Where Do the Candidates Stand?

Updated September, 2010

As part of our continuing efforts to keep our members informed and our political leaders responsive, Friends of the Blue Hills sent an environmental questionnaire in August to 29 candidates for House and Senate seats in districts surrounding the Reservation. The questionnaire sought the positions of the candidates on the Public Lands Preservation Act, funding for the Trailside Museum and land conservation in general. For a copy of the original questionnaire, click here. The responses received to date are printed verbatim below.

Canton Selectman Bob Burr (R)
Candidate for State Senate, Norfolk, Bristol and Plymouth District

Representative Geraldine Creedon (D) Brockton
Candidate for the State Representative 11th Plymouth District
(Includes precincts in Brockton and Easton)

Senator Brian A Joyce (D) Milton
Candidate for State Senate, Norfolk, Bristol and Plymouth District
(Includes precincts in Avon, Braintree, Canton, East Bridgewater, Easton, Milton, Randolph, Sharon, Stoughton, West Bridgewater)

Responses to the 2010 Massachusetts legislator questionnaire

Canton Selectman Bob Burr (R)

Question 1: Friends of the Blue Hills strongly supports the Public Lands Protection Act (PLPA–H. 4422), which would give transparency to Article 97 transfers and require that transferred land be replaced with equivalent land.

a) Do you support the PLPA? Yes X No

b) If your answer is “yes”, why?
Burr response: Yes, I do support the PLPA because I believe it is an important check and balance on the protection of sensitive land currently protected under Article 97. Without a provision that requires an equal swap of land, sensitive land may be developed in an irresponsible and unfair way.

Question 2: The PLPA has been introduced in every recent legislative session. This past session it failed to be reported from the House Ways and Means Committee after having been reported favorably from the Joint Committee on the Environment.

What specific actions will you commit to take to advance this bill through the House or Senate for a final vote?
Burr response: As a legislator, I will send a favorable recommendation to the House Ways and Means Committee regarding the subject matter so that a bill can be presented to the House and the Senate for a final vote.

Question 3: Please describe any other land preservation initiatives or policies for the Blue Hills Reservation or other state lands that you support:
Burr response: I support a more efficient, consolidated state government so that state owned lands have the resources necessary to be maintained including the Blue Hills Reservation.

Question 4: The Trailside Museum at the Blue Hills Reservation is an incomparable environmental and natural history resource for thousands of children every year, yet it repeatedly is underfunded or zero-funded in the annual state budget.

What would you do to establish a permanent funding source for the Trailside Museum?
Burr response: Again, as stated in question 3, with a more efficient state government we can provide the funding necessary to provide funding for the Trailside Museum.

Representative Geraldine Creedon (D) Brockton

Question 1: Friends of the Blue Hills strongly supports the Public Lands Protection Act (PLPA–H. 4422), which would give transparency to Article 97 transfers and require that transferred land be replaced with equivalent land.

a) Do you support the PLPA? Yes X No

b) If your answer is “yes”, why?
Creedon response: Common sense.

Question 2: The PLPA has been introduced in every recent legislative session. This past session it failed to be reported from the House Ways and Means Committee after having been reported favorably from the Joint Committee on the Environment.

What specific actions will you commit to take to advance this bill through the House or Senate for a final vote?
Creedon response: Insist on taking up the bill earlier by early hearing, early release.

Question 3: Please describe any other land preservation initiatives or policies for the Blue Hills Reservation or other state lands that you support:
Creedon response: Further acquisition by fish and wildlife of open space for preservation. More funding for Borderland. More recreation areas for cities.

Question 4: The Trailside Museum at the Blue Hills Reservation is an incomparable environmental and natural history resource for thousands of children every year, yet it repeatedly is underfunded or zero-funded in the annual state budget.

What would you do to establish a permanent funding source for the Trailside Museum?
Creedon response: Needs a line item, possible education funding–“traveling exhibits” so outreach is furthered.

Senator Brian A. Joyce (D) Milton

Question 1: Friends of the Blue Hills strongly supports the Public Lands Protection Act (PLPA–H. 4422), which would give transparency to Article 97 transfers and require that transferred land be replaced with equivalent land.

a) Do you support the PLPA? Yes X No

b) If your answer is “yes”, why?
Joyce response: I support and will co-sponsor the bill. I already supported and worked for the measure, and met with Judy and others on the topic.

Question 2: The PLPA has been introduced in every recent legislative session. This past session it failed to be reported from the House Ways and Means Committee after having been reported favorably from the Joint Committee on the Environment.

What specific actions will you commit to take to advance this bill through the House or Senate for a final vote?
Joyce response: It has passed the Senate with my support. Honestly, the Senate has limited influence on the House, but I will advocate for passage.

Question 3: Please describe any other land preservation initiatives or policies for the Blue Hills Reservation or other state lands that you support:
Joyce response: I personally negotiated for the addition to the Reservation of land near Martindale Road in Randolph that was to be developed, which land was environmentally sensitive as the Blue Hill River ran through it, and convinced the owner to donate the land and take a tax write-off.

Question 4: The Trailside Museum at the Blue Hills Reservation is an incomparable environmental and natural history resource for thousands of children every year, yet it repeatedly is underfunded or zero-funded in the annual state budget.

What would you do to establish a permanent funding source for the Trailside Museum?
Joyce response: I already did so, when I created the Blue Hills Reservation Trust fund that has kept the Trailside afloat in recent years. I have been as fierce an advocate for the Trailside as anyone but Norman Smith, by obtaining state funding, hosting fundraisers, and soliciting private donations. For my efforts, I received the 2010 “A” award from the Mass Audubon Society this year, I believe the only one awarded.

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