Joshua Ostroff
 

Proven
Leadership

for Natick

 
Josh Ostroff for Board of Selectman
     
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Natick Issues

As an effective member of the Board of Selectmen, I work on everything that comes before the board in collaboration with other Board members, the administration and other staff and volunteers.  I have also made a difference in advocating for responsible planning, improved transportation and mobility, civic engagement and state funding for local projects.  

This will summarize many of the issues on which I and the Board have worked.  If there's something you would like to have included or explained, please get in touch using the contact form on this web site.

Financial

Natick is a well-managed community that provides excellent value to taxpayers.  To be affordable and preserve the services we provide will require continued discipline, cost control, new revenue sources, and fair and predictable state aid.  

  • Our Financial Management Principles provide stability in our finances and budgets.  Our resulting approach to building reserves helps to support our AAA bond rating, which in turn provides low interest rates and debt costs.
  • Our Health Insurance costs were rising at double digit rates.  Successful negotiations have lowered the rate of increase, and my advocacy at the state level has helped to arrest the insurance cost spiral by providing Natick and every other community in the state with new tools to control insurance costs while preserving vital services and employee rights.
  • We have consolidated the Financial Services department and recruited a top-flight team of professionals to help ensure accountability and best practices in municipal finance and accounting.

Transportation and Mobility

Improving traffic and safety is a priority for me.  Mobility is key to everyone: commuters, students, parents, people with disabilities and people who bike, walk and run for exercise.  Parking is also a key issue for business owners, customers and others who visit Natick Center.

  • Worked with town and state officials to get the Route 9/Oak Street project funded, with Summer 2015 completion
  • Wrote the town's successful grant application to improve pedestrian conditions across town 
  • Leading efforts to create parking solutions in Natick Center
  • Leading efforts to replace the Natick Center MBTA Station and build the Cochituate Rail Trail

Development

Natick must attract and retain businesses to keep residential taxes affordable, to provide employment, and to ensure that the region and the state participate in economic recovery.  That's why I support a single tax rate, why I frequently work with businesses to navigate their approach to permitting, and why I helped start the Economic Development Advisory Committee.

Affordability

Natick is home to people from all walks and stations of life.  Taxes and fees are necessary, but still a burden for many.  In addition to proposing ways to enhance and improve our many programs to make taxes, fees and other expenses more affordable for people of limited means, I created the Financial Assistance Summary to centralize outreach for the programs and services that can make a difference for people struggling to stay in Natick.  But government can't do it all.   I encourage everyone to support organizations such as A Place To Turn, the Natick Service Council and other helping organizations however you can.

Public Safety

Public safety is the bedrock of a thriving community. First responders are here for all of us, whether crime victims, medical emergencies, fires, drug overdoses or neighborhood nuisances. In the coming years we must find ways to improve the staffing and resources in our Police and Fire Departments.   I have been honored to help choose our current Police and Fire Chiefs in my service on the Board of Selectmen.

Education

There is no higher purpose to government than providing a quality public education, and Natick has been supportive of our schools – which in turn has attracted young families who share these values. To uphold this commitment will be a challenge in the years to come, based on rising enrollment and the condition and capacity of some school facilities.

We in Natick have high expectations for our students, and they should have high expectations of us.  We must educate children of all abilities to achieve their potential and thrive in a globalized economy, while advocating for fairness in state and federal funding and charter school reimbursement.  Excellent schools must complement, not compete with the services, programs and people that make Natick a complete community.

I believe that a strong partnership between the School Department and Committee, Selectmen and Town Administration and the broader community is critical to working through the challenges and fulfilling our obligation to great schools and affordable taxes.

Citizen involvement and communication

Natick's government is powered and directed by its citizens, with a high caliber of volunteers who help to set policy and shape and enact local budgets and laws.  Our past and future success as a community is traceable to the people who step forward; they must be encouraged and welcomed.  We must continually strive for open, accessible and inclusive government to live up to our potential.  I have always worked to get people involved.  I also initiated and chaired the reprecincting committee, and testified at the state legislature to centralize state and federal legislative districts in MetroWest.

Issues and the Board of Selectmen

The role of a Selectman is not just to take a side on an issue.  We must all ensure that issues are fully and fairly decided, considering a range of views and voices before a public vote.  There are many issues that come before the Board. Some affect the entire town; others are important to a neighborhood or a single household. 

Whatever the issue, I will continue to provide thoughtful and effective leadership on the issues of importance to you as a citizen, and to all of us as a community. Please see the achievements page for some examples of what I have helped to accomplish in Natick. If you want more information, or have a question, idea or concern about any issue, I would be grateful to hear from you at joshua@ostroff.net or 508 654-3330.

     
 

Paid for by The Josh Ostroff Committee · PO Box 31, Natick MA 01760