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Dan Scharfman: A Leader Who Will Listen

School Committee member seeking to win a seat on the Board of Selectmen.

I’m Dan Scharfman, and I’m asking you to vote for me as Selectman on April 2, 2012. Your vote will help bring my proven skills as a collaborative, listening leader to the.

For the last 25 years I’ve managed an information systems consulting firm that helps organizations use technology. I’ve also served on several boards of directors. This experience has helped me understand how to innovate in a changing world, how to bring together community partners to achieve common goals, and how to balance a budget. 

My experience on the has demonstrated my leadership abilities.  We’ve effectively contained costs while maintaining our high quality of education. I’ve worked hard to make tough choices without being divisive, preserving both our academic programs and our athletics and extracurricular activities. I was also instrumental in the choice of our strong interim superintendent, and I’ve helped the School Committee collaborate productively with other town departments.

Decisions made in the next few years will shape our town for decades.  With our strong schools, walkable neighborhoods, and access to transportation, Belmont is poised to become an even more desirable community—if we find the right balance going forward. Smart growth in Cushing Square, along Trapelo Road, and elsewhere in town can encourage more businesses to locate in Belmont providing more tax income —but it must not overwhelm our "Town of Homes." I will work with both developers and townspeople to improve and protect our town. Everyone agrees that we have to maintain our existing infrastructure, but we must also address our most urgent long term capital needs including sidewalks and roads.  And we must find a way to sustain the cultural, recreational, and civic resources that bring residents together and make Belmont such a special place to live.

In short, with an improving economy we are poised to leave some of our most challenging times behind and make progress together. Here’s how I’d start:

• Use my experience in hiring, contract negotiation and oversight to ensure that Belmont’s operations are efficient, effective and responsive

• Provide more opportunities for all residents to tell us how to make town government accountable and transparent

• Create a viable five year plan for the town, rooted in our shared vision and realistic capabilities

• Hire and empower a strong Town Administrator

• Restructure and consolidate operations wherever we can save money and improve services

• Lead the town in choosing which of our many proposed capital projects matter most

• Support smart growth that brings sustainable, balanced development to our town

• To improve the constructive  participation of citizens both as members of Town Committees and Town Meeting

My family moved to Belmont in 1993. My wife, Merle Kummer, and I raised our two children here and both are graduates of Belmont High School. We are all deeply grateful for what Belmont has given – education, friendship, safety, community. I am committed to maintaining Belmont’s many desirable aspects for the generations to come.

My experience in business, in town government and in our community will help make an already-strong Board even stronger.

I look forward to listening to your concerns and ideas. Please visit my website or contact me at daniel.scharfman@verizon.net. I hope to earn your support on April 2.

Matt Sullivan January 18, 2012 at 11:09 PM
Dan, I think you're doing a great job on the School Committee. Now with Becky Vose not running for re-election everyone except for Chairman, Laurie Graham and Laurie Slap, who also got on just two years ago with you will be new.

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