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ELECTION'S EARLY LOOK: Those who take out papers in races that may be contested in April respond to basic questions about themselves and Arlington.

Robert Tosi Jr., a lifelong resident Arlington who is planning his second run for selectman, supports facing up to the town's structural deficit and offers some specific avenues to pursue. He also favors completing the improving all Arlington public schools and being a board member the public can approach.

Explains key town challenges

Calling the education of our children a top priority, he wants to also advocate for long-term planning that could provide "a more appropriate Senior Center space for our residents who have sacrificed all their lives."

The man who prefers to be called "Bob" seeks one of two three-year seats on the Board of Selectman. The 46-year-old pointed to the following key issues facing Arlington and said what he would deal with them:

"Arlington has an ongoing structural deficit that needs to be addressed," he wrote Wednesday, Jan. 22, in response to queries from YourArlington.

"Residents have been generous in responding to this via periodic overrides, but other means need to be pursued."

His suggestions: "Mixed-use development with business/retail on the first floor and residential units above should be allowed and encouraged in appropriate zones.

"The Community Preservation Act is another possibility, as it brings in state matching funds.

"The Regional Agreement for Minuteman Technical High School also needs to be reworked to allow additional communities to be members. This would allow enrollment to grow to lower the cost per student and reduce the annual budget and especially the pending renovation costs to Arlington."

Emphasizes approachability, schools

As to other challenges, Tosi wrote earlier: "Many Arlington residents feel they are not listened to or do not have a member of selectman they can approach with their ideas. I want to be the board member who will present options from the public not otherwise discussed at [selectmen] meetings." He did not provide specific examples.

Tosi said he has long supported keeping, renovating and maintaining all seven elementary schools. He said he wants to address the Stratton, the last elementary school to remain unrenovated or rebuilt; properly maintain all schools and renovate Arlington High "to complement the fine teaching and learning that is happening there while providing energy-efficient facilities and security systems that schools of today require."
As to senior citizens, he said: "We are grateful to the people who serve our nation, commonwealth and community in different ways. Some proudly serve in our military, others as police and firefighters protecting our lives and property, others as teachers, counselors and coaches to our youth among other vocations."

For the last eight years, Tosi has worked as a care manager at Minuteman Senior Services, where he arranges needed services to help keep elders living safely in their own homes.

Tosi emphasizes issues he supports by pointing to his background in serving the town organizations that target a need. He wrote:

"I am an advocate for affordable housing (Housing Corporation of Arlington), land conservation (Arlington Land Trust), cultural assets (Jason Russell House, Dallin Art Museum, Old Schwamb Mill), our kids (Arlington Boys & Girls Club Incorporator), serving the needy (Arlington Food Pantry, St. Vincent de Paul Society), among other causes.  

"I want to bring all my passions to the discussions at the Board of Selectman."

Town Meeting member admires Fincom

He said he strongly believes in the Town Meeting form of government, where he has served as a member for the past 27 years.

"In Town Meeting," he wrote, "I admire the work of the Finance Committee and sought out a position on the committee, where I subsequently served for 12 years.

"In recent years, I have served on the Arlington Council on Aging board, including chairman for three years.

Tosi calls himself "a proud product of the Arlington public school system." He attended the former Locke Elementary School, Ottoson Jr. High and Arlington High School, graduating in 1985.

He has a bachelor's degree in business administration from Merrimack College, where he majored in accounting.

He suggested ways to learn more about his desire to serve all of Arlington: "Please talk to your neighbors who know me or visit my website at www.bobtosi.com.

"I welcome the Arlington residents' thoughts and opinions on issues and solutions to help make Arlington an even better place to live."

He ran unsuccessfully in 2012. The incumbents, Dan Dunn and Diane Mahon, have also taken out nomination papers.

 Campaign website

In the 2012 town election, Joseph Curro Jr. received 3,417 votes. Steve Byrne got 2,805.

Edged out in third place was Joseph E. Curran, with 2,706 votes. Tosi ran fourth, with 2,447, and Romano last, with 1,431 votes.

In that election, 7,466 Arlington residents of 29,038 registered cast ballots, or 25.7 percent. That compares with 6,068 in 2010, or 20.5 percent.

2014 town election: Town | YourArlington

This story was published Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014.