Terra Friedrichs
                  My Hopes for Acton

  • CREATE a sustainable society
  • PRESERVE the Town's character, including its strong schools and historic villages
  • LESSEN the tax burden on residents
  • IMPROVE  the lives of the disadvantaged and underserved
  • STRENGTHEN the power of the vote
Find creative ways to do this @ the LOWEST COST possible. See below for an EXAMPLE of a creative "business model".

* More Detail:

  • CREATE an economically vibrant community that is both ecologically viable and socially just.
  • PRESERVE the Town's character.  By doing so, we can keep our property values and "appreciation rates" high (not our taxes).  Our Town Character is defined by its strong schools, its village atmosphere, and its caring community.  I want to find creative ways to preserve this way of life without increasing taxes unnecessarily.  By investing/protecting the value of our property, the town will become the best place to invest your money.  We can earn money WHILE doing good! 
  • IMPROVE  the lives of our most vulnerable citizens.  We can do this by focusing public assistance dollars on the neediest people.  We can create public/private partnerships to create economically viable services.  We can improve the lives of our seniors so that they will stay with us here in Acton, and help Acton remain affordable.
  • LESSEN THE TAX BURDEN ON RESIDENTS.  We need to do more outreach to the business community in this state.  Business development in Acton lessens the tax burden on residents.  We should also hold the line with developers that are making a lot of money from Acton, while existing residents are left with the bills for infrastructure needs.
  • STRENGTHEN the power of the vote.  By improving the budgeting process and by using surveys and other means for getting input from smaller committees and voters at large, we can make better decisions that make more people happy.  By using technology to assess voter preference we can make it easier for working people to participate in the democratic process.
  • I believe that many of the issues that we have in town are due to a planning/budgeting process that needs to be improved.  I believe that by improving the process, we'll be able to collaborate better, which will result in better services without raising taxes unnecessarily.

    to help Acton, Massachusetts!

    - HOUSING OUTREACH volunteers to help find working, responsible  lower income members of our community that can qualify for a $100K mortage.  Volunteers are needed to help these folks learn how to fill out applications.  Volunteers are needed to hand out flyers, talk to people, and find methods to get the word out!  This will help Acton because the more people we find to participate in the "Condo Buy-Down" program, the further our tax dollars will go to helping the people that need help the most.
    - MARKETING PRO & MARKETING VOLUNTEERS to help the Economic Development Committee design/implement an outreach plan to raise awareness at industry groups as to why businesses would want to move to Acton.  Economic Development helps lessen the burden on residential taxpayers.
    - ECONOMIST/Financial Modeler, to help develop a new financial model for the town to estimate the "costs/benefits" of strategic policy options.  We need help estimating the Supply & Demand impact on appreciation rates to the taxpayer's own net worth.  We need help understanding the complex relationships between Town services and business development.  These models will help Acton negotiate more effectively with developers and know what businesses to target/encourage. 
    - LAWYERS, for occasional research & independent advice on our options for saving land, negotiating with developers, etc to help us maintain property values
    - ARCHITECTs, LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTs, REAL ESTATE PROs for Design Review Board to advise developers and to help the town get a more coordinated "look/feel".


    terra at citizenactionteam. com

    p: 978 266 2778
    c: 978 808 7173


    For an example of how we can serve a lot of people with not a lot of money, please look at a national effort that I co-founded:


    The Citizen Action Team's Relief Database is a innovative method for donors & volunteers to connect directly with organizations that do relief and social services work.  It's for Acton, and any community in the country.

    It is a way to recycle surplus and to get donations out to the field in the most direct
    way possible.


  • My Current Work in Acton, Massachusetts:

    - Member, Board of Selectmen (BoS)
    The Board of Selectmen are the "governing" body for the town.  See a status of my adventure as a Selectman "click here".

    - Historic District Commission
    Associate Member, BoS Liaison. The HDC helps preserve the character of our villages and thus the value of our homes.
    - Design Review Board
    Co-Founder, Member.  The DRB helps developers understand our
    "vision" for the town, and helps the town get what they want from development.  Recent surveys indicate that residents very much desire "walkable communities", and the DRB is helping to make that possible by working with developers and designing bylaws that encourage these environments.
    - Green Advisory Board.  See my views regarding the environment on the left of this page, "Sustainable Societies".  This group is new and will be advising the town on what "green" initiatives to investigate.  There is a lot of interest in investigating energy usage/buying options.  If you're interested, please contact us.
    - Farmer's Market/Agricultural Commission.  I hope that we can create additional opportunities for residents to "get closer" to their food sources.  I hope that we can help farmers remain economically viable and sustainable.  This effort is just getting started.  Please contact us for details on the plans.  Meetings are starting up this fall (2008).
    - Cable Advisory Committee, Associate Member.  The CAC negotiates and administers the Cable TV licenses in town.  It also administers the Technology Fund.  Tje CAC brings in hundreds of thousands of dollars to the town for technology enhancements.  I hope that we can increase the contributions from the cable companies to the town, so that we can promote greater/equal access to technology.
    - Acton Housing, Volunteer, helping find lower income people to participate in the condo-buy-down program, to help the town get to our 40B goals faster.
    - Finance, Trying to create a more "realistic" cost/benefit models to assess the "value" of strategies like funding "Senior Services", Condo-Buy Downs (to help fund more affordable housing for your $), costs of development.  Having a more comprehensive model that estimates the future costs of development will be helpful for negotiating with developers. It will help the Town to get them to contribute their fair share of the costs that you would otherwise have/had to pick up later.  The hope is to create a model which reflects ALL of your costs, not just the costs to Town Hall.


    - Community Preservation Act Advisory Committee, Member & Promoter of the Community Preservation Act.  The CPA has brought millions of dollars to the town for:
    + land purchase
    + historic preservation
    + recreation
    + affordable housing
    - Cable Committee, Member of the Negotiating Team which brought an additional $200,000/year into the Town's technology budget
    - Economic Development Committee, Original Member, helped develop the charter/goals for the EDC, to create marketing materials and make the town more attractive for businesses by having a single point of contact and streamlined processes to help businesses to get started in Acton.  Future goal: "outreach" to industry associations, etc.
    - Conservation, Volunteer, helped arrange for the town to get its own consultant to oversee Golf Course environmental impact.
    - Petitioned the town to take wetlands out of the allowable buildable lot calculations.

    For more details, please contact me...


    terra at citizenactionteam. com

    p: 978 266 2778
    c: 978 808 7173

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