I’m on just a short break after speaking with many residents on this snowy day, and where we are truly amazes me. On January 6th I announced my candidacy for Stoneham Selectman. Now almost three months later I’m even more energized than when I started this campaign! Talking to so many neighbors one-on-one across all seven precincts has made me realize how much work there is to be done, and most importantly, how hard I want to work for YOU, the voters, to help achieve the goals most important to ALL of Stoneham.
With that, I wanted to put a summary together of my position on some of the pressing issues I had shared with you throughout my campaign:
Talk Is… Costly:
It’s time for some REAL “long range planning.” That’s a phrase that gets talked about a lot, but seldom put into action. As the saying goes, “talk is cheap,” but in this case, talk is actually costly unless we get serious about proper planning.
On Jan 10, 2017 the BOS, School Committee, and Finance and Advisory Board came together in a Tri-Board meeting. It was interesting to watch (and certainly encouraging to see the three boards collaborating- so much can be accomplished like this!), but in the end I was left to ponder the future of a new school with more questions than answers.
Trash Talk: I Didn’t Know, So I Asked:
One of the questions presented Stoneham TV Selectman candidates forum was, “How do you feel about Stoneham’s current trash contract, and do you see any way to reduce costs?” While I discussed what I felt were pressing issues related to trash, the reality was that I did not know what the current trash contract terms are, as I stated during the forum. Why? Because the Selectmen don’t negotiate contracts. No one has seen it except for the Town Administrator and the people he is in the process of finalizing it with.
How do I know this? After the forum, I clarified that no one has seen it because I did what I would do if I am elected to the Board of Selectmen and am asked about something I do not have the answer to: I went down to Town Hall to obtain a copy and familiarize myself with the contract, only to discover that it has not even been signed yet and is NOT a public record.
Land Swap: Potential for Community Growth and Unity:
Rapid development occurs today in virtually every town and city, making it more important than ever to preserve our link to the past and maintain the unique characteristics that define Stoneham. Consider the possibility that the last remaining farm, located next to one of the oldest homes in Stoneham, could be preserved and re-purposed into inclusive, truly open space benefiting children, seniors, and everyone in-between. Beginning with the barns – there are few, if any buildings in town, that are as quintessential Stoneham than the barns at Weiss Farm.
While there is no set design at this point, there will be plenty of opportunity for citizen input before the final plan is developed. First, the town needs to agree on terms that satisfy both parties. Swapping land at Weiss for land at the Oaks solves our 40B minimum affordable housing stock and allows the town to have input on design. This is a $60 million construction project, involving two parcels of land that equals over 35 acres of land valued at over $16 million. It is projected to generate over $350,000 per year in tax revenue.
Real Training and Experience for a Real Epidemic Part 1:
I am committed to providing recovery options and support for our town. I am also committed to prevention strategies that have been missing for our young people for far too long. There is no blame to be placed, but we need to face the fact that current strategies are just not working. We need to treat substance abuse like the disease it is and refrain from treating a disease like a crime. As a community we need to adopt a new mindset and provide police and fire– often the first responders to overdose tragedies– with dedicated tools and resources that won’t draw from an already over-stressed department. We can’t ask our first responders to take on a gargantuan task such as substance abuse without taking responsibility and giving commitment to provide more resources. Prevention is the key to eradication.
Real Training and Experience for a Real Epidemic Part 2- Dialogue:
I wrote about my desire and commitment to bringing fresh ideas, as well as my experience as a nurse to help combat the substance abuse epidemic. I had shared my write up to a few Facebook channels which prompted a variety of responses, as well as a conversation that I wanted to share with the larger audience that might not have seen it in the Stoneham Community Group.
A Voter Asks: “What are your thoughts on our downtown and its potential?”:
Stoneham resident Ronnie Diemer submitted a question that I thought was worth sharing with the voting public, especially because I had this come up A LOT while speaking with community members directly:
Hi Cristine, thank you for running. I had a question or more of a frustration. I don’t understand why our downtown is so culturally behind in terms of shops restaurants and aesthetics in comparison to our neighbors like Wakefield , Melrose , and Reading. What are your thoughts on our downtown and its potential … your vision…
Stoneham voters have an important choice to make THIS Tuesday, April 4th. If you agree that it’s time for the kind of change that will ensure positive progress in Stoneham, then please vote Cristine Warren Linn for Selectman. I am ready to be an effective part of Stoneham’s leadership team that ensures your voice isn’t just heard, but is also ACTIVELY advocated for.