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Dan Rist: Supports Tautznik for state Senate seat

To the editor:

I have been a member of the Easthampton City Council for the past 17 years alongside Mike Tautznik as the mayor. Although we have not always agreed, no one can deny the fact that Mike is leaving Easthampton in strong fiscal shape. Mike has managed a multi-million dollar budget with fiscal prudence, keeping Easthampton out of the dangerous budgetary waters that other communities face.

I write in support of Mike’s candidacy for the state Senate because I strongly believe he is the perfect advocate for cities and towns in the Legislature. Although Easthampton has managed its limited funds well, the reduction in state aid has hurt all communities.

Many want our roads fixed and our schools better funded, but the decrease of Chapter 90 (roads) and Chapter 70 (schools) funding has left cities like Easthampton limping along each year. Mike will be a strong voice in the Senate having been in the trenches of city government.

He is not afraid to speak truth to power, witnessed by his fight for appropriate funding for the new high school, which came in on time and well under budget primarily because of Mike’s direct management role.

As a Democrat, I strongly support progressive candidates like Mike who have demonstrated a welcoming and inclusive posture for all to live and work in Easthampton.

He has also successfully pushed sustainability for our city with new LED lighting and the first solar power plant in the state on our Oliver Street landfill. Both of these projects have brought thousands of dollars into the city budget.

Mike’s experience and leadership in Easthampton has prepared him to bring back the kind of aid we need and pay our taxes for. Also, as an active member of the Democratic Party, he has and will have great influence with the legislative leadership in Boston.

No other candidate running for this seat has the experience to help our cities and towns.

We need Mike in the Senate.

Dan Rist

Easthampton

The writer is a member of the Easthampton City Council.

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