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Santaniello announces candidacy

~ Submitted by Paul Santaniello, candidate for Select Board.

I am running for a seat on the Longmeadow Select Board because our town is ata crossroads,both financially and as a community. My wife Dorothy and I moved to Longmeadow over 19 years ago because Longmeadow appeared to be a great place to raise a family.We saw clean streets, good schools, and people of all ages out walking, jogging and enjoying the town.

Today, the town government is not working together on critical issues, has reduced services (for example, leaf pick up and trash fees) and town buildings and schools are badly in need of repair or rebuilding.There is very little open dialogue when it comes to these matters and that needs to change.

Town residents need a Select Board that will lead the discussions of the important issues facing Longmeadow.Town residents need a Select Board that will take the Long Range Plan (a plan developed by a non partisan group of town residents looking at options for our town) and discuss and review all recommendations as to their feasibility and possible adoption.

Town residents need a Select Board that will be open to monthly, dedicated discussions with the School Committee and Finance Committee on all items pertaining to those boards, especially the budget. My promise is that my candidacy will lead us in that direction..

As a former member and vice chairman of the Finance Committee, I worked hard to develop our town's budget and as a result I have a good understanding of the need of our various departments and have established good working relationships with many department heads.

My current position as a School Committee member allows me to understand the many educational and facility issues facing our schools every day.As a member of this committee's Finance Subcommittee, I have a very good understanding of the school budgeting process, the impact of the lack of funding from the state and federal government for their mandated programs, and the ever-changing Special Education costs that affect our budget.

As a career financial consultant, I understand the needs of individuals, families, and seniors as they take on the daily challenges of paying for the rising costs of medical care, education, and retirement.

As taxpayers, we all desire that our hard-earned tax dollars are spent wisely.

As a parent, I understand the needs of our parents who want to ensure that their child receives the best education they can as they prepare for life beyond Longmeadow.

If elected, I will support:

The Capital Assets Review and develop a plan for all town buildings that responsibly meets those needs.

A review of our local services and a prioritization of those services so residents receive maximum value form their tax dollars.

Support projects which will assist elderly residents with appropriate housing needs commensurate withapplicable state and federal mandates.

Encourage open communication with town residents.I will be available at all times to listen to residents concerns and make local government transparent to everyone.

All opportunities to enhance the relationship between all town committees and boards.

Dorothy and I are the parents of three children. My oldest, Gia, went through the Longmeadow School System and is in college studying to be a teacher.My daughter, Nina, is a sophomore at the high school, and my son, Joey, is in third grade at Center School. I have been actively involved in our schools as a past president of the Center School PTO, and a former school council member at Center School, and the current president of the High School Parents Advisory Committee.

While I believe that Longmeadow is at a crossroads, I firmly believe that we can find a solution to our problems.

I would appreciate your support in my race for the Select Board and humbly ask for your vote on June 6.