the Symmes site is past. But what was the cost of that settlement?
I'd like to thank the voters of Precinct 11 for their support on election day. I will strive to make you proud that you voted for me.
Asking For Your Vote on April 1
To the voters of Precinct 11:
Vote Yes on April 1
The town votes on Saturday whether to increase the sales of liqour in Arlington.
Superintendent Levenson and FY07
On Monday the new schools superintendent, Nate Levenson, presented his budget to the Finance Committee. When we walked into the room on Monday I didn't have an opinion about him either way. I had heard a few generally positive reports about his performance, and I had heard about the mini-controversy about his contract. His budget presentation blew me away. When he left the room, I was a convert. He has earned my respect and support.
The Risks of Symmes
As most everyone knows, the development of the Symmes property is being delayed by two lawsuits. A few (four) Arlington residents have essentially stopped the project in its tracks.
How Town Meeting is Raising the Cost of Housing
It is intuitive to me that the more regulation and restriction that the town imposes on building, that fewer and fewer building projects will be undertaken.
Seat Belt Law Rides Again
An article in the Globe last week sparked the writing juices. Stricter seat belt bill back on table, read the headline. The article is about activity on a proposed law that would permit police officers to pull drivers over and ticket them simply because they weren't wearing a seat belt.
The Patriot Act, Senator Sununu, and Party Politics
Why I'm Voting Against the Override on June 11th
I'm voting no because this override is too big. The tax increase is too large to be justified by the needs of the town.
Why I'm Voting Against Rebuilding the Park Circle Fire Station
Does anyone know how many fire stations we need?
Does anyone know where we should place the fire stations?
I'm voting against spending $2.5 million on the Park Circle fire station because I am not satisfied that we know the answer to these questions.
Live from Arlington
I'm very excited to announce the launch of http://www.livefromarlington.com, Live from Arlington.
I went to Candidate's Night tonight for three reasons. . .
We decided to recommend a change in the bylaws. . .
Gimme Gimme Gimme
Representative Scott Brown won the March 3 special election to replace State Senator Cheryl Jacques, and in today's Sunday Globe he reminded us all what he stands for: pork.
Special Town Meeting Notes
I have written my usual notes about tonight's Special Town Meeting.
Fire Stations Deserve Thought
Arlington Fire Chief Rich Maimone saying something pretty spectacular today.
Romney on Marriage: If He Were to Finish His Logic
Governor Mitt Romney wrote an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal this week opposing gay marriage. He said: "The institution of marriage was not created by government and it should not be redefined by government."
Why Spending Reserves is a Bad Idea
Unfairness, Codified and Perpetuated
Last month, Massachusetts considered making it legal to sell alcohol statewide. The bill failed in the house. The reasons why it failed are almost beyond believing.
Being Smart on Town Priorities
A recent discussion on the Arlington Mailing list really got me fired up about spending priorities.
End the Town Manager Residency Requirement
The selectmen have decided that it is too limiting to require that Arlington's Town Manager live in town, and they called a Special Town Meeting to consider the change (see the story in the Arlington Advocate.
State Treasurer Using Public Funds to Advance Himself
If it's one thing that I really hate, it's government employees, elected or otherwise, who spend public money to advance themselves. An egregious example I noticed this week: State Treasurer Timothy Cahill.
No Spam for Arlington Town Employees
On July 28th the selectmen passed a new Information Technology Acceptable Use Policy. I was quite entertained to discover that this new policy has managed to forbid receiving spam.