Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


March 21, 2013

Three compete to be selectmen for next three years


We have an opportunity to rezone the current Town Yard location this Town Meeting. New zoning will increase the value of the Town Yard site. With the location of the commuter rail station, and the expanded train service (with the new double tracking) there’s opportunity for potentially state-funded Transit Oriented development on the site. Included would be a possible much needed re-configuration of the intersection at the railroad tracks.

If the zoning proposal passes, true value of the site can be determined with an RFP process. That has been the missing component in recent discussion / proposals, for an offset cost potential.

Town Meeting voters will make the decision on this opportunity. I favor the rezoning and relocation, only if the project is cost-effective. I’d support rebuilding it where it is, if voters reject the zoning proposal.

What one big idea do you have to improve Andover during the next three years (up to 100 words)?

Economic Development Council expanding their effort to continue increasing the economic vitality of Andover, increase job growth and strengthen the tax base.

This could include:

An expansion of the Core Business District downtown providing more locations for small businesses.

Support, passage and development of the business overlay district in the River Road area providing more shopping and services to residents and businesses in west Andover.

Relook at the parking program downtown and explore improvements working with the business community.

Develop a plan for attracting additional TIF projects (similar to the success bringing Schneider Electric to Andover with 500+ new jobs).

What letter grade would you give the town for its handling of large projects during the last few years? (A through F)

Why? (You have up to 75 words)

Overall, B.

Overall good job with the Town’s Energy Program implementation earning Andover the Green Communities designation resulting in significant energy savings and over $300,000 in energy grants. Good job with the Town Center reconstruction. There is always room for improvement with large municipal construction projects. The recent Bancroft cost issue resulted in delays that were initiated by two abutters who tied up the project with unsuccessful legal actions.

What must be completed during the next three years for you to consider your term a success? (Up to 50 words).

A solution for the Town Yard. This is critical for maintenance of our buildings, schools, roads, equipment and safety of our employees. The replacement either at a new location or on the current site must be a cost-efficient solution. A new Town Yard will serve Andover for the next 75+ years.

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