Welcome to my new District Website!

posted Jan 3, 2011, 9:43 PM by Elysse Magnotto-Cleary

When I first decided to run for state representative for the First Barnstable District I was motivated by a sense that there was a disconnect between state and local government. At the time I was member of the Dennis Board of Selectmen and saw that, many times, state government just didn’t seem to be on the same page as local governments or just didn’t understand what the actual needs of local communities were.

My goal was to be a legislator who did focus on the needs of the communities and to advocate specifically for those issues. I believe I have done that successfully. The three towns in the First Barnstable District, Brewster, Dennis and Yarmouth have seen the change in energy I have brought to district representation and have asked me to file numerous home rule petitions to serve their needs. I can say that every petition I have been asked to file for the towns has been filed and, at the end of each session almost all of those petitions have been passed.

When money was available for “earmarks,” I have strongly advocated for district projects that might otherwise not have been funded through the state budget. Every town in the district has benefitted from earmarks I have initiated. Though some people dislike earmarks, funding local projects through earmarks keeps local property taxes down and ensures that necessary projects get funded. I have not asked for earmarks that would build a bridge to nowhere.

I have been the strongest advocate in the legislature for regional school issues. Except for the Brewster elementary school, the First Barnstable District only has regional schools. I learned quickly that leaders on Beacon Hill don’t necessarily understand the difference between governance of a single town school district and regional school districts. I have worked to educate legislators and other political leaders from around the state on regional school issues and, as a result have been successful in ensuring that regional school issues are addressed.

Because of my focus on local issues, I was recognized early in my legislative tenure as legislator of the year by the Massachusetts Municipal Association and the Mass Teacher’s Association.

My continuing goal is to strongly advocate for local issues while also paying attention to state-wide issues so that there is a balance between the two and First Barnstable District taxpayers don’t face unnecessary tax burdens.