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Andy Rojas: 'Ready, Right Now, to Lead'

Candidate announcing his run for Board of Selectmen.

I am proud to announce that I am running for Belmont Selectman in 2012.

The overwhelming encouragement from friends, colleagues and neighbors has been flattering and humbling. This was a well considered decision based on my experience in Belmont’s town government over the past seven years. I am personally excited at the prospect of helping Belmont face its many present and future challenges.

My background and experience are very relevant to the Town’s current needs. I am presently Vice Chairman of the Planning Board (member since 2006), a Town Meeting Member (Precinct 5), a member of the Economic Development Advisory Committee, and a member of the Capital Projects Overview Committee. I have also served on the Shade Tree Committee, the Benton Library Re-Use Committee, the Harvard Lawn Fire Station Re-Use Committee, and the Police Station Feasibility Committee.

My two children are alumni of the excellent Belmont school system. Sam, 18, graduated in 2011 from Belmont High School and is a freshman at St. Michael’s College in Vermont. Lucy, 16, is a junior at Belmont High School. My wife, Allison, and I have donated our design services for the new Language Lab at Belmont High School, as well as for the basketball court reconstruction at the Winn Brook School. I have coached Belmont Youth Basketball and Baseball teams. Our family is very committed to the Belmont schools.

Regarding education, I have a Masters Degree (MLA) from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, studied Real Estate Development and Management at the Harvard Business School, a Bachelor’s Degree from City College of New York’s School of Architecture and Environmental Studies, and an Honorary Degree in Media Arts from the Massachusetts Communications College.

I have run a small professional services firm in Massachusetts for the past 30 years and am very sensitive to the need for business friendly town policies. My extensive background in constituent services and outreach, neighborhood and economic development, design and project review, business incentives, sand budget analysis and prioritization makes me uniquely qualified to address the most pressing issues facing Belmont.

Our town needs solutions that are practical, effective, contextual, and budget-conscious. I have the experience and am ready, right now, to lead that charge.

Belmont’s priorities include:

Responsive town government

 Listening and responding to resident concerns and priorities is the basis for everything else. I have worked hard to meet with and listen to residents and neighborhood groups. Ensuring that the Town’s By-Laws are enforced is absolutely essential to meeting resident expectations. A new, strong Town Administrator will help make this happen. I will be responsive and inclusive on all issues affecting our town.

Maintain our quality of life

The essential character of our life in Belmont must be maintained and enhanced, even while facing stiff budgetary constraints, development pressures, and economic malaise. Maintaining excellent schools, keeping property taxes affordable, developing realistic short and long-range budgets, maintaining property values, preserving open space, and enhancing the physical character of our ‘Town of Homes,’ are all related and critical to Belmont’s overall Quality of Life.

Neighborhood sensitive economic development

Smart, sensitive economic development that springs from the participation of residents and neighborhoods is a critical factor facing Belmont right now. Carefully increasing our tax base will help to maintain our excellence in schools and our overall quality of life. New projects (which are on the horizon) must look and feel like Belmont, must knit in to the overall texture and character of our community, and must be economically and environmentally sustainable. We must work to make new development fit our physical and economic needs.

Improve Existing Infrastructure

Improving the quality and capacity of our existing infrastructure has an impact on every resident and business. Belmont needs to repair and enhance the components of its existing infrastructure back-bone. This should take precedence over embarking on additional major capital projects and improvements that add financial burdens to our budgets. Smart, targeted infrastructure improvements add great value to Belmont’s present and future.

This is just the start of my campaign’s pro-active approach toward the issues affecting our town. I will be sharing additional information and schedules as my campaign progresses.

Please do not hesitate to call or email me with any thoughts, concerns or comments.

Your support and encouragement are particularly important to me. Thank you very much and I respectfully ask for your vote on Monday, April 2nd.

Andy Rojas

Drew Road

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