No Opposition in Selectmen's Race an 'Honor' for MacDonald
Current chairman Jim MacDonald faces no competition for his seventh term on the board.
With no opposition on the ballot - and no publicized write-in campaign against him - current chairman Jim MacDonald is ready to win his seventh three-year term on the Board of Selectmen.
"It's an honor to run unopposed. I think I do a good job. I'm responsive to people, I listen and I'm fair," MacDonald said.
MacDonald, the state's first deputy treasurer, won his first selectmen's race in 1994, and is the senior member of the five-person board.
Looking to his next three years, MacDonald said he wants to help develop a strategic budget plan that maps how the town will spend money and collect taxes.
"There is more demand than ever to, where we can, be cognizant of the fact that people are still hurting [financially]. Any increase on taxes puts a stress on families," MacDonald said in a phone interview.
Dedham has built two new schools, improved sewer and roads, and now must turn to improve other town facilities, he said.
MacDonald supported the use of the meal and hotel taxes to help fund public construction.
"We have a good plan, a great base to start with, and it's going to start a significant amount of debt service, which will then allow us not to have to go to the voters for debt-exclusion overrides," MacDonald said.
MacDonald said he also wants to use his next term to look at how Dedham can redevelop vacant commercial properties.
The 57-year-old Riverdale resident said that he not only brings an institutional knowledge to the table, but also continues to bring new ideas while staying responsible to taxpayers.
"We strive on participation," MacDonald said. "We don't shy away from anything."
With his next term, MacDonald will eclipse the 20-year plateau on the board, and despite a promotion at the Office of the State Treasurer last year, MacDonald said he doesn't know when he would call it quits.
"As long as I am able to maintain and contribute something, I will. I'm sure there will come a time when it is time to move on. That time has not come yet," he said.