I am writing this letter in support of Enrico Cappucci, who is running for the one-year unexpired term on the Shirley Board of Selectmen.
Our community is facing some of the most difficult financial issues that we have faced in quite some time. The 2013 regional school budget, coupled with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's revised system of completing mandated town spending, means Shirley faces an additional $550,000 shortfall above the original forecast.
Since Mr. Cappucci left the Board of Selectmen three years ago, he has continued to represent Shirley on the Economic Development Committee. The committee has successfully secured three different grants to help develop property in our town, hopefully increasing our tax base. As an example, "The Gate Way" project is being designed to provide a more pleasing approach into Shirley from Route 2 and Lancaster Road. These grants are the foundation of Mr. Cappucci's long-term planning effort, which he identified as a goal when he held office.
Mr. Cappucci also served the current Shirley Board of Selectmen, as our representative to the Joint Board of Selectmen, along with representatives from Ayer, Harvard and Devens. In this note, he has brought communities back to the JBOS after long absences by other town representatives.
One of the critical issues that Mr. Cappucci has diligently pursued while on JBOS is challenging Mass. Development to open up its school contract for all to bid on -- a contract worth $1.3 million annually. This funding source might have been used to the betterment of the newly formed Ayer-Shirley region if the process had been more transparent and the former members of the Ayer-Shirley Regional School District committee had been more proactive.
The position of selectman is multifaceted and needs someone who can focus and be effective in many areas. We need an experienced person at this critical time and do not have the luxury of affording another candidate "on-the-job training."
Therefore, I am supporting Enrico Cappucci for the position of selectman and urge you to do so also.
PATRICIA M. MACDONALD