A community’s public education system is one of the greatest predictors of the future of that community. With children at North Beverly Elementary School, I have a personal vested interest in our school system. This is an issue that impacts all of us in terms of our home values, our quality of life, and the health and safety of all members of our community, regardless of age. While serving as PTO treasurer at North Beverly Elementary, I have learned first-hand how much of our school’s quality enrichment programming is supported by the PTO itself, rather than being a part of the overall school budget.
I aim to approve funding to show that we support our teachers and students, and I strongly support free, full-day kindergarten in Beverly. While we lead the way in some areas, such as our stellar summer camps program, we are currently behind the curve when it comes to free full-day kindergarten, which could potentially hinder growth in attracting and retaining young families. This is an issue that has been talked about for years. It is time to do something about it.
Environmental sustainability is a global issue with many local applications for our city. Beverly has already taken several steps in the right direction with its recycling program and now its growing compost program. Last year, the City also initiated a plastic bag ban. As an oceanside community, we have all seen the plastic debris wash up on the beach, and it is up to us to lead the way in reducing this pollution. After collecting trash on the beach for a Sunday School project with my sons, my family went to the City Council meeting and my son, who was seven at the time, got up and entered a comment for the record. “Bring your own bag. It’s not that hard,” he said. His courage in speaking out on this issue inspired me to do more to preserve and protect our beautiful natural environment for future generations.
If elected to represent Ward 5 on City Council, I will work with individuals and organizations, such as the Ward 5-based sustainability education nonprofit organization Change Is Simple, to make our community more sustainable so that our great grandchildren can continue to enjoy Beverly as we do today.
Traffic Safety & Transportation
I’m running, in part, because I run. As I jog around our beautiful Ward 5, I see sidewalks, crosswalks, track crossings, and bike lanes that need work or—in some areas—need to exist. Areas in need of improvement include the access points to the North Beverly commuter rail station, the Brimbal Ave. rotary, and the intersection of McKay, Cabot, and Enon. Currently, we have children living within a quarter mile of their schools who cannot safely walk to school because of concerns about some of these intersections. That isn’t right. I’d also like to hear ideas from Boston commuters who access the commuter rail via the North Beverly station as to how we may be able to make their commute better.
Many people can present good ideas, but implementing those ideas costs money. I am dedicated to thinking outside of the box as to where that money will come from. Surely our tax dollars will continue to be the major piece of the puzzle, however that is not the only potential revenue source we may be able to tap. From the large (might major parcels of City-owned land be outfitted with solar panels that can sell electricity back to the grid?) to the small (might we be able to process your tax bills here in Beverly rather than paying someone in Medford to do so?), I am an operations manager who is always looking for an edge. I’m eager to explore new ideas aimed at creating financial efficiencies for our wonderful city.