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News / Issues
Link to YourArlington about Bob Tosi
3 questions from the Arlington Advocate
“Why would you be a good choice for the Select Board?”
The one theme that connects everything I believe in and have demonstrated throughout my lifetime in Arlington, is “service.”
I was still an undergraduate at Merrimack College when I won a seat in our Town Meeting. I’ve served continuously from then til now, 31 years. After graduation, I was appointed to our Finance Committee, and for 12 years I shared the responsibility for writing the town budgets we would ask the voters to fund.
I’ve worked with the Council on Aging for 14 years, volunteered at the Food Pantry and the Senior Center, and served on our Tourism and Economic Development Committee. Those are just three of the eighteen civic, fraternal, religious, and community organizations to which I have given my time and my talents.
Professionally, I work at Minuteman Senior Services as a Care Manager. I assist older adults and their caregivers get the help they need to flourish in their golden years, while living comfortably in their homes.
With all that, I’m still looking for greater ways of serving this town that we love. I’m asking for your confidence in leading Arlington as a member of its Select Board. The challenges of completing the rebuild of Arlington High School, and the balancing of our municipal budgets, demands the knowledge, the commitment, and the compassion that you know me for.
You know I’m approachable, and will continue to be, both as a Candidate and as a Select Board Member. I will look forward to hearing YOUR concerns and issues.
“One of the key issues coming up at Town Meeting is proposed modifications to the towns zoning bylaws that would increase the housing density in Arlington. As a resident, how do you feel about the proposal and are there any concerns you have about how it could impact the town?”
This is an important question for me both as a resident and as a candidate for Select Board. While the Arlington Redevelopment Board (ARB) has primary responsibility for zoning bylaw changes, the Select Board has the obligation to see to our overall goals, and provide its analysis and leadership in Town Meeting on town-wide questions.I see these three goals as the most important outcomes of any proposed zoning changes: first, to foster the development of truly affordable dwelling units; second, to increase the number and value of commercial properties; and third, to hasten the rate at which vacancies in our existing commercial stock are filled.
I’ve examined the proposed zoning changes carefully, and there’s nothing in them that actually mandates the creation of affordable residences, at least according to the guidelines published by the federal Department of Housing and Development (HUD). There’s no change to expand the reach of our existing inclusionary bylaw; any development that creates fewer than six units on a single site is still exempted. There’s no expansion of the scant areas already designated for congregate-living or single room occupancy. And there is no linkage payment to an affordable housing development fund for the privilege of building higher, steeper, denser, with less green space, and fewer parking spaces.
I’ve read the argument that a greater number of residents in Arlington will lead to more “vibrant” shopping districts, and encourage commercial development. Shouldn’t that have happened already, with the rapid turnover and upgrading of Arlington’s housing stock that we’ve already seen? It sounds like an argument for doing more of something that hasn’t worked. We ought to have “luxury-condo’d” our way out of struggling commercial properties by now, if it were possible. Without affordability restraints, developers can “carry” the vacant storefronts in mixed-use development, as long as the residents and tenants on the upper floors are paying enough. We’ve seen this happening already. We simply are not making progress towards having enough of a commercial base of real estate to shift any of the tax burden off residential payers.
We, as a town, need more time to look at what we really need in future residential and commercial development. We shouldn’t adopt a pre-conceived plan and promise, or hope, that it will solve a host of persistent problems. We ought to look at the community-driven process that resulted in a broad consensus, and the success of the restored Gibbs School in meeting the challenge of expanding school enrollment.
Let’s hold off on the proposed zoning changes for this year, while we consider what solutions to Arlington’s development problems will work for all of Arlington.
“How do you feel about the Arlington High School building project? Do you think $291 million is a fair price tag for the new high school?”
Two hundred ninety-one million dollars is…a huge number, much more than we thought a new high school would cost a few years ago. Huge, and necessary. Let me explain.
We’re nearing the end of a design process that began almost four years ago. We’ve looked at the present school’s deteriorated condition, how it no longer meets our modern educational needs, nor accommodates the growing enrollment we know is coming. We considered, and for solid and specific reasons concerning cost effectiveness, rejected the options to renovate the existing sprawl of buildings, as well as building anew on a completely different site.
We engaged the community; teachers, students, administrators, and most importantly residents, to think hard about the basic question of what a modern high school should provide its community. From those meetings we created an educational vision, which we invited our architects to conceive in three dimensions. From those concepts, with debate and hard examination of every expense-driving feature, we selected a design, and set to work analyzing what it would cost to build.
At each step, we submitted our work for review and concurrence by the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA). With the MSBA’s approval, the Commonwealth will pay for about a third of the total project’s cost. That cost, the 291 million dollar question that begins this statement, is the result of many carefully considered decisions made over the last four years.
I believe in the process, and in the hundreds of volunteer participants that have brought about the design for our new high school. I am deeply impressed with the intelligence and the perseverance they have demonstrated. I have confidence in the design, and therefore in its cost, and so should you. So must we all, if we are to build it and pay for it, with the Commonwealth’s support.
Therefore I pledge to you, as a member for the Select Board, to campaign and advocate for a resounding YES vote in the June debt-exclusion ballot. I’ll make the case to all residents, not just the supporters and diligent participants in the process for these last four years. I’ll use my leadership to gain a greater goal than some narrow, “50% plus one vote” victory that could divide us for years to come. I’ll work for a successful conclusion to our new high school building project that we can unite behind, and which will unite all Arlingtonians.
Letter to the Advocate from Bob Tosi, March 1, 2019.
My deep appreciation of Arlington Public schools began in 1973 when my parents moved to Arlington from Somerville. And I enrolled in the historic Locke School. My commitment to advocacy and community activism, which became an integral part of my life (though I didn’t recognize it as such at the time) when fellow students and I marched around Arlington Town Hall to protest the closing of the Locke School in 1981. I later attended the Ottoson Middle School and Arlington High School, which were also great schools.
While in Merrimack College in 1987, I ran for Arlington Town Meeting Member and have proudly served for 31 years. After graduation, I was appointed to the Arlington Finance Committee to work on the annual budget review and served for twelve years.
So many Arlington citizens contribute their time and talents to make a better community. Arlington is very fortunate to have so many volunteers, and I am grateful to be a part of that effort.
My contributions include serving on the Council on Aging for 14 years and chairing the council for three years, volunteering at the Food Pantry and the Senior Center, and serving on the Town’s Tourism Committee and Economic Development Committee. In addition, I served on fifteen other civic, fraternal, religious, and community organizations.
When not serving the citizens of Arlington, I work at Minuteman Senior Services as a Care Manager. In this role, I assist older adults and their caregivers get needed services and support so these older adults can live comfortably in their homes and can flourish.
It is now time for me to bring my decades of experience and commitment to the Arlington Select Board. Always approachable, both as a Candidate and as a Select Board Member, I look forward to hearing YOUR concerns and issues.
I’m honored to serve Arlington and hope to continue my service as a member of the Arlington Select Board. I’m asking for your VOTE on April 6th and support to make this happen. It’s time for Bob Tosi!
Robert L. Tosi Jr., Inverness Road
On April 9, 2014 The Avocado’s Election Wrap-Up ww.arlingtonavocado.com
THE BOARD OF SELECTMEN:
Incumbents Dan Dunn and Diane Mahon were returned to office. Dunn topped the ticket in the Selectmen’s race with 3226 votes to Mahon’s 3121. With 3,088 votes, Bob Tosi lost out on joining the Board by just 33 votes. One supporter put it this way. If just 1.7 more people per precinct voted for Mr. Tosi, he would have won one of the two seats up for grabs….
If you look closely at the numbers, you will find that less than 80% of the potential votes for Selectmen were cast, suggesting that most voters may have chosen to use just one of their two votes. Talking to people after they voted, many confirmed this behavior in that race. By voting for just one candidate, there were a few who were looking to ensure their candidate’s victory. Such votes often represent stronger votes and often increase a particular candidate’s chances to be elected. The numbers also imply that Bob Tosi didn’t benefit from as many 2nd votes from Dunn or Mahon voters. With more people voting just for Dunn or Mahon – and both of them possibly benefiting from 2nd votes, given how close this race was, it was just enough to keep the incumbents in. Since Mahon and Dunn easily cleared the 3,000 vote barrier as compared to Gilligan’s sub-3,000 total (considering a greater percentage of votes were used in the Treasurer’s race), this may lend support to the notion that voters were far less compelled to vote either of the incumbent Selectmen out. Indeed, while individual opponents of each incumbent might have liked to see one of them bumped out, the simple reality could well be that neither one of them has ticked enough people off to warrant their ouster…at least not yet. A few voters may have secretly hoped to see one of the incumbents go, but if there was a more concerted effort to do this, then we think Mr. Tosi would have won by virtue of getting more second votes.
This is again what makes running against incumbents so challenging. This is not something unique to Arlington. If there are no “open seats”, then typically, the best chance for a newcomer to get in is for there to be enough of a drumbeat that calls for booting out one of the incumbents.
That said, though Bob Tosi came up short, he proved something very special. He came very close to unseating one of the two incumbents – despite the odds against him. Even though the two incumbents had not necessarily made enough enemies to send them packing, the sheer strength of Bob Tosi’s candidacy, his well-documented commitment to the town, his campaign organization, and of course, his name recognition was almost just enough to pull off the impossible. That is a testament to Bob’s growing popularity. He has made even more friends since his first run. If enough people who endorsed him the first time had been in his corner this time, he would be our Selectman today. We projected that he would do much better than he did last time. He did, especially when you consider he received a lot more votes as compared to a turnout that was much smaller. When he runs again, he could very well topple an incumbent next time, especially if a compelling case can be made to toss someone out. Though Bob came up just shy of winning this time, given his strong showing, he is still a winner because his campaign definitely made the incumbents fight for re-election and served notice to them that they will be held even more accountable to the voters. Tosi might have lost the election, but if we may editorialize a bit here, it is Arlington that truly lost out last Saturday night.
On March 29, 2014 The Avocado Endorsed Bob Tosi as one of their two choices this year for Arlington Selectman.
“… Our second endorsement goes to Mr. Bob Tosi. We gave him our vote of confidence two years ago as well. As alluded to earlier, Mr. Tosi brings more dedicated volunteer experience in town than just about any other candidate for any office in recent memory. … Full Avocado Selectmen Endorsements
Arlington Advocate March 27, 2014
Question of the Week: Board of Selectman
How can the town balance encouraging development with maintaining quality of life for residents?
I don’t see these two goals as mutually exclusive; there are clearly areas that overlap. By soliciting resident input, we can identify priorities.
As part of the current Master Plan process our zoning is being reviewed and changes will be proposed to ensure consistency with the goals we develop.
Arlington is mostly residential (only about 4 % commercial property), so we need to encourage more strategic business development. One strategy is to allow development with first floor retail/commercial use and residential use above.
New development is considered new growth and adds tax revenue by adding to the tax base. This improves our ability to better meet the town’s financial demands.
Arlington needs to improve the efficiency of the permitting process. The town has invested in an Economic Development Officer to address this issue. Communication is crucial to avoid misunderstandings and allow decision makers the ability to strike the right balance.
Arlington Advocate March 20, 2014
Question of the Week: Board of Selectman
What is the biggest problem to solve in Arlington to improve the community for all?
A few months ago, I toured Arlington High School (AHS) with the Principal and other school and elected officials.
The AHS facility deficiencies must be addressed to avoid the loss of state accreditation. We should be proud of the teaching and learning accomplished at AHS despite very poor conditions.
The windows, heating systems, etc., all need to be replaced to be more energy and cost efficient. The costs of renovation, rebuilding, or a combination of both need to be accurately determined so that voters are aware of the alternatives. Addressing AHS deficiencies will be an expensive capital project requiring state funds from the Massachusetts School Building Authority and a significant contribution from Arlingtonians.
All public school students in grades 9-12 attend AHS and the value of education not only benefits the students but it also increases the desirability to live in Arlington, thereby increasing the values of all our homes.
Arlington Advocate March 13, 2014
Question of the Week: Board of Selectman
What should be done for East Arlington businesses while construction is ongoing throughout the East Mass. Ave. corridor project?
In keeping with my desire to be the selectman that listens, I visited East Arlington businesses to solicit their input about the Mass Ave Corridor project.
If not managed properly, this $6M roadway construction project could negatively affect businesses. Keeping communication open between the Contractor, the town and business owners throughout the project is critical. My suggestions include:
Hold regular public meetings, provide honest schedule information and follow up in writing to business owners.
Ensure safe access to all businesses (including parking), for customers AND deliveries, during all construction phases.
Consider minimizing construction during the holiday shopping period.
This year’s winter weather affected business with multiple snowstorms yet we cannot control “Mother Nature”.
I remain open to other possibilities to help mitigate the effects of the construction on East Arlington businesses and pledge to work to implement these and other appropriate suggestions as a selectman.
LWV Question – Arlington Town Election – Published March 20, 2014
Community Preservation Act (CPA)
Robert (Bob) Tosi, Jr.
Care Manager Minuteman Senior Services, Bedford, MA
14 Inverness Rd., Arlington, MA 02476
Tosi has extensive service to the Arlington Community. Bob’s history of commitment includes 27 years Town Meeting Member, 12 years Finance Committee Member and 9 years Council on Aging, including Chairman. Bob cares across generations and is an advocate for renovating Arlington schools and a leader on Senior issues.
The Community Preservation Act (CPA) is one of the few opportunities Massachusetts state law provides for communities to raise revenue in a non-regressive manner. Exemptions can be utilized for low income resident property owners or for residents over 60 who are considered moderate income per our census area designation. These exemptions are part of what differentiate the CPA surcharge vs. an override that affects all homeowners regardless of their income.
The 155 communities that have adopted the CPA (including economically diverse cities like Waltham and Somerville) received 100% state matching funds in the early years of passage to an average of 33.5% over the last five years. The need exists as delayed maintenance on some of the towns cultural resources (Jason Russell House, Old Schwamb Mill and Jefferson-Cutter House – Dallin Art Museum’s location) would otherwise require major capital funding. In addition to being able to use funds for historical preservation, the CPA can help Arlington to expand affordable housing, preserve open space and create new outdoor recreational facilities.
We can no longer delay town wide discussion of the CPA and I am in support of bringing this provision before the voters for consideration.
Arlington Advocate Thurs., February 27th, 2014
Selectman face a challenger in Bob Tosi, Jr. by Spencer Buell
Selectman Candidate Bob Tosi, Jr.
Tosi told The Advocate he is campaigning on bringing a “strong voice for Arlington seniors” to the town board. “Twenty percent of Arlington is seniors, but we only spend less than a quarter of a percent on services directly for seniors,” said Tosi, who served on the Council on Aging Board for 9 years. Tosi has also served 27 years in Town Meeting and 12 years in the town’s Finance Committee. He said he would foster communications-between government and constituents and between and between new and longtime residents.” I appreciate the contributions of our longtime Arlingtonians, yet welcome new ideas from newer residents who chose Arlington as their home”, he said.
Tosi will hold a kickoff rally Sunday, March 9 at the Knights of Columbus at 15 Winslow St. from 2-5 pm.
Bob Tosi’s Campaign Announcement for the Arlington Advocate March 6th, 2014
My name is Bob Tosi, a candidate for Arlington Selectman, and I would appreciate one of your two votes on April 5th.
As a lifelong Arlington resident, I have witnessed town growth and change. I want to continue to do my part to make Arlington even better. I am a product of our local public school system and have gone back to see the schools first hand. The future starts with the education of our children. Advocating for renovations to AHS and properly maintaining all our schools is a place to begin.
I also have extensive experience volunteering with seniors and caregivers, including 9 years on the Council on Aging Board. More should be done for this 20% of our community; today less than 1% of town funds are spent on Senior services. I am a leader on Senior Issues.
Through my volunteer work with the Arlington Food Pantry, the St Vincent de Paul Society, and many other organizations, I know we can do more for those in need. I believe no one should be left behind, and that everyone has a voice.
As an Arlington Town Meeting member (27 yrs), Arlington Finance Committee member (12 yrs), I am confident that my leadership abilities will be well suited to being a town Selectman. Together we will create an even better Arlington.
To learn more about my goals, experience, and vision please visit: www.BobTosi.com, and share the issues that are important to you. All are welcome to my Rally: Sunday, March 9th, 2-5pm at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 15 Winslow St.
Let your voice be heard. Please help me and our town with one of your two votes on April 5th. Thank you.
TOSI stands for Trustworthy Open Sincere Involved
Robert (Bob) Tosi Jr.,
Candidate for Arlington Board of Selectmen
Arlington selectmen face challenger in Bob Tosi, Jr. – Arlington Advocate March 1, 2014
In a continuing series, YourArlington reports brief news stories about potential town candidates who have taken out papers in seats expected to be contested.
Tosi eyes selectman seat
Tosi, eying 2nd selectman run, targets long-term deficit – Your Arlington Jan. 25, 2014
ELECTION’S EARLY LOOK: Those who take out papers in races that may be contested in April respond to basic questions about themselves and Arlington.
Robert Tosi Jr., a lifelong resident Arlington who is planning his second run for selectman, supports facing up to the town’s structural deficit and offers some specific avenues to pursue. He also favors completing the improving all Arlington public schools and being a board member the public can approach.
Explains key town challenges
Calling the education of our children a top priority, he wants to also advocate for long-term planning that could provide “a more appropriate Senior Center space for our residents who have sacrificed all their lives.”
The man who prefers to be called “Bob” seeks one of two three-year seats on the Board of Selectman. The 46-year-old pointed to the following key issues facing Arlington and said what he would deal with them:
“Arlington has an ongoing structural deficit that needs to be addressed,” he wrote Wednesday, Jan. 22, in response to queries from YourArlington.
“Residents have been generous in responding to this via periodic overrides, but other means need to be pursued.”
His suggestions: “Mixed-use development with business/retail on the first floor and residential units above should be allowed and encouraged in appropriate zones.
“The Community Preservation Act is another possibility, as it brings in state matching funds.
“The Regional Agreement for Minuteman Technical High School also needs to be reworked to allow additional communities to be members. This would allow enrollment to grow to lower the cost per student and reduce the annual budget and especially the pending renovation costs to Arlington.”
Emphasizes approachability, schools
As to other challenges, Tosi wrote earlier: “Many Arlington residents feel they are not listened to or do not have a member of selectman they can approach with their ideas. I want to be the board member who will present options from the public not otherwise discussed at [selectmen] meetings.” He did not provide specific examples.
Tosi said he has long supported keeping, renovating and maintaining all seven elementary schools. He said he wants to address the Stratton, the last elementary school to remain unrenovated or rebuilt; properly maintain all schools and renovate Arlington High “to complement the fine teaching and learning that is happening there while providing energy-efficient facilities and security systems that schools of today require.”
As to senior citizens, he said: “We are grateful to the people who serve our nation, commonwealth and community in different ways. Some proudly serve in our military, others as police and firefighters protecting our lives and property, others as teachers, counselors and coaches to our youth among other vocations.”
For the last eight years, Tosi has worked as a care manager at Minuteman Senior Services, where he arranges needed services to help keep elders living safely in their own homes.
Tosi emphasizes issues he supports by pointing to his background in serving the town organizations that target a need. He wrote:
“I am an advocate for affordable housing (Housing Corporation of Arlington), land conservation (Arlington Land Trust), cultural assets (Jason Russell House, Dallin Art Museum, Old Schwamb Mill), our kids (Arlington Boys & Girls Club Incorporator), serving the needy (Arlington Food Pantry, St. Vincent de Paul Society), among other causes.
“I want to bring all my passions to the discussions at the Board of Selectman.”
Town Meeting member admires Fincom
He said he strongly believes in the Town Meeting form of government, where he has served as a member for the past 27 years.
“In Town Meeting,” he wrote, “I admire the work of the Finance Committee and sought out a position on the committee, where I subsequently served for 12 years.
“In recent years, I have served on the Arlington Council on Aging board, including chairman for three years.
Tosi calls himself “a proud product of the Arlington public school system.” He attended the former Locke Elementary School, Ottoson Jr. High and Arlington High School, graduating in 1985.
He has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Merrimack College, where he majored in accounting.
He suggested ways to learn more about his desire to serve all of Arlington: “Please talk to your neighbors who know me or visit my website at www.bobtosi.com.
“I welcome the Arlington residents’ thoughts and opinions on issues and solutions to help make Arlington an even better place to live.”
He ran unsuccessfully in 2012. The incumbents, Dan Dunn and Diane Mahon, have also taken out nomination papers.
In the 2012 town election, Joseph Curro Jr. received 3,417 votes. Steve Byrne got 2,805.
Edged out in third place was Joseph E. Curran, with 2,706 votes. Tosi ran fourth, with 2,447, and Romano last, with 1,431 votes.
In that election, 7,466 Arlington residents of 29,038 registered cast ballots, or 25.7 percent. That compares with 6,068 in 2010, or 20.5 percent.
Tosi … take[s] out papers …
Article from ourarlington.com on Wednesday, 15 January 2014 17:46 | Written by Bob Sprague
An early look at the 2014 town election landscape indicates that races could be shaping up for the Board of Selectmen…
Robert L. Tosi Jr., who ran in 2012, has taken out nomination papers to challenge incumbents Daniel J. Dunn and Diane M. Mahon, who aim to seek reelection for three-year seats.
Watch the 5 candidates opening statements from Patch from Friday, March 29, 2012
LWV Debate Link
The Arlington Avocado Making Guacamole out of All Things Arlington
April 4, 2012 Excerpt For Selectman: Curro and Tosi
Now we turn our attention to our endorsements for the Board of Selectmen. We regret that we were not granted an interview from all candidates. This did not play a role in our final choices. While it would have been helpful to hear from the candidates directly, we feel that all the candidates have done a very good job of telling us about themselves and why they are running through other forums and also, obviously, via the plethora of mailings we have all received. Their websites also provided some good content, with many going into detail about their stands on various issues.
Our first choice for Selectman is none other than Mr. Joseph A. Curro. …
Our second vote in the Selectman’s race would have to go to Mr. Robert Tosi. We do not know Bob nearly as well as Mr. Curro. However, from what we have learned about him, we are duly impressed. Bob is a life-long Arlington resident. He has served on countless boards and commissions here in town. He has been a member of Town Meeting for a quarter century. In addition, he served on the Finance Committee, which provides critical experience and understanding of the town’s budgeting process and finances. Bob’s experience as an accountant will also prepare him well when reviewing the town’s budget. Bob has also worked on behalf of seniors, both in his professional career and as a member of the Council on Aging. We know he will be a true friend for Arlington’s senior citizens. He has given of himself selflessly to the Arlington Food Pantry, showing that he both understands and cares about those who are less fortunate than others. He has volunteered for those with special needs and he has been a mentor at the Boys and Girls Club. He served as a member of the Housing Corporation in Arlington, showing his dedication to affordable housing for all.
If you added up the experience he has had serving on various boards and commissions or in voluntary capacities here in town, Bob would have logged about 240 years worth of experience serving the people of Arlington. I agree with Joe Curro that we need tremendous amounts of experience in order to replace those who are stepping down. Joe Curro is certainly experienced enough to have earned one of those seats. However, we believe that without question, Bob Tosi brings even more experience to the table, with the major difference being that Joe has held major elective office. Therefore, if it is truly experience that drives Joe Curro and his supporters, and we agree that experience is of greater importance where the Board of Selectmen is concerned, then we feel the most logical second choice would be Bob Tosi. Bob Tosi has been called “Mr. Arlington”. You get the sense that Mr. Tosi is not in this for himself. He is in this for us. He is not looking beyond the Board of Selectmen. He looks no further than what he can do for the good people right here in town. He does it asking nothing in return. He does it because he wants an Arlington that is as good as the people he serves. He is deeply proud of his town and those that call it home and he will work tirelessly to understand and respond to the needs of all residents. He is honest, humble, and extremely helpful to all he serves.
So next week, on April 10th, for leadership upon which we can trust and always depend, we strongly recommend supporting both Joe Curro and Bob Tosi for the Board of Selectmen.
Arlington Advocate April 5, 2012
Robert Tosi has been a Finance Committee member for 12 years. He served for seven years on the Council on Aging, including three as chairman. He has also been a member of the Arlington Historical Society, Lodge of Elks, Friends of Robbins Library, Housing Corporation of Arlington, Arlington Land Trust, and Vision 2020 Environment Committee. Currently he is a care manager at Minuteman Senior Services.
As selectman, Tosi said he would advocate for senior citizens, whom he believes have less of a voice in town. Senior services are underfunded in town, Tosi said, and he would pursue state and federal grants to supplement town money. He would also provide more information about transportation services and affordable housing units that many seniors don’t know they can take advantage of, he said.
It’s not realistic to expect more money from the state, Tosi said. The state will probably not rework its local aid formula and lobbying for more aid to Arlington might only pit representatives against each other, he said. Instead, he suggested specifically pressuring the state to reconsider unfunded mandates in areas such as special education.
If chosen as selectman, Tosi said, he will make himself approachable, work well with other town officials, and hear all parties out when making important decisions.
“I have the feel of the financial constraints of the town and its priorities, but no five selectmen have all the answers,” Tosi said. “This town is full of people with all kinds of professional experience and knowledge in many areas.”
Excerpt from League of Women Voters Guide
(also seen in Arlington Advocate March 29 2012, page 16)
Robert L. Tosi, Jr.
14 Inverness Rd.
Occupation: Care Manager, Minuteman Senior Services, Burlington, MA
Qualifications: Having served on the Arlington Finance Committee for 12 years, Town Meeting Member for 24 years Council on Aging Board Chair among many other local activities I am uniquely qualified to serve on the Board of Selectman when we will be electing two new members to a five member board.
Question: In 2011, Town Meeting voted to have the “Town Manager research a consolidated Town-School Finance Department with input from the Board of Selectmen, School Committee, Superintendent, the Finance Committee and other appointed and elected officials with responsibilities related to financial management and report back to the 2012 Annual Town Meeting.” The Department of Revenue’s (DOR) Division of Local Services (DLS) and the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) were engaged to review Arlington’s financial structure. The DLS completed their analysis and recently submitted a report, with their recommendations, to Town Officials for the upcoming 2012 Town Meeting. You can download the document here: DOR Finance Consolidation Report
One of the recommended action items is to place an Article in the Town Warrant for Annual Town Meeting to vote to submit special legislation to amend the “Arlington Town Manager Act” and establish a consolidated town finance department.
Please state your views on this proposed course of action:
The Town and School Finance Analysis DOR Report outlines some best practices focusing on centralizing financial management under the town manager. Given tight municipal finances we should explore consolidation as a means to save money but the report does not present a cost saving analysis.
Arlington has been well served by its elected Board of Assessors and Town Treasurer. Implementation of report recommendations eliminates the checks and balances that result from their participation in the process. Arlington continues to make strides without this Act. The consolidations within Information and Technology as well as the Payroll Department have been successful. The Town Government Reorganization Committee is also addressing a joint Personnel Dept.
I do agree that the new Town Manager and Superintendent of Schools should meet regularly
to improve communication and discuss improvements. The submission of budget requests
should all be done uniformly thru MUNIS budget module for better tracking and year to year comparisons.
The report admits to “relatively few precedents for a school and town finance merger in Massachusetts” (Pg 20). There are other report recommendations that have merit. I do not support the amendment to Arlington Town Manager Act but as always remain open to learn more.
YourArlington.com published Monday, March 26, 2012.
Selectman hopeful Tosi, 44, offers Fincom, Council on Aging background
Forty-four-year-old Robert L. Tosi Jr. is the second of five candidates for two seats on the Board of Selectmen in the April 10 town election to respond to basic questions about his run.
The well-known presence on the town’s Finance Committee and Council on Aging was asked why he is running. His answer to this and other queries came March 25 through his press aide, Lisa Sasso:
“I am uniquely qualified, and I feel that right now is the time for me to step up and serve Arlington in a bigger way. After this election, there will be three board members with one year or less experience.
“I know and love Arlington and have been an active and involved volunteer in numerous Arlington organizations, many for over two decades. I am also confident that my financial, interactive and communication skills will be of great value and benefit to the board.”
Asked about his qualifications to serve, he responded that he has been an active Town Meeting Member for 24 years (in Precinct 20), has been a Fincom member for 12 years and has been involved with the Council on Aging board for seven years (he was chair for three years).
“I have gone to Selectman’s meetings, and I feel that I not only know and understand the current issues that the board faces, but I also have a good appreciation for Arlington’s history and what has been done in the past,” his responses provided to his aide said.
Asked what challenges he sees ahead for the board, he wrote:
“We continue to face a number of challenges resulting from both internal and external factors.
“The town has a significant number of individuals on low and fixed income. Raising taxes (and overrides) strains these families and makes it more difficult for them to ‘make ends meet.’
“Externally, state funding is an unknown variable. It certainly does not cover the numerous state/federal mandates on our schools and other town services.
“Ultimately, we have to make tough choices about which services and projects we can support to maintain the expected level of services, including our schools, public safety and public works.
“We also have to ensure that the funds that we have are allocated appropriately, and ensure accountability throughout our community including elected, appointed officials and town departments.”
How he would address
Asked how he expects to address these issues if he is elected, he wrote that he plans to “work collaboratively with the board to make the best decisions for Arlington.
“I can work with anyone. I am very serious and thorough in my decision making and in my approach. I like to think about what impact this will have for all parties involved and take the time to look at each problem from a variety of different perspectives.
“No one person has all the right answers, but if we work together and share our ideas and perspectives while also keeping the fiscal responsibility as an underlying factor we should be able to continue to make Arlington a town where everyone is proud to live, work, shop and raise a family.”
Tosi has been a town resident since he was 5. He completed schooling at Locke, Ottoson and Arlington High. He has a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in accounting from Merrimack College.
He has worked as a care manager for Minuteman Senior Services in Burlington for the past six years.
Tosi wrote that he has a strong work ethic and have been a contributing team player for both large and small organizations. Besides Minuteman, they include Radi Medical Systems Inc., office manager, 1999-2005; HealthSouth, payroll/accounts payable; State Street Bank, mutual fund accountant.
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February 28, 2012 Arlington Digest, Vol 19, Issue 266
Voting records of 13 town candidates from Arlington List
Bob Tosi Jr. voted 10 times in 10 years in town elections including all three overrides.
The importance of voting locally.
Robert Tosi Jr.:
“… My record of voting in every election should speak for itself about how much I value the right to vote.
We live in a democracy, and everyone should do their best to learn about the candidates and the current issues. Local politics affects everyone’s life on a personal and daily basis and more people should exercise their right to vote that Americans have fought and died to secure and protect.”
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Letters to the Arlington Advocate February 16, 2012
Bob Tosi’s Announcement in the Arlington Advocate:
I am writing to inform you of my decision to run for the Arlington Board of Selectman. As a lifelong resident of the town, I have witnessed the many changes that have affected the character of our community. I am encouraged by the dedication of those who serve our community and know first-hand that it is not acceptable to simply sit on the sidelines and complain about issues; we have to take a stand and take action.
Those who know me understand that my approach has always been to dive into an issue, and try to be part of a solution. This is clearly demonstrated through my community service including 25 years as a Town Meeting Member, 12 years as an Arlington Finance Committee member, 20+ years as a volunteer for Arlington Seniors (3 years as Chair of Council on Aging Board), 10+ years as a volunteer for the Arlington food pantry, and 20+ years of active involvement with the Knights of Columbus (Past Grand Knight).
Now I am asking for your support. The Board of Selectman is Arlington’s official governing body, a place where the voice of the people needs to be heard. Being exposed to (and active in) numerous community organizations, I have listened and learned about how they serve to improve our lives. Knowing what it takes financially to run our Town gives me a unique perspective about the constraints faced and decisions that need to be made. Working with the frail and needy in our community, both in my professional and personal life, humbles me.
It is critical that the people of the community have confidence in their leaders. It is not my place to make promises about changes, or even attempt to forecast how the next few years will shape our future. What I can commit, however, is that my life is guided by a moral compass that dictates it is not acceptable to stand by and watch. Becoming involved, at all levels of our community, is the only decision that yields results. And when problems arise, and issues challenge what we believe is right, we have to come up with a way to work through them together. The Board of Selectmen offers me (and the entire community) that opportunity, and it is one that I am ready to take on.
I have lived in Arlington for almost 40 years and am a proud product of the Arlington School System. My passion and dedication to Arlington and its citizens is evident to all who know me. You are welcome to attend my meet and greet campaign rally on Sunday, March 4th from 2-5 pm at the Arlington Knights of Columbus. I want to share my hopes and vision for our community and to hear your ideas as well.
Please help me continue to serve you with one of your two votes for Selectman on Tuesday, April 10th. If you have questions or comments feel free to contact me at email@example.com or 781-646-8120, or visit www.bobtosi.com.
Robert L.Tosi, Jr.
Candidate for Arlington Selectman
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