During my time in Town Meeting I have endeavored to do my part in helping Town Meeting. I have successfully sponsored warrant articles from making sure the Town by-laws reference the latest edition of Town Meeting Time (our parliamentary manual) to requiring that anyone speaking before Town Meeting disclose any direct financial interest they have in the article they are speaking on. I have a near-perfect attendance record. I am a member of the Town Meeting Procedures Committee. I have organized purchases of Town Meeting Time to help make sure Town Meeting members have copies of this important reference. I have always been happy to answer questions fellow Arlingtonians have asked me about Town Meeting procedures and logistics. In short, I care how things are done, I know how things are done, and I want to help make people's Town Meeting experience better.
While I believe that Town Meeting has been run quite well, I also believe that with the Moderator's chair turning over for the first time in eighteen years, this is an excellent time to investigate and consider what could be done differently to make Town Meeting even better, such as appropriate uses of technology consonant with both our traditions and layout of the hall, making more information about Town Meeting's activities more easily available to the public, and encouraging more people to run and eliminate the vacanies. I believe my engineering background is an asset to that effort.
An important but sometimes overlooked role of the Moderator is that of being the appointing authority for many Town committees. If elected, I will do my best to appoint with balance -- to help ensure that all sides will be fairly heard on those committees.
Outside of Town Meeting, I have been a volunteer for eight years in the AARP Tax-Aide program of free tax preparation for seniors and have been the Arlington co-ordinator of the program the past three years. I have also served six years on the board of directors of Church of Our Saviour, three of which as Treasurer.
I grew up just outside of Providence, RI and attended college at MIT where I majored in physics and electrical engineering. To me, the most important lessons of those majors and of the MIT experience are how to see, analyze, and solve problems; how to think logically; attention to detail; and how to keep a cool head in adverse situations. These are important skills for a Town Moderator, since in conducting Town Meeting he will have do things like keeping track of the stack of motions and amendments pending on an article and keeping the meeting clear on what's happening, suggesting to a speaker what form of motion will best accomplish what the speaker desires, or dealing with a misbehaving speaker.
After graduating from MIT in 1991 I've worked as a software engineer for a number of companies and currently work at Saba Software in Lexington. My wife and I moved to Arlington in 1995. After finding out about Town Meeting, I was immediately interested and in the spring of 1996 got elected to a one-year slot with a sticker campaign. I would like to thank the voters in my precinct for returning me to Town Meeting every election since then. We became homeowners later in 1996. We've enjoyed living in Arlington very much and look forward to raising our new son here. It's a great town to live in and I'd love to have the chance to give more back to it.
Thank you, and please remember to vote on April 14th!