WRITE-IN CANDIDATE

VOTE NOVEMBER 7TH 2017

KENNETH J RICKER - FOR MAYOR

Why do our taxes keep going up year after year?  Leominster has the 37th highest tax rate out of 353 city/towns as a result of 47% property tax increase in the past 10 years.  $70 million of Certified Free Cash over the past 10 years.  The Average Stabilization Account across Massachusetts is $2.9 Million, Leominster has $14 Million.

 

Why are we making the elderly choose between living in their own home and having to leave their homes because taxes keep going up every year?

 

My Solution as Mayor:

 

As Mayor, I will work closely with all departments within the city to insure that the budget that I put forth to the City Council accurately reflects the needs of the community as well as properly budgeting for improvements to help the city run as efficiently and effectively as possible.  By requesting a complete audit of all city finances from the top down, we can reassure the residents of this city that their taxes are only being raised when necessary and a clear explanation of why is articulated.

 

As my family before me here in Leominster, I wish for my children to live in a community like Leominster that continues to flourish economically and culturally but not overburden them with unnecessary taxation.

We need a new Police Station

 

My Solution as Mayor:

 

A top priority when I am elected is to work diligently with the Police Chief and the City Council in identifying a viable property that is cost effective and reasonable for the city.  I would also contact other surrounding municipalities such as Gardner and ask them to join the conversation to offer advice and consultation concerning their recent success in acquisition and building.

 

Opioid Epidemic

 

My Solution as Mayor:

 

An epidemic should be addressed before it is an epidemic.  This is a problem in our community that isn't going away quickly.  We need to create a louder conversation around drug use and the risk of addiction with pain pills.   As a parent with children who play sports, it is not a foreign worry to me that they could get injured, have a surgery and be introduced to a substance, that while intended for short term use for pain, could become a life long battle with addiction.  As a community, we need to recognize that there is a serious problem of prevention that helps, and educates our children, to recognize early warning signs of abuse and how and where to seek help.

1.The cost of education is going up and the contribution from the state is going down.  There is more burden on municipalities to make up the difference.  Where will the money come from for the 2018-2019 budget the School Committee is currently working on?

 

My Solution as Mayor:

 

I would respect the City Council's unanimous vote on July 10, 2017 for a DOR Review.  A thorough review our city's finances, procedures and practices has to happen.  Along with a review of our city finances, a comprehensive audit of our School Finances should be performed.  When elected, it will be my first action as Mayor.  As the city Council has stated, it may not be the answer that we are looking for, but we have to start somewhere.  We cannot plan to fund at the minimum amount and find money later.

   

I would also share with the Grant Writer position that the City currently has with the School District.  This is an important role to have to not only find cost savings for our building maintenance but also for important programs, technology, curriculum and services to offer a better experience for our students.

 

2.  Communication between the City and the School Department is Lacking.

 

My Solution as Mayor:

 

I look forward to creating a fluid, working relationship with the City Council and the School Committee.  The residents of Leominster elect these bodies to represent them, their voices and their needs.  We need to create a two way line of communication between them to ensure that the School Budget Disaster of 2017 is not repeated nor a surprise to anyone.

 

3. Leadership

 

My Solution as Mayor:

 

Everyone wants to feel that their concerns are being heard.  Parents, Teachers, Administration.  As Mayor and a member of the School Committee, I will work hard to cultivate an cohesive body that is focused on the success of our district and start to repair the damage that has been done over this past budget season.