Town Election ’17: Carbone In, Dash On The Way, Waiting on Baghdady

Photo: Guy Carbone.

If anyone was wondering about Guy Carbone‘s commitment to the race for a seat on the Board of Selectmen, you could rest assure the octogenarian is serious about winning a three-year term on the board as the Woodfall Road resident is the first resident to turn in his nomination papers to the Town Clerk’s Office on Tuesday, Jan. 17. 

If 50 signatures are verified by Town Clerk Ellen Cushman, Carbone will be the first official candidate on the ballot for the Selectman’s seat now occupied by Sami Baghdady. 

In an earlier conversation with the Belmontonian, Carbone said his run for office will focus on repairing and improving Belmont’s notorious roads and sidewalks.

“We pay a lot of taxes to maintain our streets, but at this stage of the game, there is no leadership among the Selectmen,” said Carbone, who touted his experience as a four-term member of the Watertown School Committee and two terms as a selectman in Watertown. 

Carbone said he would help Glenn Clancy, director of the Office of Community Development, deliver on the promises made to neighborhoods such the Hillcrest community where he lives.

While Carbone is first, in the next few days, another challenger is expected to walk into Town Hall with a stack of papers with signatures to be certified.

Adam Dash, a Goden Street resident and a member of the Warrant Committee, told the Belmontonian Monday, Jan. 16 he has 50 residents’ John Hancocks and wanted to collect a few more than needed before handing them over to Cushman.

It was expected that Dash was committed to a run for selectman as he has created a slick website for his campaign and building a team of community members to back his race.

With two potential candidates moving forward with their campaigns, the person still up in the air on a possible run is incumbent Sami Baghdady. The Arlington-based attorney has yet to take out nomination papers to retain his seat on the board he won three years ago in a race against another non-officeholder, Roger Colton. 

But before anyone makes any conclusions, hopefuls have until Feb. 14 to submit nomination papers. 

In other races, incumbent Tom Caputo will be seeking a full three-year term on the School Committee while Elyse Shuster, who is holding a partial term seat, told the Belmontonian she was still considering whether to run. 

Automated ‘Smart’ Water Meters in Belmont By 2020

Photo: A typical automated water meter.

You can do your banking, book a vacation and buy your groceries with your smartphone. So, the town of Belmont want to know, why not pay a monthly water bill while monitoring your water usage all via the same phone?

By 2020, Belmont residents will have that option as the Water Division of the town’s Department of Public Works replaces the old manual-recorded meters currently in use with “smart” meters over the next three years. The new meters will be installed at no cost to consumers.

The plan, announced by DPW chief Jay Marcotte at Board of Selectmen’s meeting, Monday, March 28, will piggyback existing technology created by Belmont Light in its metering system, reading data via radio frequencies. 

The $2.75 million project – paid through the Water Division’s retained earnings – will take between 12 to 18 months to implement as contractors install between 20 to 30 new meters each business day, said Marcotte.

Other communities are moving towards wireless reading including Melrose, Lincoln, Wellesley and Woburn. 

The advantage of using 21st-century technology in recording utility usage is “a no-brainer,” said Mike Bishop, Water Division manager. For his department, it will bring efficiencies such as reading meters from a central location rather than sending meter readers to each residence or business. It will also be used as an “early warning system” to identify possible leaking pipes when a spike in usage levels.

For customers, it will allow for monthly billing which will provide resident and commercial users more reliable data on water consumption.

“It will allow our customers to do things like creating ‘red flags’ in which the meter will inform you if you exceed a certain usage level for a specific month. You then will be able to monitor a history of what you are using on your smartphone which will improve conservation of water in town,” said Bishop.