My name is Gary Luca and I am running for the position of Ayer town treasurer on April 30. I am currently the postmaster of Ayer, which I have held for approximately four years, and I have been a selectman in Ayer for seven years. I have lived on Groton School Road for 12 years and I am married to Pam (Januskiewicz). We have five children -- Gina, Matt, Gary Jr., Erin and Connor -- and five grandchildren -- Mason, Nathan, Jackson, Isla and Luke.

My experiences are varied and include a store owner, selectman and postmaster. As a store owner with no experience of business and at a young age of 21, I quickly learned the finer points of money management and was able to quickly absorb all finances associated with owning a business.

As a selectman, I have been actively involved in all finances as far as the town budget is concerned. Whether it's negotiating contracts or working on the omnibus budget, I have always done what's right for the town of Ayer and its taxpayers. Working on the Bi Board, changing health-care allocation for town employees, asking for an audit from the Department of Revenue and participating in litigation that could have cost the town $30 million to $40 million and was negotiated down to approximately $260,000 are only a few of the issues that I have played a part in. The audit alone resulted in three policy changes that saved the town thousands of dollars, one of which is the policy to add funds to stabilization yearly that I authored. One form of this was adopted by our Finance Committee and contributed to the stability for our bond rating. Through efforts of the state Legislature, Ayer has been able to lower its health insurance premiums dramatically, thus lowering what taxpayers pay in taxes. Considering the economy has been in a downturn for a few years now, Ayer has weathered the storm quite well, and I am proud to be a part of it.

I have been an employee of the United States Postal Service since 1988, promoted to supervisor in 1997 and installed as postmaster in 2004. In that time period, I have managed operations as small as Ayer Post Office with 15 employees to Woburn with 125 employees. As postmaster, I am required to have in place the internal controls necessary to balance the office finances daily and I am accountable for the funds being held in all trust accounts, which is similar to what a treasurer does on a daily basis. I also have a background of timekeeping for the last 20 years and have experience in the human resource part of the treasurer's duties in relation to Office of Workers Compensation, Labor Department requirements such as FLSA and FMLA, benefits such as health care, life insurance and retirement options. As postmaster, I am required to have knowledge of employee benefits offered by the postal service, the Department of Labor and the Office of Personnel Management.

I'm running for treasurer of Ayer because I believe that I am more equipped to deal with the position than any of the other candidates. Everyone brings something to the plate, but I believe that I have the knowledge, skills and abilities to bring a high level of accountability and financial controls to a position that is one of the more important offices in the town of Ayer and quite frankly has fallen short the last two-plus years. Some of the functions that the treasurer is responsible for include, but is not limited to lending through short- and long-term bonds, account payables, daily cash reconciliation, retiree and current employee benefits, tax title, collecting of insufficient funds, money management including investing, recording and maintaining a record of property taken by the town, trust fund deposits and arbitrage.

I promise if elected to work effectively and efficiently to bring back the integrity and accountability to a position that has seemed to be lacking. Serving the public in a position such a treasurer, or for that manner any position, should be an honor and not privileged. I'll bring a sense of urgency to the position that it hasn't had in nearly three years. If elected, I will retire from the postal service but I will still be able to stay in town and serve the public in a different way. As elected officials, we are accountable to the taxpayers of Ayer and I am committed to perform at a high level for all taxpayers in Ayer as I have for the last seven years.

I have been blessed with a family that is very supportive and as I look forward towards my impending retirement, I also look at the new opportunities that life and work has in store for me.

The polls are open on April 30 at the Ayer Town Hall from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m., and I would appreciate a vote for Gary Luca for Ayer town treasurer. Thank you for all your support.

GARY LUCA

Ayer