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Jason Perreault is completing his second term on the Northborough Board of Selectmen and is a candidate for reelection. Prior to joining the Board in 2014, he served for ten years on the Town’s Financial Planning Committee, seven as Chair. He also served as Vice Chair of the Lincoln Street School Building Committee, recently represented the Board on the Master Plan Steering Committee, and is the Board’s liaison to the Planning Board.
During the Great Recession, the Town was able to maintain services and complete significant capital improvements, thanks primarily to disciplined planning, financial policy revision, health plan redesign, and favorable commercial and industrial development. Northborough emerged from that economic downturn with its highest ever bond rating, strong reserves, pristine financial audit, ten-time award winning budget, and tax rate increases over this period that were among the lowest for comparable Massachusetts communities. It is precisely these elements — financial policies, fiscal discipline, short- and long-term planning, and sound municipal management practices enacted over the last decade — that today put Northborough on a strong foundation to cope with the extremes of the current Covid-19 crisis.
As a Selectman, Jason will encourage, support, or explore:
- recommendations that prioritize public health and safety
- maintenance of critical municipal services
- suitable measures for near-term relief and long-term recovery
- advocacy for increased state and federal assistance
- sustainable budget practices and service levels
- well-reasoned decision making based on sound policies and relevant data
- measures to meet long-term post-employment pension and benefit obligations
- investment to improve and maintain capital infrastructure
- commercial/industrial development to mitigate residential tax burden
- preservation of open space
- cost-effective service delivery alternatives
Board of Selectmen
In his two terms as Selectman, Jason supported the following through his actions and votes at Selectmen meetings and at Town Meeting:
- Full prohibition of recreational marijuana facilities via Board-sponsored general bylaw and the Planning Board’s companion zoning bylaw.
- State legislation to transfer regulatory oversight of farm-based composting operations from Department of Agricultural Resources to the Department of Environmental Protection.
- Continued discipline in the formulation of the annual budget, in accordance with the Town’s Financial Policies and within the constraints of Proposition 2 1/2.
- Single tax rate for all classes of property (residential, commercial, industrial) to encourage economic development.
- Chapter 90 roadway funding; Special Education circuit breaker reimbursement; and reform of qualifying criteria for non-pension post-employment benefits; as the Town’s legislative priorities communicated to the Town’s state legislators.
- Mitigating measures for rising cost of the municipal employee health plan.
- White Cliffs purchase utilizing Community Preservation funding.
- Town Common project utilizing Community Preservation funding.
Master Plan Steering Committee
Jason served as the Selectmen’s representative on the Master Plan Steering Committee from June 2018 through the completion of the Plan and its adoption by the Planning Board in February 2020. During that period, Jason was a contributor to the Committee’s drafting and review of the elements of the Plan, helped to facilitate breakout groups at public input sessions, and worked the Committee’s information booth at Applefest 2018.
Financial Planning Committee
Jason served on the Financial Planning Committee for ten years, seven as its Chair. The FPC oversees the Town’s Capital Improvement Plan, evaluating capital projects and making recommendations to Town Meeting on proposed capital expenditures. The Committee also advises the Board of Selectmen on general financial matters as they arise. Among the major capital projects undertaken during this period are the renovation of the Gale Library, construction of the new Senior Center, renovation of Lincoln Street School, and implementation of the Pavement Management Plan.
A significant issue during Jason’s tenure was the dispute between Northborough and Southborough over the apportionment of the state grant received for the renovation of Algonquin Regional High School. Jason was a leading advocate for Northborough’s position, estimating the Town’s additional benefit to be $1.5M. In February 2007, in response to unfavorable opinions from the legal counsels representing the regional school district and Southborough, Jason wrote a comprehensive analysis which was submitted to Northborough’s Town Counsel for consideration in the formulation of the Town’s legal opinion. This analysis examined the applicable state law and regulations, the provisions of the regional cost-sharing agreement, and the actions of Town Meetings to approve the renovation project; and critiqued the flawed opposing opinions. Following unsuccessful efforts to reach a negotiated compromise, the Town was forced to litigate. In 2013, the courts found in favor of Northborough, with several points in the decision echoing observations made six years earlier in Jason’s analysis. In 2015, the settlement amount was finalized at $1.7M.
Lincoln Street School Building Committee
Jason served as Vice Chair of the Lincoln Street School Building Committee. The LSSBC oversaw the planning, design, and execution of the comprehensive renovation of Lincoln Street School. The design provided for modest expansion to satisfy programmatic needs while respecting, preserving, and fully reusing the existing facility. The project was completed ahead of schedule and under budget, with minimal disruption to the educational mission. The $25M project received $10M in school construction reimbursement through the Massachusetts School Building Authority.
Elderly & Disabled Taxation Fund Committee
The Elderly & Disabled Taxation Fund was established by Town Meeting in 2001 as an additional means to provide property tax relief to low-income elderly and disabled citizens. The program is funded by voluntary contributions from taxpayers and local organizations. Jason was among the original appointees to the committee, authored its charter, and served as chairman throughout his term of service, during which time the program disbursed more than $25,000 in property tax assistance.
K-8 Feasibility Study Committee
Following the renovations of Proctor and Zeh elementary schools in the mid-90’s, the Northborough School Committee convened an ad hoc committee to evaluate the remaining K-8 schools: Lincoln Street Elementary School, Peaslee Elementary School, and Northborough (now Melican) Middle School. Jason joined the committee as a parent representative of the Peaslee district and served as the committee’s report editor. The information captured from this study formed the basis for the School Committee’s eventual submission of a Statement of Interest to the Massachusetts School Building Authority, requesting state grant assistance for renovation of Lincoln Street School. (See Lincoln Street School Building Committee, above.)
Volunteer for Northborough Youth Activities
Jason has assisted numerous times with overnight supervision of the ARHS Junior Prom Post-Prom Party, and has been a guest reader at Zeh School on Reading Day. Like many parents, Jason was a frequent volunteer during his sons’ participation in youth sports, serving as assistant coach for youth soccer, baseball, and basketball. He also served as assistant coach, head coach, and — most daunting of all — practice ice scheduler for Starhawks Youth Hockey.
Jason is a software engineer at Silicon Labs, a leading provider of wireless mesh networking technologies that enable the Internet of Things. He served as technical editor for the Mesh IP Technical Subcommittee of the ZigBee Alliance, an industry standards body, and in February 2020 was presented the Alliance’s Outstanding Contributor award. Previously he worked in software development for several data networking and computer technology companies in central Massachusetts.
B.S., M.Eng. Computer & Systems Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy NY.
The Perreaults have been residents of Northborough for 24 years, arriving in 1996. Jason’s wife Maggie, formerly an engineer at Digital Equipment Corporation, teaches mathematics at Algonquin Regional High School. Their three sons, now college graduates, were educated in the Northborough public schools.