My name is Gary Luca and I am a candidate for one of the three selectmen seats that are available in this year's election. I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere thanks to all the citizens of Ayer who have supported my efforts when representing your interests the last eight years. The challenge has been both rewarding and challenging, especially the last year.
In the past I have been involved with the negotiations to reduce the town's share of health-care costs, to represent a fairer more equitable split with the employees who have cooperated with a mutual understanding that this is in everyone's best interest for a viable future of Ayer to control costs. I have been part of negotiating two high profile litigations that cost the town pennies on the dollar when millions of dollars was the expected outlay.
The process of reducing costs will continue in fiscal year 2014 with health insurance savings for the taxpayers of more than $500,000.00 since fiscal year 2012. The town has instituted and initiated online billing for our tax payments and in office scanned entry of tax payments through the tax collector's office, a better town web page and expansion of our IT department to meet our ever changing electronic needs and a centralized approach such as a Town Hall multi-function copier and a furniture purchase policy to reduce costs. As a board, we have balanced budgets, instituted a sex offender bylaw, have supported our schools, clamped down on nuisance properties and continue to provide quality water and sewer functions that have been a staple in Ayer for many years.
We are entering a new challenge with the reduction of selectmen from five to three members. Town meeting had spoken to have this modification and I am set to embrace the change since it is the will of the people. I am prepared to do my part in helping to reduce the size of government, continue to be transparent and to bring more efficiency to the table in the coming months. We realize there is a need to improve the infrastructure especially water and sewer and have asked our legislatures to help find additional funding.
There is much to do and I feel that my leadership qualities are well documented and allow me to bring new ideas to the table. I still believe that an approach of processing the information on any issue that arises needs hard work, communication and many hours of labor to be successful for the town to reap the benefits.
We have discussed many things as a board including streamlining the processes we have for individuals looking to complete an application from any of our town departments online. We should proceed to look for opportunities to regionalize services with other towns as a way to save on our budget. We need to have a serious conversation related to the lack of movement to bring more commercial business to town and expand the tax base.
We need to realize that being sued is a detriment to the town and its finances and has to stop. We need to have a conversation regarding our regional school district's needs for the future to properly educate our children to a high standard. We need clear thinking and focus going forward and I believe that I can be the leader of that process moving onward.
I appreciate the support you've given me in past years and I will labor just as hard to continue working toward an efficient government that works for the taxpayers of Ayer. It's important to get out and show support for your candidates because the citizens of Ayer should expect the best out of their elected officials. That doesn't mean the one who waves the most or is the most visible. It does mean the candidate who works for the people, does not have an agenda, who is not a constant obstructionist or the one who continuously refuses to work with all town officials.
You deserve more and I will continue to hold both our appointed and elected employees, which includes but is not limited to the Board of Selectmen accountable for their actions.
The polls are open on Monday, April 28, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Please consider voting for Gary Luca with one of your three votes for selectman.