By Ed Prisby
I am running for the Board of Selectmen because I am a product of my community. When I was growing up, my community provided me with a quality public education, a safe environment, and infrastructure that supported the businesses, small and large, that helped pay for it all. I am running for the Board of Selectmen to provide these same opportunities for you, your family, your children and neighbors. I am running so that I can continue to provide genuine, proven leadership for this community, with the knowledge that real leaders give back, and pay forward.
I am a product of the joint commitment and sacrifice of those who came before me. While I paid for college with student loans and paid for law school entirely on my own and could probably claim to be self-made, I know that’s not true. My neighbors paid the local taxes that made my public education possible. My neighbors’ taxes subsidized the University of New Hampshire, where I graduated in 1997 with a Bachelor’s degree in political science. The state and national community made law school possible by providing grants and publicly subsidized loans at below-market rates, so that I could attend Suffolk University Law School, where I graduated in 2002 with my Juris Doctor. Because of the investment my community made in me, I now provide civil litigation and trial law services as an attorney and Partner at Kajko, Weisman & Colasanti, LLP, where I manage staff and attorneys as the Chair of the Civil Litigation Department. So, I believe in the power of joint community investment in tomorrow, and in each other.
The neighborhoods that I grew up in were full of kids who played outside, and the elderly who were retired, living on defined-benefit retirement plans, living their golden years in the homes they’d lived in most of their adult lives. Times have changed. And while we can’t turn back the clock to yesterday, we can commit to making possible the same opportunities for today’s seniors, today’s children and their parents.
To protect these opportunities today, and to preserve them for tomorrow, we need new leadership. Grafton faces enormous financial challenges to meet present service-levels in the future. Budget projections show that if we do not change the funding and spending patterns of the last few years, we will soon likely face budget deficits in the millions of dollars. Left unchecked, these deficits could mean cuts to core services, like education, that could be catastrophic.
To confront this crisis, we need leaders who realize that the solutions to yesterday’s problems are not adequate to meet today’s challenges. We need leaders who understand that it is not enough to simply be involved, but that making positive change requires commitment and sacrifice, and the willingness to provide leadership by living that example.
We need leaders willing to dramatically change the approach of local government, and commit to data-driven analysis and solutions. We need leaders who understand not only how the municipal budget works, but who understand the value of long-range projections, and know how to identify a structural deficit. We need leaders who can not only tell you what percentage the schools take up in our total budget, but why education is a core service that needs protecting. We need leaders who can not only tell you what their values are, but can actually express to you how they’ll pay for them. We need leaders who will not only tell you that they’ll listen, but can confidently tell you what they will do with the information they receive in terms of concrete action. We need leaders who can hit the ground running on day one to build consensus toward concrete solutions.
My Grafton home is the first and only home I ever want to own. I have three children who go to Grafton schools. I have skin in the game, and the decisions that I make as Chair of the Finance Committee impact my own family’s future.
I have been on the front lines of issues like managing our structural deficit, promoting economic development, paying for our schools, providing affordable housing for our senior population, and committing to responsible spending and data-driven analysis for years. And I’ve met stiff resistance on every front. But I’m still here, and still have the courage to fight for you.
I pay my community back every day with my service. I pay it forward by working to ensure that our children enjoy the same opportunities that I had growing up.
Please join me as I once again provide genuine, proven leadership for Grafton.