STANLEY ON CITY COUNCIL’S PASSAGE OF WALTHAM FY’2016 BUDGET
STATEMENT FROM CANDIDATE FOR MAYOR TOM STANLEY ON CITY COUNCIL’S PASSAGE OF WALTHAM FY’2016 BUDGET
“Tonight, I voted in support of the 2016 budget proposed by the current administration. In certain areas, the budget demonstrates a commitment to the entities most crucial to our city’s success. Our public schools will receive an increase of about $8 million, which is more than a three percent increase from the previous year’s budget.
However, the city cannot just throw money at problems. We spend more per pupil than many other communities but this is not reflected in student achievement. We have a serious staff retention problem in our schools and constant principal, teacher, and superintendent searches are disruptive and cost money. We are now in the midst of re-districting our elementary schools because of failed leadership in the Mayor’s office to plan for an expanding student population. And, after ten year of conversation, our high school is still at risk of losing accreditation because of the administration’s lack of action. We have a budget that articulates what our priorities are but, we need leadership to solve the problems we face.
Furthermore, tonight, during the final city council meeting, the administration proposed allocating $5.7 million in loans to repave roads. I am happy to see the city finally taking some steps necessary to get our city back on the right track. But, millions of dollars in capital funding doesn’t just creep up on you. It takes time. It takes a lack of oversight to accumulate over years. An election year shouldn’t be the catalyst for the City to look for long term solutions.
Waltham can do better. Under a Stanley administration, our city budget will not only fund the necessities like education, roads, and public safety, but we will encourage smart economic development, create plans that better care for our roads and bridges while controlling traffic, and invest in cultural programs that enrich our quality of life. With vision and planning, there are endless possibilities for Waltham.