- What do you think is the most significant problem facing Westborough? What do you think should be done short-term and long-term to address it?
- Our biggest problems actually stem from our success. Westborough Schools are recognized locally and nationally. This draws many people to our community, and therefore Westborough Schools have a growing and increasingly diverse student body. It is critical that we maintain the standard of excellence that Westborough is known for while building a cohesive, inclusive community. This spans more than just diversity within the schools. I have always felt the school is part of the larger community, and residents without active students should see benefit from the schools and their interactions with the town. School and community working together doesn't stop when those kids graduate. We will have to manage to maintain excellence and well-being of our student population while respecting the needs of the community as a whole. It's important that we remain integrated as a community and work together for a continuously better Westborough. It is important that we remain focused on the relationship with the community to create the best Westborough.
- Do we need a new school building? Is there construction that NEEDS to be done?
- In my time on School Committee I spent many hours reviewing reports on building conditions, projected growth, and possible short and long term solutions. I am proud to see the hundreds of hours of research reformed to ensure we can informed decisions.
- The state assessment of our buildings, specifically Fales Elementary School, identified improvements that should be made and capacity issues wit our current population.
- School population is expected to continue growing through the next 5 years
- Quality of education and experience is directly related to class size.
- I feel we need to properly address the growth in our community and improve our facilities to accommodate our students. There are several proposals on how to accomplish this and over the next few months I hope to continue discussions that lead us to a long term, quality solution that we can afford.
- Where can I find budget details before town meetings?
- School Committee has a robust section of the www.westboroughk12.org website. There you will find.
- Building initiatives
- The long range strategic plan
- Public meeting records and schedules
- Policy Manual and Health & Safety Policy Manual
- Contact information for School Committee members
- Details on the 2017-2018 budget
- In addition I always recommend www.westboroughtv.org. They maintain an archive of all public school committee meetings allowing anyone to hear the discussions and decisions made during each meeting.
- Where do you stand on the Commercial Marijuana Opt-out vote this election cycle?
- Drug use in schools is a serious issue. Alcohol, cigarettes, marijuana, opioids and others have found ways into schools and communities nationwide. Each of them effects our children's growth, security, learning, and health. The school committee (my self included) has voted against any access to commercial marijuana in Westborough repeatedly. I also support the Westborough Opt-Out on the ballot on March 7th.
- I also want to add I am a firm believer in education of our children. Even without the ability to buy marijuana commercially in our community, we as parents, still need to engage with the discussion and inform our children about what drugs are and the negative effects they present. If Westborough passes the Opt-Out it is still my responsibility to have a conversation with my children with details about usage of any legal and illegal substances. Just because it isn't convenient doesn't mean we can ignore it.
- I also realize that funding for town initiatives may require additional tax revenue in the future. The state may decide not to utilize marijuana tax dollars to support our town with Westborough opting out. I hope this never happens and I will work to encourage the maximum support from Massachusetts but at this time I feel the impact of commercial marijuana to the community is more negative potential loss of state tax revenue.
- Finally, Thank you to Jody Hensley (School Committee member for the past 6 years) who has worked tirelessly to educate the community on effects and concerns with commercial marijuana. Her latest public presentation can be found here curtesy of Westborough TV: Info Session re: Town Opting Out for Marijuana Businesses.