There is a new candidate running for District 2 Alder by name of Steven Heller. Steven brings an opportunity for new, professional, inclusive, diverse, and fiscally responsible leadership.

Smart budgeting is one of our top priorities. A candidate for office may campaign on smart budgeting, but talking about it and doing it are two different things. There have been decisions made by the common council from a fiscal standpoint that have not been in the best interest of the city.

If the city faces a recession and revenue does not come in at its current rate, Fitchburg may face a situation where drastic cuts and/or layoffs will have to take place as the Common Council has spent up to the levy.

When budgeting, leaders choose their priorities and make tough choices. Steven understands my concerns regarding budget issues the city faces in terms of keeping a strong bond rating, protecting the taxpayer, and not attempting to satisfy every political or social cause.

Steven will ensure that core city services are adequately funded, and that the city is in a healthy fiscal position.

We are impressed with Steven’s knowledge of environmental issues, particularly the flooding and storm water problems facing the community and the need to properly invest in park maintenance and green spaces.

Many residents have been dealing with flooding issues and we believe it is critical that the city support its public works and parks infrastructure to address this problem. In addition, the Common Council in recent years has shifted money out of park maintenance to fund pet projects which are not core functions of the city.

We know Steven has the temperament and professionalism to ensure that robust debate does not get personal and we are confident that he will remain collegial, even when other elected officials may disagree with him.

Service on the Common Council should be viewed as a public service to the community, not as a second job or a political advancement opportunity. Our Alder should put the core interests of the entire city first, even when those interests conflict with a potential run for higher office, or favorite social causes.

After speaking with him, we know that Steven will put the interests of the city and his community members first.

John and Sue Easterday