In preparation for the upcoming town elections, Arlington Patch sat down to talk with all of the candidates running for major office. In the next two weeks we will bring you profiles on all of the different candidates, giving you an inside look at their backgrounds, their experiences and their views on the issues.
Joe Curran is one of two candidates running for a one-year term on the Board of Selectmen. Curran faces current Selectman Annie LaCourt. Voters will choose one candidate to serve the one-year term.
Background and Experience
A lifelong Arlington resident, Joe Curran works as a teacher, coach and part-time construction foreman. He coaches a number of football, baseball and track teams in the area and currently spearheads the freshmen boys baseball team. Curran has served as a member of the Arlington for the past four years. He says each of his eight children have — or will — graduate from Arlington High School.
On The Issues
Patch: The town is currently facing staff cuts for municipal employees. What is your position on these cuts, and if these cuts are made what should the board do to ensure town services do not suffer?
Joe Curran: “Deficits are happening nationwide, so I can’t claim to have all the answers. I know from my experience in management, labor unions and in collective bargaining that we need cooperation in order to come to a fair and equitable decision. If I am elected as a selectman, I will listen to all solutions to make sure we can make the best decision for all involved. In terms of an override, it’s hard to get people to reinvest in the town when they are not sure their dollars were put to good use in the first place. Before you go back to voters to ask for more money with another override, you have to regain their trust. We need to do so with transparency, accountability and integrity.”
Patch: How do you think the board can improve communication with the rest of the town and if elected to the board, what specifically will you to ensure that this happens?
Joe Curran: “I would reach out to make sure that I am available and approachable. I think it’s important that people know that you will listen to them. I would work to bring the different boards and organizations together so that we could come to a consensus on certain issues and reach a compromise when necessary.”
Patch: A major role of the selectmen is corresponding with concerned, and sometimes upset residents. If elected to the board, what specifically will you do to ensure that citizens’ voices are heard? As a selectmen what will you do to strengthen the relationship between the board and the residents it serves?
Joe Curran: “I think it’s important to be up front with people about what you can and cannot do. It’s important that you’re able to direct people to the appropriate place if you are unable to answer their questions or if you are not the correct person to help them deal with their issue. I will welcome residents’ concerns, and even complaints, because I want to hear everyone’s point of view before I decide on an issue.”
Patch: A new liquor licensing law just went into effect allowing Arlington’s three beer and wine vendors to begin selling liquor in the next few weeks. A warrant article submitted for spring town meeting calls for additional liquor licenses in town. What is your position on adding additional liquor licenses, and if elected how will you approach liquor licensing on the Board of Selectmen?
Joe Curran:“I want to hear as many voices as possible from the public to make sure that we can get a clear consensus on what the people want. Growing up here, Arlington was a dry town, and then it was a beer and wine town and now a liquor town. It really boils down to what the people want. It’s important that we hear out both sides and decide what’s best for all involved. I say, put it to a vote or a referendum and let the people speak.”
Patch: What about your experience and background makes you the best person for this job?
Joe Curran:“As a teacher and a coach, I deal with conflicts constantly, in the classroom and on the field. I know I have the intrapersonal skills to resolve these conflicts and have everyone walking away feeling that they got the respect that you deserved. From working construction and working in labor unions, I’m constantly working with budgets and managing people. I know how to control costs while still getting the production you need. As a parent and a member of the School Committee, I know all about how the school side works. I’ve seen some practices on the School Committee that were troubling to me and I want to fix that. I will give the issues my due diligence and help make decisions based on what’s good for all.”
Check back with Arlington Patch for more candidate profiles before heading to the polls on April 2