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Fiscal conservative college student runs for RTM

May 13, 2015

An 18-year-old Eagle Scout and Sacred Heart University student will run for Town Meeting Representative in Precinct 3 in this year’s town election.

Ross Doty is a fiscal conservative.

He graduated from Walpole High School last year. He would be just 21 days shy of his 19th birthday on Election Day, June 6. If elected, that would make him the youngest Town Meeting Representative in Walpole history. That record is currently held by Precinct 7 Town Meeting Rep. William J. Buckley, Jr., who secured a Town Meeting seat when he was 19 years old, a few months shy of turning 20, in 2006.

If elected, Doty would join Buckley, Buckley’s brother Robert, and Precinct 8’s Christie Maciejewski as being among the youngest members of Town Meeting currently.

In 1994, Kenny Jones, Jr. became the youngest person ever to serve on a town board, when he was appointed by Selectmen to the Town Forest Committee at age 14.

Doty, who is studying economics and political science at Sacred Heart, turned in almost double the necessary number of signatures to get on the ballot, just a day after picking up nomination papers in April. He said he plans to run an energetic campaign across his precinct. He is running against six incumbents and one other challenger for seven available seats.

Young people getting involved in local politics is not new. The youngest Selectman in state history is Patrick Reynolds, elected in North Attleborough last year while still in high school. Norwood currently has an 18-year-old School Committee member, Pat McDonough. Many other communities also have young elected and appointed officials.

Full campaign statement from Ross Doty posted here:

To the residents of Walpole, Massachusetts,

For those who do not know me, my name is Ross Alan Doty. I have been a resident of Walpole my entire life, a lifelong member of Union Congregational Church, where I completed my Eagle project, and have been serving my community through volunteer work for more than a decade. When the opportunity arose to run for Town Meeting Representative, I knew this would be a chance to serve my community even further. The appreciation I gained for our town after dedicating countless hours to Walpole only makes me want to serve our community more. I know this appreciation and drive to improve the town in which we live will help me make the best decisions to make a better Walpole.

When you decided to make your home here, you made an investment. You saw value in our schools, in our parks, our businesses and government, and decided to invest your hard earned money to become a part of this community. You re-up on this investment every time you pay your property taxes, or turn your faucet and pay your water bill. You, as a taxpayer, deserve to get the best return on investment as possible. The people in charge of your tax dollars should be working their hardest to get you the most benefit and not spend an arm and a leg to do so. I do not believe the current town leaders share this idea with me.

As of late, I do not believe our elected officials have demonstrated fiscal responsibility. For example, at the end of Common Street about half a mile from where I live, our elected officials agreed to spend 4.5 million dollars on the Sharon Country Day Camp land, a property valued at only $800,000. Even worse, the previous property owners stated that annual upkeep is greater than $35,000. This fiscal irresponsibility is bad for the town and is useless spending of your money. As taxpayers, residents of Walpole should expect value from their tax dollars. Just like an investor would like to see their investment gain value, you should expect that your tax dollars are spent wisely to improve Walpole, increasing the value of your investment, and providing you with a higher quality of life.

For these reasons, I am wholeheartedly in favor of a new police/fire station and a senior center. These new buildings and the increased services they will provide for our community will increase the value of your investment in our town. As long as our elected officials are fiscally responsible and pay the right price, it will be a superb use of tax dollars. For the same reasons, I am wholeheartedly against the reconstruction efforts in Walpole center. This project has already cost the taxpayers more than $400,000 with proposals in place to spend almost 800,000 more. I believe that these improvements, which include replacing trees and sidewalks, do not provide enough value to the taxpayer for the price, and therefore are not a responsible use of tax funds.

As town meeting representative I will work for the best interest of the taxpayers. I will promote fiscal responsibility and town improvement which can go hand in hand. I have been working to improve this town for the better part of my life, and look forward to serving it as town meeting representative in the future.

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