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Ashland needs someone to manage town departments

To The Daily Sun,

I have written a couple letters recently that told about the opportunities of the Town of Ashland. I gave examples of good leadership and bad leadership. This is no joke. Leadership can make you or break you. I have said nothing as to our town employees.

Well, in spite of the leadership situation of our town, most, if not all town employees do a stand-up job. Wherever you look, the job is getting done. It may not be to some folks' liking always, but there are usually reasons why things don't go quite as planned.

The folks of Ashland should understand that they own this town. That means all our departments and our school. We should take pride in ownership. But that all starts with choosing the right leadership. When we elect folks to oversee our town and its departments this is serious business and for a town our size with the tax implications we deal with every day it is even more important to have leaders that make wise decisions.

Elected officials are part-time volunteers. We simply can't expect them to do everything right all the time. But when it comes to important and expensive decisions we really need someone at the helm to steer us in the right direction. I have seen many bad and costly decisions over the past several years and each time it makes our town move backward. And if the town goes backward, all our taxes and household expenses go up.

Our town desperately needs a good common sense businessperson to manage the departments of our town. One that will begin the process of developing our opportunities with our sewer treatment facility that is utilizing only 15 percent of its capacity. And there are other opportunities we can pursue that could generate revenue offsetting the burden.

We need the town manager plan to get the show on the road. We had the town manager plan on the ballot several years ago. But the leadership of the Electric Department told folks, "If you vote for that, your electric bill will double" intimidation and scare tactics, or "we have not increased rates in 7 years." Don't forget, we own the Electric Department and we pay a lot of money in payroll for them to do their job. They are not doing us a "favor." It's their job for crying out loud. So when you go to the polls, think to yourself, "Do I like things just how they are, or do I want things to change."

March 14 is voting day. I encourage you to vote "Yes" on Article 39 and adopt the Town Manager Plan.

Tom Peters

Former Ashland Selectman, Current Town Trustee

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Cormier and Patten are men of honor and integrity

To The Daily Sun,

The Town of Belmont is fortunate to have a number of candidates running for selectman this year and I believe two of them stand out over the rest and deserve our serious consideration.

Ron Cormier and Sonny Patten have separated themselves from the rest of the field by their dedication to serving Belmont and always trying to do the right thing for the town and the its citizens. I have interacted with both of them in their roles on town boards and my role as both a School Board member and a citizen and I have found them both to be professional at meetings and never interested in benefiting themselves or potential business interests. They invest the time needed to do the right thing to move Belmont forward. I have witnessed both of them sitting on boards where very serious issues were being addressed and they both took the responsibility very seriously. I consider them both to be men of honor and integrity.

Both of these men have lived in Belmont for a long time — Sonny for 37 years, and Ron was born and raised here. They have deep roots in our town. They want to do the right thing, have invested years of service to our town, and I believe they both deserve serious consideration for the honor of being elected to the Select Board. It will be a tough choice, but a win for Belmont if one of them is elected.

Tom Goulette

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