As the proud parent of two Belmont High School graduates (and Wellington and Chenery before that), Roy is committed to giving our students the best public education. As Warrant Committee Chair, Roy led the committee to a unanimous vote in support of the debt exclusion for construction of the new 7-12 school. With experience on multiple town building committees and in financing of capital projects, Roy has the experience to make sure construction finishes on time and on budget.
The 7-12 school is the largest capital project Belmont will ever undertake. Previous projects like the fire station and town hall encountered construction problems that we must avoid this time. Roy will work with the High School Building Committee to make sure the new school is built successfully.
As a Yale-educated PhD economist and Chair of the Warrant Committee since 2016, Roy is uniquely qualified to manage the town budget. It is essential to continue to find efficiencies so Belmont can maintain school and town services without unnecessary tax increases.
Roy already has a proven track record of saving Belmont tens of millions of dollars from his work on the new Belmont Light substation on Flanders Road and by spearheading the renovations of the long-neglected DPW facility and Police Station. He will bring the same informed, creative, and cost-conscious approach to the Board of Selectmen.
With solar panels on his roof and a plug-in hybrid car in his garage, as a bicyclist and member of the Community Path Project Committee, and as a technology enthusiast generally, Roy is committed to achieving Belmont’s Climate Action goals. Roy is proud of his work as Chair of the Net Metering Working Group, which led to the most successful program in Massachusetts for homeowners to install solar panels.
As a member of the Light Board Advisory Committee, he is helping Belmont Light obtain its power needs from renewable, non-carbon sources. The two biggest sources of energy use in Belmont are automobiles and home heating. Roy will continue to work with Belmont Light, the Energy Committee, and residents to encourage adoption of greener technologies and to reduce our carbon footprint.
Environmental sustainability is not just about technology. Advocating more walking and biking in town, and providing sidewalks and roadways to do it safely, is a key part of a healthier and greener community.
Housing options for seniors is a critical issue. Roy will prioritize more development of senior housing in Belmont. McLean is one possibility, but South Pleasant St provides even greater potential in terms of number of units and types of housing (independent living and continuing care). Downsizing to a modern building intended for seniors will be attractive to many for financial reasons, quality of life, and safety.
The other priority is seniors who want to continue living in their houses. The statewide property tax deferral program (Chapter 41a) and the town have various elder property tax relief options. But the eligibility requirements and the amount of relief offered mean either that few households qualify or the dollar amount does not go very far.
Roy has begun discussions with some local banks to explore possibilities for innovative financing programs for property tax that are more flexible and lower cost that what's currently available. These discussions are in an early stage but he hopes that a successful model for such a program can be achieved later this year.
Roy supports a new town library. A library building committee was formed in 2017 and is working on a design. The committee has many talented and devoted members and has retained an architect who is already hard at work. Roy looks forward to working with the building committee to making a new library a reality.
Roy supports a new hockey rink on or near the high school campus. The Skip Viglirolo rink has served our town well but is in deplorable condition, as we all know. Belmont has a long tradition of hockey excellence and deserves a rink to match. There are many open questions about how to design and finance a new rink, how to organize the programming, and how to handle traffic.
A new structure could also potentially support other indoor sport uses such as tennis. This project could serve many recreational needs for Belmont.
Roy has proven experience to help solve the hockey rink questions. The DPW and police station renovations — in which Roy plays a critical role — are models for showing how to combine superb design for new town assets with affordable cost.
Belmont is fortunate to be one of the safest towns in Massachusetts thanks to our exceptional first responders. Our Police and Fire Departments and Ambulance service must have the resources to maintain this level of excellent performance. Roy is proud of his leadership that has resulted in a superb design to renovate, modernize, and expand our classic Police Station on its current site on Concord Ave. Construction will commence later this year and Roy is committed to overseeing it to successful completion.
Roy supports using at least part of the site as a solar farm. The site would accommodate a 2-megawatt farm, as big as all of Belmont’s rooftop solar combined. The advent of new energy storage technologies using batteries complements this use. The package of energy storage and solar generation would have no adverse neighborhood impacts, pose no complications for capping the site as the EPA requires, and have no maintenance expenses. It would be a big step toward reaching Climate Action Goals, improving Belmont Light reliability, and generating additional town revenue.
Energy storage/solar and bulk storage leave room for other passive uses such as green space or bike paths. Roy favors options that do not impact the cap, and have no upfront capital costs or maintenance/security expenses.