Letter to the Editor: Elect Guy Carbone Selectman

Photo: Guy Carbone

To the editor:

Guy Carbone is an ethical, intelligent man who is representative of all. He earned three under- and post-graduate degrees from MIT and has been not only a professional engineer but has run a law practice for 30 years, the amount of time he has spent with his family in Belmont. He is practical, decent, and compassionate; he recognizes the vital importance of public education and vocational schools, which provide education and training in a diversified number of fields. Guy thinks, as do we, that it is especially unfortunate that some view vocational schools as unworthy or somehow demeaning. They – and Guy Carbone as our next selectman – are essential.

Jane Shapiro and Erin Lubien

Letter to the Editor: Carbone Has Unmatched Experience for Belmont

Photo: Guy Carbone

To the editor:

I write in support of Guy Carbone for Selectman for the Town of Belmont and hope you will join me in voting for him on Tuesday, April 4.  

Guy comes with an experience unmatched by his opponent. I firmly believe his skill-set and qualities will help ensure success in the massive projects facing Belmont in the immediate future. Guy has experience in building and managing large capital projects for the state. His projects were on time and under budget, once returning $5 million back to the state of Massachusetts. I hope and believe that Guy will deliver the same type of results for Belmont. He certainly has in the past. For example, when Belmont entered into a lawsuit over faulty construction in the two new fire stations against the architect and general contractor, it was Guy Carbone, using his background as an engineer and lawyer, who uncovered the key information that led to a successful resolution returning nearly $1 million to the town; the work done by Guy’s client was not at fault.

This skill set is particularly important in this election. Belmont faces four large capital projects or updates in the near future: the town’s library, high school, DPW station, and police station. Guy has innovative and thoughtful ideas to help finance these projects – alleviating our already high tax burden which has been a key driver to the rising rents affecting our seniors and young families. Equally important, I trust that Guy will labor endlessly to ensure these projects are properly vetted, prioritized, and implemented in a prudent manner.

Guy is hardworking and earnest in his efforts to diligently serve the people of Belmont. He’s open, honest, and willing to listen and hear everyone – qualities extremely important for someone seeking this position.

Richard Hansen

Town Meeting Member, Precinct 5

Candidate’s Statement: Guy Carbone – ‘Make a Real Decision About Belmont’s Future’

Photo: Guy Carbone, candidate for Belmont Board of Selectmen.

My name is Guy Carbone. I ask you to vote for me for Selectman on April 4 and by doing so, make a real decision about Belmont’s future.

Belmont must balance its spending needs against the ability of its residents to pay for them. However, the actions of a small group of residents, whose desires and promises far exceed our ability to pay for them, may make it impossible for Belmont to meet spending needs in a fiscally and socially responsible manner. The result will be that even more of our neighbors and friends of all ages and lifestyles will leave Belmont because they can no longer afford to live here. That is something that must be stopped.

Belmont must deal with four large building projects that require solutions in the near-term.  These projects should be prioritized and sequenced, so they do not unduly burden our residents whose property taxes and rents fund our schools as the public services the town provides. To do this, the Board of Selectmen needs a member with engineering and legal experience; I have three degrees in Civil Engineering from MIT, retired as a Colonel in the US Army Corps of Engineers and have a law degree from Suffolk Law School.  

I bring broad experience to Belmont’s issues.  As Commissioner of the Metropolitan District Commission (MDC), I led the cleanup of the Boston Harbor, Charles River, and downstream basins; as Belmont’s appointed representative to the MWRA, I represented our town for ten years.  I was Chief Engineer of the Government Center Commission responsible for design and construction of the state buildings there.     

I am not new to elected office: I was elected to four terms on Watertown’s School Committee and two terms as its Selectman before we moved to Belmont.

Why should you vote for me?

  • I am a town government outsider whose executive and professional experience will bring fresh, educated solutions to Belmont’s issues.
  • I will restore Belmont’s inclusivity and mutual respect.
  • My experience directly relates to the capital projects ahead of us, including, but not limited to, a new high school, library, police station, and public works campus.   
  • You will benefit from my ideas on how to decrease Belmont’s reliance on fossil fuels and improve the impact we make on our environment.
  • I will save our open spaces, increase the use of solar installations on appropriate municipal buildings, and encourage more use of electric vehicles, which will greatly reduce our carbon footprint.
  • I support providing high-quality municipal services, as is maintaining and supporting best-in-class education that includes arts, athletics, and STEM.
  • I have experience fostering commercial development, know how to preserve Belmont’s very special character and its diverse array of neighborhoods, and can thoughtfully diversify our tax base.

Belmont is a community where many are active in civic matters. It is this involvement that keeps all of you informed and represented at the town level. My wife and I both know this is having raised our son, Anthony, a very active athlete, in Belmont where we have lived for 30 years. 

Most important, I listen to all of you, I hear all of you, and I promise to represent each and every one of you. Progress is best achieved as part of a balancing act between our fiscal responsibilities for our current town services and buildings with the desires of many for responsible Green initiatives. Working with my colleagues on the Board of Selectmen, I will balance Belmont’s expensive needs with your ability to pay for them.

Please cast your vote for me, Guy A Carbone, on Tuesday, April 4. To learn more, visit www.carboneforbelmont.org or my Facebook page.

Letter to the Editor: OPEB — Complex Issue, Complex Discussion

Photo: Guy Carbone

To the editor:

A one minute answer during an important debate is not the best way to discuss a complex issue.  OPEB (Other Post Employment Benefits) and how Belmont should pay for these retiree obligations is an exceedingly complex subject and deserves a complete discussion than it was possible to provide at the League of Women Voters debate.

First, Selectman Williams’ desire for a professional analysis of Belmont’s retiree obligations, per the information he sent to me, is something with which I completely agree. I do NOT support any program which would add huge increases to the property tax bill or which would make it impossible for Belmont to undertake needed building programs or meet ordinary budget requirements. For example, Selectman Williams’ proposal for a municipal bond made when he ran for Selectman is not something I support.

As required by the state, Belmont currently makes an annual payment to its pension plan; it will complete payments by 2029 well in advance of the state’s 2040 deadline.  Belmont will begin to pay OPEB requirements in 2030.  This approach was adopted many years ago when sitting selectmen were faced not only with an underfunded retirement fund but one into which no payments had been made for decades. Given the circumstances, the decision was prudent.

Today, Belmont needs to find out: (1) whether this approach is still an effective way to meet both our pension and OPEB obligations; and (2) if there is a more effective approach.  Most important, Belmont must figure out whether any change in approach would make it incredibly difficult, or even impossible, to fund all of our day-to-day requirements — schools, building projects, streets and sidewalks, police, and fire department, to name just a few — without unduly increasing property taxes.

I believe Belmont should hire a financial advisor/consultant with experience in this area to identify whether any changes would make sense. I will come to the table prepared to ask the hard questions needed to determine whether there is a better all round approach that can balance our obligations to the town and to Belmont’s retirees with the ability of Belmont’s residents to pay for them.

Guy Carbone

Woodfall Road

(Editor’s note: Carbone is running for the Board of Selectmen in the upcoming Town Election.)

Selectmen Candidates in Testy Exchanges at League’s Night

Photo: Adam Dash (left) and Guy Carbone at the League of Woman Voter’s Candidates Night.

Over the past decade, political debates nationwide have become more course and acrimonious with sophomoric name-calling – remember last year’s “Lying Ted”? – and accusations are thrown around with little merit to any facts.

On Monday, March 20, at this year’s League of Women Voters’ Candidate’s Night, the national debating trend arrived in Belmont, when a candidate for the open Board of Selectmen seat accused his opponent of being … a “dilettante!”

Pass the smelling salt, Lovey. I feel the vapors coming!

While the dustup which occurred during the question and answers section between first-time Board of Selectmen candidates Guy Carbone and Adam Dash was nowhere near the rowdy nature of recent Congressional constituency meetings seen nationwide, the interaction between the two residents revealed different approaches each would take if elected to the three-member board in April.

For Woodfall Road’s Carbone, his experience in local (terms as selectman and on the school committee in Watertown) and state (Commissioner of the former Massachusetts District Commission) government and his long career as an engineer and attorney is the perfect mix to meet the challenges facing Belmont in the near future, specifically in capital building projects such as construction of a new high school, police station and public works buildings.

“I think I’m a natural for this,” he said. “For me, this is a busman’s holiday.”

Carbone said he would review the town’s critical spending needs with the ability of property owners to pay for them. “We have to be careful not to ask our residents for more than they are capable of providing.”

“Belmont needs balance,” said Carbone.

Goden Street’s Dash pressed his work expertise – many years working in and with Somerville and Belmont including on the Warrant Committee and Zoning Board of Appeals – to “bring action” to repair “a broken town process” and end “the sad cynicism” so many feel about local government

Dash told the audience many important municipal department buildings such as the Public Works and Police Headquarters “are not acceptable” and only by wisely phasing in projects and seeking private funding and applying for federal and state grants, “can address these capital needs without overburdening our taxpayers.”


Adam Dash

He pointed to his work on the Underwood Pool Building Committee where he led the process where Community Preservation Committee funds, private donations and a town debt exclusion to bring about a project that is “staggeringly popular.”

“I have the current Belmont specific experience to transition onto the Board of Selectmen seamlessly,” said Dash.

During the Q&A, Carbone saw himself as having the practical hands-on experience that would benefit the town. When asked his view of the proposed Community Path running through Belmont,  the renovation of Belmont High School and increasing sidewalk repairs, Carbone said will review projects “with an engineer’s eye” then listen to all sides of the issue.

“I will ask the right questions at the right time,” said the former Army Corp of Engineers officer. 

But for Dash, Carbone’s construction expertise would best be used seeking another town position.

“I am not running for town engineer. We have a good one,” quipped Dash, who said his leadership style of bringing people together in a bottom-up approach was the most efficient avenue to avert the missteps of projects such as solar power net metering or the controversy of the Loading Dock liquor license transfer from happening again.

“Had they been done process-wise differently would not have blown up and had been as divisive. We’re a small town. We should not be at each other’s throats. We should be working together,” he said.

Testy exchanges

While both men will seek to use their slot on the board to support climate initiatives, one policy area the two diverged was how Belmont should meet the challenge of nearly $150 million in unfunded financial obligations facing the town. 

Following a question from current Selectman Jim Williams on how they would deal with the town’s pension and post-retirement health payments, Carbone said all the town has to do is “just listen to Jim Williams” as the selectman “is right on target” in paying off the obligations upfront rather than over several decades under the existing policy.


Guy Carbone

Dash agreed with Williams’ advocacy to revisit the town’s current payment plan but would stick with the current blueprint – paying off the pension in 2029 then use the same revenue stream to begin paying down the OPEB debt – “is the way to go.”

It was a question on Carbone’s town administrative experience in Belmont that resulted in the most controversial moment of the Q&A. When Carbone said it was his careful examination of legal documents that ended a potentially costly litigation on the renovation of the historic fire station in Belmont Center, Dash noted that Carbone represented the contractor who “screwed up the fire station” which eventually cost the town in settlement fees. 

“It’s not necessarily a positive for the town,” said Dash, who said being a Town Meeting member and working on building committees and town boards showed his dedication to the community “and a lot of people I worked with these committees are supporting me.”

Carbone was not going to let Dash’s broadside go unanswered, saying he was “getting tired of what I’m hearing in this campaign,” insinuating that Dash was misrepresenting the facts.

“I’m not going to let anyone attack my client when my client was the only who had no problems. And I have to hear this?” said an increasingly upset Carbone. “I’m getting sick of this from this candidate” before Debbie Winnick, the night’s moderator, put a halt to the line of inquiry. 

Later, after Dash said after being immersed in the critical financial issues and trends he would be better able to handle town affairs “if things go wrong,” Carbone responded that his expertise of working with project consultants in the past will be vital to the town rather than having a “dilettante who has been involved with zoning.”

In closing, Dash said speaking to residents; he discovered that they not only want potholes fixed, “but to have a voice in town government. And I will provide that voice. If we work together, we can get things done.” 

Carbone asked, “if you are not happy with the ways things are going in Belmont than you should vote for Guy Carbone for selectman.”

“I don’t have to talk about all the problems. I know what they are. I am a problem solver,” he said.

Letter to the Editor: Carbone No Stranger to Smart Governance

Photo: Guy Carbone

To the editor:

I urge you to vote for Guy Carbone for Selectman on April 4.     

Guy is a former Watertown resident who served two terms as Selectman and three terms as School Committee member. Because of this, he is no stranger to what it takes to have smart and efficient town governance. 

Belmont faces many capital project needs, including a new high school, police station, and library. Guy has the engineering and legal experience, knowledge, and resources to help Belmont tackle these projects pragmatically without overburdening the town any more than necessary. 

Guy is already hard at work exploring creative ways the town can move forward with its capital project needs. His suggestion that the Board of Selectmen explore the use of public-private partnerships to help the town build a new skating rink and library is an example of the creative yet fiscally responsible solutions he can bring to Belmont as your Selectmen. His years of engineering experience applied to actual developments will be a real asset as Belmont deal with projects like Cushing Village.  

Guy has an incredible work ethic. I know he will dedicate every waking moment to serving Belmont.

Of the many reasons I support Guy, it is his heartfelt desire to ease the burdens many singles and families in Belmont bear as a result of high taxes and rents that resonate with me. So many young families and seniors are leaving Belmont because they just can’t afford it anymore. This is truly saddening and not what I imagine most of us want to see happen in our town. 

Guy Carbone is the right person at the right time. Please make sure to vote on April 4 and when you do, vote for Guy Carbone for Selectman.

Silvia Cruz

Winslow Road

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. 

GOP Stalwart Guy Carbone Pulls Papers for Selectmen Race

Photo: Guy Carbone (courtesy photo c. 2010)

Guy Carbone, a perennial candidate for statewide and congressional offices, is eyeing a much more down ballot race in 2017 as the former head of the Metropolitan District Commission has taken out nomination paper to run for Belmont Board of Selectmen.

If he submits signatures from 50 registered voters by Feb. 14, the octogenarian attorney will join incumbent Sami Baghdady and challenger Adam Dash as likely candidates for the one Selectmen’s seat up for grabs this year.

The 2017 town election takes place on Tuesday, April 4.

A call to the Woodfall Road resident was not returned as of 5 p.m.

While a bit of a surprise for Carbone to run for the seat – he made no recent statement on issues or concerns he had that would prompt him taking out papers – earlier this year Carbone was part of a contentious hearing before the Belmont Zoning Board of Appeals in 2015-16 when a relative sought a special permit to replace a large bay garage on Holt Street with a storage space. After challenges by neighbors, the ZBA denied the permit which Carbone took considerable issue.

Carbone, who holds several engineering degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a degree from Suffolk University Law School, is a long-time member of Belmont’s Republican Town Committee who served as commissioner of the Metropolitan District Commission for two years, from 1979 to 1980. He also served on the Noise By-Law Review Committee in 2002.

He is best known for committing to several quixotic runs for statewide office, campaigning as a Republican in a very blue state. He ran – and lost – three times for the Republican nomination for Attorney General, was barely defeated by Jonathan Raymond in the Massachusetts’s 5th congressional district Republican primary in 1996 (Raymond later was dispatched by Barney Frank), and lost 75 percent to 25 percent in the 1998 Middlesex and Suffolk Massachusetts Senate district general election to Steven Tolman.