Photo: The traditional site – the corner of Common Street and Concord Avenue – for campaign rallies sees the “Yes for Belmont” group gather to begin the election season in Belmont.
Blame it on the record snowfall, the lack of town-wide contested races or one of a number of other reasons, but so far, there hasn’t been much politicking around Belmont as the annual Town Election fast approaches. Besides some lawn/snow pile signs set outdoors, most of the electioneering in the “Town of Homes” has been taking place inside.
That changed on the first full day of Spring – Saturday, March 21 – as the committee supporting a Proposition 2 1/2 override marshaled its forces to revive the tradition of holding signs and garnering support at the corner of Common and Concord across from the commuter rail tunnel leading in and out of Belmont Center.
Holding large sherbet orange-colored signs proclaiming “Vote Yes April 7,” a wide array of supporters braved a final – hopefully – morning blast of snow to wave both hands and placards at passing motorists.
School Committee member Tom Caputo – who is running unopposed to fill the final two years of the term he holds in the coming election – brought his wife, Sarah, and two daughter, Allison and Jane, to man the site nearest the tunnel.
In the coming years, Belmont schools will face the challenges of dealing with higher enrollment and the costs associated with a top-tier district, “and it’s critical that we recognize that we need the funding of an override to make that possible,” said Caputo.
Preparing for his first-time voting, Belmont High senior Daniel Vernick is also helping garner support among his fellow student for the override’s passage which included holding voter registration at the school. .
“There’s an incredible amount of support at the high school at all [grades] but especially with the seniors because they see how these cuts will [impact] their classmates,” Vernick said.
For veteran campaigner Monty Allen, the primary reason for standing out in the snow is to support the schools that provided his son with “just an outstanding education.”
“It’s not about my son or my family. It’s about everybody else in town. There are some things that you can buy for yourself; there are other things like schools and town services that you can only buy them collectively. I’m for that,” said Allen.