The following is a letter to the editor from Kelly Ross, speaking as Chairman of the Westford Board of Selectmen. Letters to the editor do not necessarily reflect the views of WestfordCAT or its Board of Directors. To submit your own content, e-mail [email protected]
I’m writing in response to the recent concerns expressed by Paul Cully regarding the tracking of Community Preservation Act funds designated for affordable housing. I am satisfied that Town Manager Jodi Ross and the Town’s financial team have properly identified and accounted for these funds. I am also satisfied that they have done their absolute best in trying to answer Mr. Cully’s questions and provide him with the information he is looking for.
My larger concern is Mr. Cully’s seeming lack of trust in Town government. Westford is fortunate to have a highly effective and dedicated professional staff. The Town’s financial picture, under the leadership of Town Manager Ross, has improved steadily since her arrival in 2008. Last year our budget was balanced without using reserves for the first time in recent memory, and the budget approved at this year’s Annual Town Meeting continues to be balanced without using reserves. The Town’s bond rating has improved to AAA, the highest possible level. The number of letters and emails I see praising Town staff far exceed the number of complaints.
This is not smoke and mirrors. Our employees have made significant sacrifices, financial and otherwise, to deliver outstanding service within budget. To suggest otherwise is a disservice to them. I believe if Westford’s residents look at the complete picture, they will conclude that Mr. Cully’s accusations are without merit. Town Manager Ross, and all of Westford’s professional staff, have earned our trust and respect, and they are a major reason why we all enjoy living in Westford.