Malumphy Calls for Term Limits, Redistricting Reform
1) Support for the creation of an independent commission to oversee future state legislative and congressional districts in Massachusetts.
2) Support for term limits on state representatives and state senators.
Malumphy stated, "As I have gone door-to-door across the city of Pittsfield, voters have told me that they feel disconnected from their government and that they lack public confidence in state government. As state representative I will support and propose legislation that reforms state government and makes it more accountable to the people of Massachusetts including the 3rd Berkshire District."
Malumphy called for legislation that would create an independent commission to focus on redistricting efforts rather than leaving it up to the legislature.
"The Legislature should not be the body responsible for creating voting districts…it becomes too political, a recent speaker of the House resigned and plead guilty to obstruction of justice because of his involvement in the redistricting process. To reduce this political influence many states such as Iowa, Minnesota, California and Ohio and others have instituted redistricting reforms such as independent commissions to do this important work."
Malumphy also issued her support for term limits of 12 years, which is six terms for both members of the House of Representatives and state Senate.
"I believe by placing these limits, we get more people to seek public office, we will get more contested races and we increase public trust in the state legislature."
With the last two Democratic state representatives vacating their seats, forcing expensive special elections, Malumphy said she is "determined to demonstrate that partisan politics and back room deals are not acceptable in Pittsfield or on Beacon Hill."
One of the legislative committee assignments Malumphy plans to ask for, if elected, are seats on the House Committee on Ethics or the Joint Committee on Elections Laws. She would also like a seat on the Joint Committee on Community Development and Small Business as well as the Joint Committee on Education.
Bullett Announces Candidacy for North Adams Council
Nancy Bullett of Maple Street, North Adams, is a candidate for North Adams City Council.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — At the outset of my campaign for City Council, I would like to share a few thoughts. I am a fourth-generation North Adams resident, so while I am a first-time political candidate I am not a rookie when it comes to community activities and concerns.
I have experienced the ups and downs of our city. I am a product of our school system and have a great love for the incredible beauty and natural resources that surround us. I am also very aware of the many problems we face living in a community with many poor people living in it.
I am a physical therapist and a small-business owner. I have worked with many of our residents over the years and have listened carefully to people discussing their many concerns abut the community. Given the work I do, I have learned much about how our health system works, or should I say doesn't work, and I believe I have something to offer the city in this area.
I have also been impressed with the generosity and teamwork that I see in our community. As a former member of the Parks and Recreation Commission for five years, and current member of the Windsor Lake Commission, I understand the important role athletics and recreation play in our community. I have combined my passion for sports and community involvement by helping to organize an annual golf tournament for Drury High School alumni to raise money for the school.
I believe I bring a positive energy and the ability to work with others to go about the business of promoting economic development to provide jobs for our people. As a child of the Greylock section of our city, I understand how important it is to work with neighborhoods to keep us safe and promote neighborhood and community pride.
This year, I have decided to try to become a part of the team to keep North Adams moving forward and that's why I'm announcing my candidacy for the North Adams City Council.
|Tags: North Adams|
Malumphy Sets Campaign Agenda
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Pam Malumphy, an independent candidate for state representative for the 3rd Berkshire District, said her campaign will focus on fice key issues.
Eager to hear from other candidates, Malumphy said she is first to put forth a platform focusing on key issues affecting the district, which covers the city of Pittsfield, as well as the commonwealth:
3) Affordable health care for families, elders and veterans
4) Ethics reform
5) Lifetime appointments and rerm limits
Malumphy said her background has afforded her skills no other candidate possesses in this upcoming special election. As the recent regional director for the Massachusetts Office of Business Development, Malumphy networked with local, regional, state and federal agencies to assist businesses. But she also recognized the state's programs could fall short when it came to assisting small business.
"Most of my dealings were with smaller businesses and I would love to find a way to match state dollars with the local GE Economic Development Fund to create a small loan and grant system for small business," said Malumphy. "It's that kind of thinking that will help support the family and small businesses we want to see grow."
A former teacher with an undergraduate and graduate degree in education, Malumphy served for five years, until 2010, on the local School Building Needs Commission that is looking at city's high schools.
"I understand the growing confusion as to the relationship between the SBNC and the state [School] Building Authority and how residents need more information. The 3rd Berkshire state rep can and should be a strong advocate and positive intermediary with getting the process back on track."
A third issue for Malumphy's campaign is affordable and accessible health care. "Health care is mandated in Massachusetts and the state has taken far too large a role in becoming an insurer rather than advocate for making certain we have affordable and accessible health care.”
Lastly, with the last two Democratic state representatives vacating their seats prior to completing their terms and forcing expensive special elections, Malumphy is determined to demonstrate that partisan politics and back-room deals are not acceptable in Pittsfield or on Beacon Hill.
"I can't tell you how disappointed I am to watch what's happened in our district with another vacated state rep seat, the recent lifetime appointment for clerk magistrate, a local administration under continuous ethics scrutiny, and candidates who are vacating their own public responsibilities to run for this seat," said Malumphy. "We need an advocate for jobs, affordable health care particularly for families, our elders and veterans, education, and strong reform when it comes to ethics, lifetime appointments and term limits. It is critical that we have an independent voice on Beacon Hill representing this community's concerns and not pandering to partisan politics and patronage."
Visit VoteMalumphy.com for more detailed information about her platform.
MacDonald Calls for Small-Business Credits
ADAMS, Mass. — Ed MacDonald, candidate for state representative, has released the following information regarding small businesses in the commonwealth.
The 600,000 Massachusetts small businesses are vital to the financial well-being of the state's economy. Their contribution is essential for economic growth since they make up almost all employer firms in the state. As entrepreneurs and innovators, small-business owners represent a diverse group that continues to keep the state's economy productive. In these difficult times as much as we need to cut spending, we also need to invest in creating jobs.
The commonwealth has invested hundreds of millions, perhaps billions, of capital dollars into technology development initiatives over the past decade. Our state continues to be a leader in innovation and technology, outpacing competitor states in research and development, new patents, and federal innovation grants, according to Massachusetts Technology Collaborative. We need to build upon this success.
The bottom line is creating jobs. Massachusetts should establish a wage credit for each new job that is created. This credit should be for jobs created in the commonwealth and that stay here.
I propose the establishment of a wage credit for new jobs created by small companies of fewer than 100 employees in Massachusetts. This credit should be for up to 20 percent of the wages paid to any new hire or up to a maximum of $15,000. If the job is created in a high technology company in a field of projected growth such as biotechnology or nanotechnology, this credit should be increased to $25,000. Change the tax code for Massachusetts to be equal to the federal statute that allows businesses to claim losses for more than one year. This will help small businesses retain lost revenue and make them equal with federal regulations.
The credit should also increased to the higher level if the employer hires a dislocated worker, a lower income individual or a veteran. I recognize that small startup companies often do not have any real income in their formative years when they most need to hire new staff, so this tax credit should be refundable. To protect our taxpayers, these jobs must be retained for two years in the commonwealth, if not the value of the credit must be repaid to the state.
|Tags: MacDonald, small business, taxes|
MacDonald Explains Strategies for Cost-Cutting, Collaboration
ADAMS, Mass. — Edward MacDonald , candidate for state representative in the 1st Berkshire District, released a statement Thursday that explained several key ways to reduce budgets and work collaboratively with other communities:
“My experience as town administrator in Chester can serve as a good example of how a city or town can address its own financial and other problems, within the framework provided by existing state law. When I started in Chester in 2009 the town was having severe financial difficulties. An audit determined that the town had an approximate deficit of just under $380,000, the tax rate was still not set six months after most other towns had set their tax rates, the then-town accountant had made errors that concealed other problems, and the financial picture looked bleak.
Our first step was to achieve efficiencies within town government, by trimming hours of operation, reducing utility usage and ensuring all employees were working efficiently and effectively. The selectmen then decided to ask the town if it wished to raise its own taxes through a Proposition 2 ½ override. Chester is not a wealthy town and does not have a strong history of passing overrides, so the voters declined, and we didn’t pursue the option of adopting local lodging or meals taxes because the town has too few of these establishments to make it worthwhile. We then had to make the hard choices on how to further cut the budget. We laid off employees, made other cutbacks, found a less expensive town accountant who could properly perform the accounting functions, and were finally able to cut the budget and eliminate the $380,000 deficit.
Chester, like many other cities and towns in the Bay State, isn’t out of the woods yet. Additional state aid cuts are looming and operating a municipal government is not becoming less expensive. Some items, such as employee health insurance, fuel and utility costs and road maintenance materials continue to increase in cost. In the face of all these challenges, I am committed to helping municipalities thrive.
Working with a neighboring community is not new to Massachusetts, but the strong emphasis on more formal regional arrangements is new. During my time in Chester I have assisted in creating an arrangement with Becket for lower-cost vocational education transportation and I have worked with various regional agencies on infrastructure improvements and regional waste disposal. As a state representative, I will play a key role in facilitating such arrangements between and among the cities and towns in the 1st Berkshire District. We can do this without giving up our local community identities, a source of pride for most of our citizens. And by doing so, we turn our tax dollars into smart dollars, stretching our limited resources in sensible ways that maximize their spending power, without putting an undue burden on our property taxpayers.
The other important step in helping cities and towns is the Municipal Relief Act. Passed by both the state House and Senate and subject only to a joint conference committee and final approval by the legislature and governor, the new law will allow cities and towns to cut costs by capping municipal pensions at $125,000 per year, offering early retirement incentives and tax amnesty programs and using email for tax billing. It would also allow school districts to share school superintendents and cities and towns to create joint tax assessing agreements. Other provisions would extend local pension funding schedules, increase the threshold at which cities and towns must require bonds by private contractors working for the municipalities, and establish many other measures that will provide financial relief to cities and towns.
As your state representative, I will work with other legislators who want to assist municipalities by helping to pass such additional measures and by reducing expensive burdens imposed by the state through laws and regulations that unnecessarily constrain municipal operations. I would also work to revive the dormant Municipal Incentive Grant Program and the Circuit Rider Program. The MIG program provided small grants to cities and towns to allow them to try innovative solutions to common municipal problems and the Circuit Rider Program provided financial incentives to very small towns to hire professional administrators. Both programs were very successful in the past, but were foolishly eliminated as part of prior state budgets cuts. These programs cost relatively little for the state, but provided significant boosts to cities and towns.
Cities and towns can only go so far in helping themselves, both in the revenues they can raise and by adopting efficient and effective practices that can save them and the property taxpayer money. After that, it’s up to the state legislature to provide additional tools for success and to eliminate legal barriers to good governance at the local level. If cities and towns are to survive these difficult times, they need all the help they can get, through utilizing best practices to achieve efficiencies, implementing promising recommendations of the regionalization commission, taking advantage of new measures in the Municipal Relief Act and by insisting on additional programs and assistance from a state government that too often treats its municipalities like after-thoughts.
The government that is closest to us must be strong and vibrant and provide the critical services that our families need to thrive, because our communities are where we live, work, and play and educate our children. As your state representative for the 1st Berkshire District, there will be no stronger an advocate for the cities and towns of Massachusetts. I ask for your vote on September 14."