MacDonald Against Wind-Siting Bill
ADAMS, Mass. — Edward MacDonald, candidate for state representative, came out against the wind siting bill that passed the House of Representatives.
MacDonald said the bill takes away local control, and provides more power in the hands of developers. The Senate passed a similar bill earlier in the year.
The language of the bill allows developers to bypass the local boards if the permitting process takes longer than 120 days. MacDonald supports clean energy, but not at the cost of relinquishing the rights of cities, towns and their residents.
"What is upsetting to me is that this bill bypasses local boards, and therefore local control. The towns and cities and their residents are being shortchanged by the passage of this bill. Large companies who can take their battle to court will eventually win out. While it might reduce red tape and time in implementing these projects, it still puts too much power in the hands of the state. This is a classic example of the state trying to micromanage the cities and towns."
MacDonald said he believes that the state should not take away authority from local boards by passing such a law.
"I believe in local controls, not state-mandated regulations that hurt small cities and towns. I will be your voice at the State House to make sure your voice is heard."
|Tags: MacDonald, wind|
Cariddi Urges Caution on School Regionalization
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — First Berkshire District candidate Gail Cariddi is advocating a go-slow approach to state plans to consolidate small public school districts. The Patrick administration and some in the Legislature are pushing for rural school systems to merge as a way to become more cost-efficient.
"I think we need to be very careful that we don't sacrifice local control and small-town identity for savings which may or may not be there down the road," Cariddi said. Cariddi, who serves as the North Adams City Council's liaison to the School Committee, noted that promises by the state to fully reimburse regional school districts for their transportation costs have never been fully funded even in good economic times.
"There is a pervasive mindset of 'metro-think' among state bureaucrats in Boston who always seem to think that bigger is better," Cariddi said. "The recent experience in the Mohawk Trail Regional District is that voters did not want expansion to include elementary students from Rowe and Hawlemont."
Cariddi, who has pledged to join the Legislature's Regional School Caucus if elected, said there are other ways to cut costs before embarking on a new wave of regionalization. "Many schools are lowering their fixed costs for energy by converting their heating systems over from oil and gas to biomass and some are using wind energy to generate electricity. These initiatives help create clean energy jobs while also shrinking a school's carbon footprint."
|Tags: Cariddi, education|
Cariddi Calls for Greater Transparency in State Government
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A March 2010 poll conducted by the nonpartisan Clarus Research Group found that 92 percent of voters believe that "government agencies should make better use of new technologies to cut costs and improve efficiency."
With the goal of using technology to open up the legislative process to voters, 1st Berkshire District candidate Gailanne Cariddi has proposed a number of reforms aimed at providing more transparency and increased accountability in state government.
"It was President Thomas Jefferson who said 'an informed populace makes wise decisions,' but today, all too often, people have a hard time finding out exactly what is happening on Beacon Hill. That has to change. We need to do a much better job of providing online tools to give citizens access to state government data with ease, speed and at no cost," she said.
Cariddi's proposals for greater oversight include:
• Creation of a searchable website detailing costs, recipients and purposes for all appropriations, providing the public with access to a checkbook-level of detail regarding state spending, investments, tax reductions, tax credits, subsidies and direct grants;
• Upgrading the Legislature's website to provide more information in a timely manner;
• Requiring committee votes cast by legislators to be posted online;
• Banning committee votes by e-mail, telephone or wireless devices such as Blackberry;
• Opening the Legislature's budget accounts to annual review by the state auditor and repealing the Legislature's exemption from the state Freedom of Information Act, allowing citizens to inspect government records; and
• Improving television coverage of House floor sessions and committee hearings to Western Massachusetts local access cable stations.
"It is unacceptable that it can take days for House journals to be posted online so the public can view the roll-call votes of their elected representatives," Cariddi said, adding that she would push for a system by which residents can view each legislator's votes by bill number or subject matter. "Judge Louis Brandeis' famous statement that 'sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants' certainly applies more than ever today."
As a leader in the effort to create Northern Berkshire Community Television Corp., Cariddi pledged to continue to push for the airing of legislative committee hearings and House floor debates on "Gavel to Gavel" in order to reach the far northwest corner of the commonwealth.“
"Given that we are located in the Albany (N.Y.) media market, North County folks often know more about what is going on with the elected officials in the Empire State than in our own capital in Boston. I want to shorten the disconnect between the State House and the 11 communities of the 1st Berkshire District," Cariddi said.
Cariddi's views on technology and access to government are available on her website.
|Tags: Cariddi, technology|
Mass Women's Political Caucus PAC Endorses Cariddi
The multi-partisan organization Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus political action committee has endorsed Gailanne Cariddi for the 1st Berkshire District seat in the state House of Representatives.
“Gailanne Cariddi has an extensive background in business, and will be an excellent asset to the Massachusetts House of Representatives,” said MWPC Executive Director Priti Rao. “We are confident that she will be able to use these skills to address the most pressing and critical economic needs faced by the residents of 1st Berkshire District during these challenging times.”
“It is an excellent opportunity to be endorsed by the MWPC," said Cariddi. "The MWPC is an important instrument in electing qualified women candidates into political offices, and I am thankful for their support. It is my hope that they will continue to increase the involvement of women in the political process.”
The Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus works to increase the number of women elected and appointed to public office and public policy positions and to increase the involvement of women of all ages in the political process to give women the skills they need for effective political and public policy participation. For more information, visit www.mwpcpac.org.
MacDonald Kicks Off Campaign For State Rep
Ed MacDonald speaks with supporters during Thursday's campaign kickoff dinner at the American Legion in North Adams.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — When Ed MacDonald ran for state representative for 1st Berkshire District 22 years ago, his highest level of education was a general educational development degree.
He heard it from his critics.
"They told me I was a man with an empty suit," MacDonald said. "So I said that when I come back next time, I'll come back with everything."
More than two decades after his defeat, MacDonald, of Adams, has again thrown his hat into the race for state representative. He will square off against David Bissaillon, also of Adams and Gail Cariddi of North Adams in the Democratic primary on Sept. 14, to determine the successor to state Rep. Daniel E. Bosley, D-North Adams, who served in the position for 12 terms.
MacDonald held his official campaign kickoff event Thursday afternoon at the American Legion. The three-hour dinner was a meet-and-greet opportunity for MacDonald's supporters, with all proceeds going to the American Legion baseball league.
After MacDonald's bid fell short in 1988, he was driven to attain the credentials needed to be a strong candidate. He has since earned an associate's degree from Berkshire Community College, a bachelor's from Emerson College, a master's degree in urban and environmental studies from Rensselaer (N.Y.) Polytechnic Institute and a master of business administration from the University of Massachusetts.
MacDonald is particularly proud of his bachelor's from Emerson, considering the great lengths he went to earn it.
"I drove 68,000 miles," said the former Adams selectman. "I drove from Adams to Boston every day for two years, and I finished fifth in my class out of 590."
There was a steady stream of residents at MacDonald's campaign kickoff, which lasted from 4 to 7.
MacDonald, who is currently the town administrator of Chester, said his experience in various fields of government separate him from the other candidates.
"I paid my dues. I'm well diversified," he said. "If you sit down and put us all on paper, who has more background, more information of how government works? That's the difference. I can call someone anywhere in the state and get something done."
If elected, MacDonald said his top priority will be jobs, his second will be taxes and third will be education. He said he'll have a conservative approach to spending, utilizing what he calls "smart dollars." As an example of how he can effectively manage finances, he said that he helped turn a $380,000 deficit in Chester last year into an $80,000 surplus this year.
"We've got to look at every dollar, every expenditure that the state has and make sure that the spending is going to the right places," he said.
According to MacDonald, 74 percent of business growth in Massachusetts comes from small industry, and he is alarmed with the amount of small companies going under in Berkshire County.
"Massachusetts is only giving a one-year roll-off, while the feds give you three years," he said. "So if [Massachusetts] businesses have a bad year, they don't get to roll it over the three-year period. We need to tighten up those issues."
For more information of MacDonald's background and his campaign platform, visit his website.