'Excessive Taxation' Prompts Faris' Selectman Run
The annual town election is March 5.
Stephen Faris says “excessive taxation” in Westborough prompted his campaign for selectman.
“I see no one in the town able to even keep things at a zero percent increase (in the tax rate) for a couple of years,” the Ruggles Street resident says.
“The excessive taxation in the town is hurting our senior citizens. It’s hurting people that are having their incomes go down.”
Two three-year seats on the board of selectmen are on the March 5 annual town ballot. Faris and incumbents Timothy Dodd and Leigh Emery are the candidates.
Faris says that if elected, “I would look at bringing new business into the town. (And) how can we save money with cost reductions?”
“I want to look at the total budget and I want to find where the cost savings are with the town manager, with the finance committee,” says Faris, a semi-retired engineer.
Faris says his approach to attracting businesses would include “cooperating with other towns and the various groups that are in town.”
“I also would look at creative tax strategies. This town has not been a business-friendly town. And we’ve lost a lot of business because of our lack of, during the heydays, cooperation with the businesses in town,” he says.
Faris supports offering businesses tax increment financing deals to come to Westborough.
“I think that’s an attraction. (Town Manager) Jim Malloy’s trying to utilize that strategy,” Faris says.
Faris says he has not developed a position on how best to reuse the Westborough State Hospital site.
“We need to look at different ideas,” he says.
Faris also says that “I think there are a lot of things about town meeting that should be changed.”
Voting electronically rather than by standing is one idea that would “in fairness to everybody, get the count right,” he says.
At the “last special town meeting, the count, in my opinion, wasn’t accurate, and we have may have won that. Except the way the counting was done, we didn’t know enough to say, ‘Joe, will you ask for a recount?’” Faris says.