March 18, 2010
Despite the economic turmoil of the times, the 2010 race for town positions has been a quiet affair. There is only one contested race, with three people going for two seats on the Board of Selectmen. Nevertheless, the election presents residents with an important choice on whether they believe Andover leadership is generally on the right track or whether it is time for more dramatic change.
Whatever their answer to that question, we believe residents should cast one of their two votes for Alex Vispoli. Vispoli has shown the ability to see the big picture, the drive to tackle difficult problems, the commitment to devote the significant hours necessary, the willingness to respond to residents' questions and the cooperative spirit that is necessary in difficult times. Vispoli also has no conflict-of-interest that will prevent him from voting on or contributing to the crucial work of contract negotiations.
The most significant project in decades for Andover is the proposed Interstate 93 interchange that would bring a new ramp into southern Andover, between the Route 125 and Dascomb Road exits. This would open up to development about 700 acres in Andover, Tewksbury and Wilmington and allow for the expansion of some of Andover's largest business taxpayers. Vispoli helped start a task force to protect the interests of Andover, and is the selectmen liaison to the group trying to advance the project and maintain the coalition of three communities. He is playing a vital role.
Vispoli has consistently pushed for common sense solutions to save money. For instance, he insisted Andover borrow a sewer truck from North Andover when needed, rather than buy an expensive truck of its own. While progress has been slow at times, together with Selectman Mary Lyman, he spent months studying how Andover employees use town vehicles and the town has now started scaling back on this expense. Fewer employees will now receive take-home vehicles. He backs the rationalization of services, something residents have suggested for many years to save money. For instance, he has helped form a consortium of North Shore communities' leaders, including Andover, North Andover, Reading, North Reading, Wilmington and Tewksbury. The leaders look to share services, and are talking about sharing inspection services of homes rather than having each town pay for its own department. Members of the group also swap ideas about how they have eached solved difficult problems in their communities so that another community might benefit from the experience.
Vispoli has worked hard to serve the town and reduce expenses. We believe townspeople should support him in his reelection bid.