Marlborough Candidate Statement – At-Large Councilor – Michael Ossing (Incumbent)


Marlborough Candidate Statement – At-Large Councilor – Michael Ossing (Incumbent)
Michael Ossing

Tell us about yourself

I am currently serving my 12th term as your Councilor at Large. I am running because I believe my experience, education and passion for a government that solves problems will ensure that Marlboro plans for and prospers in the future.

I am 64 years old and have lived in Marlboro for 62 years. I have been married to my lovely wife Linda for 33 years. We have two wonderful children. Kaylin age 32 and Cameron age 31.

I graduated from the Marlboro Public School system and received my Bachelors of Science Degree in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Lowell. I am retired after being employed at the Seabrook Station Nuclear Power Plant for over 35 years. At Seabrook Station, I have held various engineering, project management, and leadership positions including Licensing Manager and Engineering Programs Manager.

What are the biggest issues facing the city?

One of the top issues facing the city in the next two years will center on the financial wellbeing of the city. My performance as Finance Chair has positioned the City to address any financial issue in a fiscally prudent manner while minimizing the impact on the tax payers. Continuing to grow our strong financial position over the next two years along with steady, stable and predictable tax adjustments will enable the City to fund capital projects like a new elementary school, library expansion project and west side fire station. The City will need to continue to approve new projects that will provide revenue to reduce the tax impacts of the capital projects. My knowledge of city finances, attention to detail and proven experience will navigate the city successfully through any financial issue.

As a city councilor, how would you approach issues regarding traffic, public safety and speeding?

Ensuring the Police Traffic division is staffed and equipped to enforce traffic issues. This involves using speed signs in challenge areas for on going monitoring. Applying for grants to purchase additional speed deterrent equipment. Using the Traffic Commission to obtain input from the public and provide information to the Traffic Division to timely address public traffic concerns.

Do you think the city is on the right track in relation to residential and commercial development?

Yes. New growth is required to ensure additional revenue is coming into the City to ensure taxes are maintained as low as possible. Decisions the City Council makes now on new projects will not (and we have seen several projects approved that never come on line) become part of the tax base until 3 to 4 years from now. Balancing the new projects so that about 100 housing units come on line per year will ensure Marlboro aligns with the new state law that requires 1750 additional housing units in a controlled and planned manner. Ensuring MEDC continues to attract new businesses (like recently approved BJs and Moderna corporations) that have decided to make Marlboro their home will continue to lower residential taxes by shifting the tax burden to the commercial establishments.

A series of zoning changes were vetoed by Mayor Arthur Vigeant earlier this year. Now, there are proposed changes in the Village District’s zoning. How would these changes improve the district?

The current zoning for the downtown business district has unintended consequences that allow projects to be constructed that are larger than what was originally envisioned by the City Council. I was one of 3 councilors that voted against the 99 unit project at 57 Main Street. The proposed zoning changes will limit the size of new projects, the height of the new project, require sufficient parking to accommodate the project, and increase the buyout of for parking spaces.

Currently, there are several vacancies on Main Street, in addition to the vacant lot next to Welly’s. As a councilor, how would you support downtown revitalization?

Continue to work with MEDC and the administration to attract businesses to downtown. MEDC has several programs available to small business to assist in their startup and location to the downtown district. Ensuring the Building Department is staffed to efficiently issue permits and provide timely inspections to get new business operating as soon as possible.

What skills and experience do you have to prepare you to be a member of the city council?

Leadership and financial acumen. My council colleagues acknowledge my leadership skills by unanimously electing me City Council President for four consecutive years. I have guided the city council through COVID as well as leading the council to secure over $7,000,000 for the West Side Fire Station. I drafted the order that has saved Marlboro residents in the municipal aggregation program over $17,000,000 since 2019. Last winter alone, Marlboro residents saved on average over $147 a month in their electricity bills. My knowledge of city finances is unmatched by any of my colleagues and has guided Marlboro to multiple AAA bond ratings and the ability to fund projects with minimal impact on the taxes.

Recognizing the new Mayor will not have the experience in city finances, having a Councilor at Large with that experience will be vital for the City to continue to have the lowest tax rate around while providing outstanding services that make Marlboro the greatest city to live, work and play.

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