I was bemused to see Paul Santaniello’s letter in The Reminder this week describing his accomplishments on the Select Board. I would like to set the record straight about some of his claims:
1. Leasing seasonal trucks for the Department of Public Works to save money was not his idea. It is actually a plan suggested and promoted by Richard Foster for years. Mr. Foster leased trucks for the Federal Parks Department. Whether it is cheaper to buy or lease is unclear and therefore the Town Manager recommended we begin a pilot project this year to assess whether the plan will work for Longmeadow.
2. Contrary to his assertion, he did not vote to cut taxes. This year Mr. Santaniello voted to raise the commercial tax rate by 12 percent and to raise the residential rate over 2 percent. He stated he regretted not increasing the commercial tax by 50 percent.
3. Also contrary to his assertion, he did not promote the purchase of street lights to save money. This has been a pet project of Mark Gold’s for years. During Mr. Santaniello’s chairmanships he did not advance the project.
4. In regards to Mr. Santaniello’s participation in the MGM arbitration award, days before the Massachusetts Gaming Commission was to hear our oral arguments in Boston to defend the arbitration award, Mr. Santaniello went on talk radio and insulted the Gaming Commission and its members. While in Boston waiting for the hearing to begin, I was informed of this unprofessional behavior by a Commission member. Fortunately for Longmeadow the Commissioners did not take the attack under consideration during deliberations.
Mr. Santaniello has been on the Select Board since 2006. He should be running on his own record, not the accomplishments and ideas of others.