During this election year, we will provide candidates the opportunity to explain their views on any issue facing Melrosians.
By MONICA MEDEIROS SOLANO
I am asking you to cast your vote for me, Monica Medeiros Solano, for Mayor of Melrose.
As a former local elected official in Melrose for nearly 15 years, I helped shape Melrose into the beautiful, livable, vibrant city it is today. I am a lifelong Melrosian, and I want to see our city thrive as a great place to live for generations to come. My background, experience and dedication can make this vision a reality.
STRONG FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT
I know the most important job I will have as Mayor will be to provide a strong financial footing for Melrose. By beginning on Day One to build a five-year strategic financial plan for Melrose, I am committed to doing my best to provide the strong fiscal management needed to maintain our City’s affordability, strengthen our education system, and protect the sustainability of our City’s financial future.
I would begin with auditing our books, examining our policies and procedures, taking a full assessment of our current obligations and forecasting what we need to operate – one year, three years and five years down the road. Having a strong financial plan in place, will set us on the path to meet our needs for education, for public safety, to fix our roads and address our aging water & sewer infrastructure.
EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION
As your next mayor, I will strive for excellence in education in the Melrose Public Schools. I will focus on maximizing student achievement in academics. I will prioritize spending which directly impacts students in the classroom, and will support educational opportunities which help every student reach their maximum potential.
I will provide active financial management of our school and city budget by building accountability measures into our day to day practices. I will continually review our spending and conduct regular budget check ins with our department leaders to proactively identify problem areas and get back on track before things get out of hand.
I know how important it is to hire the right superintendent. I am the only candidate for mayor who has served on a School Committee and hired a successful superintendent. I know how important it is to find the right person for the job who puts students first and respects our budgetary limitations. The superintendent is responsible for hiring building principals and staff. The tone the superintendent sets can determine whether we attract and retain high quality personnel.
Special Education is a leading driver of costs. I will review our programs to evaluate their effectiveness, our district’s responsiveness to students and parents, and possibly find ways to meet student needs in district.
I will create a Mayor’s Advisory Committee on Education comprised of community members – financial, educational, human resources professionals and others – who can use their professional expertise to assist with these goals, and help me make better, more well-rounded decisions along the way.
A BEAUTIFUL MELROSE
As a City Councilor, I consistently voted for initiatives to care for our streets, sidewalks, parks & buildings for everyone’s safety and enjoyment. I supported improvements to nearly every park and playground in Melrose, and was the driving force to create our first dog park at Ell Pond.
If I am elected Mayor this fall, I will make maintaining Melrose’s beauty among my top priorities. To me, that means fixing our roads, keeping our sidewalks clear, planting more trees, preserving our open space and properly maintaining our public buildings.
AN OPEN GOVERNMENT
As a former city councilor, I have been a fierce advocate for accountability and transparency, consistently calling for a more open government. As your mayor, I will continue to be a champion of an open government which encourages community dialogue.
To me, an open government is one that is welcoming, one that remembers that the resident is our customer, one that communicates freely and is open to criticism, and one that listens deeply and hears its resident’s concerns.
I believe in opening up our government, by involving people in the decision making process, and making sure we are operating in an open and transparent way. It is your money we are spending. You should be able to know how it is being spent and where it is going.
SUSTAINABILITY FOR OUR FUTURE
I understand how important it is to protect our environment and preserve our open spaces. I support caring for our properties organically whenever possible to protect our pollinators, our residents – especially children, and our city employees from exposure to potentially dangerous chemicals and toxins. I also support shifting to organic and non-GMO food in our city schools and senior center.
Our natural resources are precious. I support increasing water conservation education among residents and setting a goal of reducing water usage on our public properties by 10% to help the environment and to reduce the cost to ratepayers. I also hope to pilot an opt-in, city sourced composting program to again help the environment and also reduce waste.
COMMITMENT TO MELROSE
I love Melrose. I am a lifelong resident. I grew up here and have chosen to stay and make my life here. I have committed myself to serving Melrose. I uniquely have had the honor of serving this community in an elected capacity for 14 years until January 2020 – first as a School Committee Member, then as the Alderman for Ward 2 for three terms and finally as a City Councilor-at-Large for three terms. This experience has provided me with the deepest understanding of our community and our municipal finances.
As part of the leadership of the Massachusetts Municipal Association, the Massachusetts Municipal Councillors’ Association and as part of the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Local Government, appointed by Governor Charlie Baker, I worked side by side for years with leaders from across the state to advocate for Melrose and all municipalities for more funding for education, for road repair and for all municipal services.
I bring the unique skillset and experience that Melrose needs right now. With the goals of having healthy residents, healthy finances and a healthy environment, I bring the leadership and forward thinking that will help Melrose grow and thrive. Voters can depend on me to lead us into a bright future, full of possibilities. I ask for your vote for Mayor September 19 or by early vote.
To learn more about my campaign or to get involved, please visit my website at www.VoteMonica.com or follow me on Facebook at “Monica Medeiros Solano for Melrose” and Twitter (X) @VoteMonica.