Unfinished Business in St Michaels
Hi, I’m Bill Boos, and I have decided to run for another term as Commissioner of St Michaels and would like to tell you why I am asking for your support.
I have served as a Commissioner for the past four years, one year as Treasurer and three as President. Much has been accomplished in that time, but there is unfinished business that needs to be completed. I feel strongly that we need to keep moving our town into the future, while maintaining respect for our past. Those two ideals can co-exist. I have run both large and small companies, and have owned and operated my own businesses. The five years that I spent as the General Manager of a 2500 home community in VA, where I was responsible for finances, budgets, code enforcement, personnel and asset management, is what most prepared me for this job.
I think there are two tasks that the Commissioners are charged with that rise above all others. First, keep our citizens, homes and business’s safe. I believe we have one of the finest police and public safety departments in the state. They are engaged in our community with youth programs and constant dialogue with our citizens. Our Chief maintains a well-trained, competent force, that emphasizes community interaction, outreach and respect for everyone. Second, protect our water supply. As citizens we tend to take it for granted that our water is safe, but our Public Works Department does not. They test our water daily, 365 days a year. We spent a large amount of money upgrading our water treatment system a few years ago to make sure it was well within mandated safety levels and there is no job more important than keeping it that way. I have been and will continue to be fully committed to these two priorities.
Let me take a moment to list a few of the other big things the Commissioners have done over the past four years.
We completely revamped and stabilized our long-term financial position:
As Treasurer I brought this program forward and shepherded it through to completion. A company that specializes in Reserve Studies was hired to do an in-depth analysis of our town assets, from streets to buildings to equipment. It yielded a 30-year projection of costs and dates to repair and replace our assets. We established a fund for these items and have budgeted to keep that fund replenished. As a result, our town assets such as streets, are in the best condition in years and as they need repair, the money will be there. No more scrambling from year to year, raising taxes to pay for needed repair expenditures.
We kept the project to repair and replace our Talbot St sidewalks moving forward:
The project to replace and repair our crumbling and unsafe sidewalks and curbs along Talbot St languished for years until I drove that project. We have a couple more sections of sidewalk to go and I pushed to get money in this budget to complete the next phase. It is a safety issue, not just a desire to have our sidewalks be brick. Incidentally, in a recent post by others, some of which are running for commissioner, it was stated that we should not be spending money to redo the sidewalks “ far beyond the core business district”. I suspect that the Winery, the Brewery, Gina’s Café and the other merchants in the Mill would disagree with that sentiment.
St Michaels beautification:
I championed and supported new signs, new street trees, attractive grates around those trees, additional monies for our limited landscape budget as well as the sidewalks project. I drove the purchase of our street sweeper and for the first time every one of our streets are cleaned every week.
We funded and completed the major task of re-writing the town’s zoning code:
Decades have passed since that was previously done and I commend the Planning Commission for the hours it took to get it done. The new zoning language respects the past and looks forward to the future and the challenges it will bring to St Michaels such as sea level rise.
We have put four fiscally responsible budgets in place that have managed to hold the line on our tax rate:
I called for and we instituted across the board spending reductions by department without compromising important town services. The budget for fiscal 2021 was scrutinized line by line with the full understanding of how the current situation may affect revenue and expenses. It is a good, well researched and fact based budget that has the flexibility to adapt to whatever changes come our way this year.
Of course, I need to mention the new town administration building. The need for a new building is obvious, the days of holding official town meetings in a crowded master bedroom of an aging 50’s brick rancher needed to end. The process started literally four years ago, and after intensive investigation, analysis, meetings, field trips and conversation with citizens, the Commissioners decided unanimously in a 5-0 vote, where and what that building should be. Yet, the building is still not built. It is the right building and in the right location and it needs to be finished!
There is more to be done. We need to find a way to get more affordable housing without compromising the historic nature of town. Our invaluable Harbor needs protection from the effects of climate changes. We as Commissioners have a responsibility to come to the table at every meeting, and in every way, with an understanding of the issues before us and to respectfully listen to all voices, before a decision is made. Our decisions should be based on what is best for our town and it’s citizens, but most importantly on facts. I have done that and will continue to do so.
I love our town and and I have the energy and desire to Keep Us Moving Forward. Please support me on July 13th with your vote.