The Citizen Chronicle has invited all Town Council candidates to submit letters describing their candidacy and the issues that are important to them. They will be published in the order we receive them. The election will take place on Tuesday, June 11. The following letters have been received and published to date: James Daubney, Mike Marketti.
To the voters of the Town of Southbridge, Greetings:
My name is James Daubney, I live at 85 Everett St. My wife Lisa and I own a multi-family home that we also reside in. Some of you may recognize me from the 2016 Bicentennial Committee. Lisa and I organized much of the Grand Gala Ball and some of the items for the parade and the bands at the high school.
I’m running for a one-year term on the Town Council for several reasons. First, I would like to give it a single term to see if it’s something that would be compatible with me. My plan is (if elected) to say little and listen much. I do not claim to have all the answers to every issue facing our town but I will work hard with the other members of the council as well as the town manager and department heads to find practical and manageable solutions.
My view of the duty of the Town Council is one of fiscal responsibility. I’m committed to finding as much outside funding and grants to lessen the impact and tax burden to the homeowners and businesses of Southbridge. There are several large capital expenditures that Southbridge is facing in the coming years especially upgrades to the waste treatment plant and the cost of a new fire station. The last upgrades to the treatment facility I believe occurred around 1986, this is aging and will need substantial upgrades soon. The fire station is outdated and not up to standards of a modern fire department. I’m sure if we look together we can find grants, state and federal monies to lessen our potential burden on these projects.
I am also very interested in working hand in hand with the committees for trash removal and cable TV/internet.
My view on the cable TV/Internet situation in town is we should look to introduce competition to this market as technology has grown and our system has remained stagnant for many years now. Competition will insure that we get the best service for reasonable prices.
A note of personal research on this issue. Lisa and I have a seasonal camping site in Austerlitz, NY. It’s just over the border from West Stockbridge. Austerlitz is a small spread out town of about 1600 (one thousand six hundred) citizens with a median annual family income of $65,000 (as compared to $48,000 for Southbridge, $95,000 for Charlton and $101,000 for Sturbridge.) yet this town just had fiber optic TV and internet installed. AT OUR CAMPGROUND AS WELL! Why doesn’t Southbridge have this? Charter has a virtual monopoly on high speed internet in town that needs to end. Their failing town infrastructure I’m sure has been felt by everyone. Where is the incentive to upgrade? Why would they when they are the only game in town? I’m certain we can work with other providers to bring in excellent consumer friendly internet service once the Charter contract has expired.
We are also facing roads and sidewalks that are quickly deteriorating. Ancient gas lines that need replacing before another tragic incident happens like the one in Lawrence. Fortunately, the one thing our President and Congress seem to agree on is spending trillions of dollars on infrastructure improvements. I’m committed to working with our town manager and departments to go after any federal dollars that will hopefully soon become available and to show the Federal Government that Southbridge has shovel ready projects that just need adequate funding. We need to be prepared for when this money does eventually become available as I’m certain it will.
There are many other issues facing Southbridge; Schools, police and fire staffing, bringing new business and industry into town and being a business friendly community that will require due diligence and careful considerations. I will do my best to do what is best for the taxpayer and all citizens of Southbridge.
In conclusion, if I am blessed to be elected to the council, I promise to work diligently to improve our town. We are a small town with some serious big city issues, I hope to be a voice of reason on the council. My goal is to find as much outside money for our improvements as possible thus lessening our own tax burden.
I ask that you consider a vote for Jim Daubney on June 11.