This is the second in a series of articles profiling the for North Reading Board of Selectmen.
Joe Foti works as the Director of Public Works (DPW) for the city of Chelsea. He also has experience as a water superintendent and DPW director of operations.
He is a member of the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) Board of Directors, chairman of the North Reading Water Commission and on the Board of Directors of North Reading softball and basketball. He has also served as a member of the town's Fiscal Advisory Committee.
"With 22 years municipal government experience, I believe I can offer a different perspective into the fundamentals of how municipalities function," Foti said.
According to Foti, if elected to the Board of Selectmen, his priorities will be:
- To move forward with the installation of the wastewater project and help refine the overall strategy
- Develop and implement cost-saving programs in an effort to reduce operating costs
- Execute a long-term plan for the water supply to address current and future needs
- Ensure accountability and fiscal control in the new school project
- Encourage viable economic development to expand the town's tax base
- Forge a strong relationship with other stakeholders responsible for contributing to North Reading’s success
His grassroots campaign is honest and open, he said.
"My philosophy on this election is that it should not be personal. I am not running against any one person in particular, but instead for a seat on the Board of Selectmen. I believe my background speaks for itself," he said.
He believes that he has been performing duties similar to that of a selectman throughout the last 22 years of his professional life.
"Whether in my position as a municipal official, or as a member of the MWRA Board of Directors, I’ve pretty much been serving in a similar capacity," he said. "As director of Public Works, I am required to institute policies and procedures which affect the residents of the city of Chelsea.
"It is my responsibility to establish the mission of the department in response to the assessment of community needs. In addition to my traditional DPW functions, I am a member of the city manager’s senior staff where I regularly contribute to the discussion and ultimate strategy around numerous issues, from collective bargaining to community planning."
As a member of the MWRA Board of Directors, he takes part in a larger organization and is responsible to review and oversee their $640 million dollar budget.
"Augmenting all of this is my experience at the State House, where, as a legislative aide, I learned the fundamentals of the legislative process and have been able to utilize that knowledge to help me better contribute to initiatives that have required cooperation and, sometimes, negotiation among multi-levels of government," he said.
Growth in his personal career has allowed him to experience and work in various positions and "numerous facets of government," he said.
He has also been a school building committee member in Chelsea and was involved in the construction of two new schools in Somerville.
"I believe my background provides me the experience to be an effective selectman," Foti said.
In his limited spare time he enjoys local sports, golfing, basketball and traveling with his family.
The annual election is May 8.