Jesse Gordon for Randolph Town Council >
Events>> RCTV debate
Excerpts from the RCTV debate, Oct. 18, 2017
Opening Statement at RCTV debate, Oct. 18, 2017
I'm Jesse Gordon, progressive Democrat, running on a platform of bringing our fair share to Randolph.
15 years ago, I began bicycling around Randolph with my son, and we found "No Trespassing" signs all over the place. When I looked into it, I found that the state owned lots of those properties, like they do in Braintree and Milton.
So how come Braintree and Milton get nice recreational facilities for their kids -- like swimming beaches, and hiking and biking trails -- and we don't?
Fixing that is what I call "bringing our fair share to Randolph."
Getting our fair share applies to our schools, too -- and to lots of other issues.
For example, Newton got a brand-new $200 million high school a few years ago -- and $48 million of that was funded by state taxes -- that's YOUR tax money and mine, going to Newton, when I think that money was a lot more needed in Randolph's schools!
How come Newton got $48 million, and all we got was some storm windows? Because they wrote a big grant, and played the political game on Beacon Hill -- THAT is what I want to do for Randolph!
During this debate, I'll talk about lots of ideas, coupled with tasks to actually get them done. That's what I offer -- creative new ideas, and the competence and experience to get them done, to bring our fair share to Randolph.
Fact-check #1: Ed Gilbert defends federal hazard in North Randolph
Fact-check #1 on my opponents in the Oct. 18 debate:
- I suggested that a good use of Randolph's new eminent domain power would be to seize the abandoned federal Nike missile site in North Randolph, because it is the very definition of "blighted": long-abandoned; contaminated; and dangerous.
- Incumbent Town Councilor Ed Gilbert responded, "You can't take the Nike missile site!" by which he meant that federal property was legally exempt from eminent domain seizure.
- That's true for inside-the-box thinkers -- but I apply methods used by other out-of-the-box thinkers!
- One such out-of-the-box thinker applied eminent domain to federal property in Utah; see, for example, these articles:
Utah Uses Eminent Domain to Seize Land of ... Uncle Sam (Christian Science Monitor, May 9, 2010)
Utah Authorizes Use of Eminent Domain to Seize Federal Land (Edgecomb Law Group, April 6, 2010)
- How did that fight in Utah come out? Well, I corresponded with one of the state representatives involved, Rep. Ken Ivory (something that establishment folks like Councilor Gilbert wouldn't do, either). The outcome? The move was a useful political tactic even though the law was against them.
- I am proposing that we seize the Nike missile site in North Randolph as a political tactic: the federal government will then HAVE to respond, in the press and in court, like they did in Utah, and they'll have to answer for the health and safety hazard they have imposed for decades upon Randolph (and the Boston Globe and Boston Herald would just LOVE to cover this story!).
- The likely outcome of the U.S. government looking bad in the newspapers? I think the feds would give Randolph the property, even though they have no legal obligation to do so. Maybe we can get them to clean it up a bit, too.
- What is the policy proposal implied by Councilor Gilbert's exclamation? I guess it means "We should continue to let the federal government go on for a few more decades, leaving a hazard in North Randolph because, well, there's just nothing that we can do about it."
- I think there IS something we can do about it. And I'd like to try my out-of-the-box idea, because it's a LOT better than the alternative from Councilor Gilbert. And if THIS out-of-the-box idea doesn't work, I'll come up with another one!
Fact-check #2: Jim Burgess calls Attack Dog sign "Make-Believe"
Fact-check #2 on my opponents in the Oct. 18 debate:
- I suggested that the revamping of Randolph's water treatment plant should include removing the "No Trespassing" signs surrounding the reservoir, in favor of a pedestrian / bicycle walkway.
- I compared the Fresh Pond reservoir, on the Belmont-Cambridge border, which has an inviting 3.5-mile pedestrian / bicycle walkway surrounding it, plus a dog park and a golf course, and invites schoolchildren to tour their water treatment plant.
- I noted the contrast with our reservoir, on the Braintree-Randolph border, surrounded by uninviting signs including one warning about "Attack Dogs."
- Incumbent Town Councilor Jim Burgess exclaimed, "There are no 'Attack Dog' signs! That's make-believe!"
- So I post below a picture of the sign which Councilor Burgess calls "make-believe."
- I first saw this sign a dozen years ago, when bicycling with my then-pre-teen son. I didn't believe there were actually attack dogs present, but it certainly scared my son, and I didn't want to find out if the sign was outdated or not.
- This sign is located on King Hill Road in Braintree, on the eastern shore of the Great Pond Reservoir. If not closed, King Hill Road would let out at the other end near Pond St. on the Braintree-Randolph border.
- The "Attack Dog" sign is accompanied nearby by more traditional "No Trespassing' signs, like this one:
- It reads:
Per order Tri-Town Water Board
The Towns of Braintree, Randolph, and Holbrook
- In summary, the "Attack Dog" sign is within the grounds of Randolph's reservoir, located on the Braintree side of the border, and controlled by Randolph and two other towns.
Closing Statement at RCTV debate, Oct. 18, 2017
I've shared some ideas tonight on how we can make a difference for Randolph -- beyond slogans; real ideas like:
And I've got the experience and background to get those things done:
- A new full-time professional town grant-writer
- Mixed-use development to improve livability and services
- Outside-the-box thinking on business development and recreational development
I can get it done for Randolph:
- A degree in molecular biology from Brandeis University and a degree in Public Policy from Harvard University, so I've got the academic background to understand the issues, and the analytical skills to address them.
- I've got several years of professional experience as a contractor for state and federal agencies
- I've written successful grant applications to state and federal agencies -- the incumbents talked tonight about their successful $50,000 grants, and they should be congratulated, but we need to add more zeroes to that!
- I've got a decade of experience as a data analyst in cancer research
- I've got two decades of experience in political analysis from my website OnTheIssues.org, started right here in Randolph in 1999, and still going strong.
See jessegordon.com for more, and I'm asking for your vote on Nov. 7th!
- Get a fair share for our schools so our kids get a better education
- Get our fair share of state parks and recreation
- Get a fair share for ALL the diverse people of Randolph