Stephen J. GilliganGilligan

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.

Stephen J. Gilligan seeks reelection to a three-year term as treasurer, a position he has held for eight years, with a focus on independence.

"I truly believe that I am the only person in this race that will maintain the independence of this elected office," he wrote.

'Clear separation of powers'

"The current structure of Arlington’s government was established with a clear separation of powers and responsibility; the School Committee and school administration would be autonomous from the town; within the town the assessors, town clerk and treasurer would be independent of any control by the town manager, who was appointed by the Board of Selectmen to manage all other town departments.

"I am committed to maintaining the current checks and balances within our town government."

Greatest challenge

The 60-year-old lifelong Arlington resident was asked to describe the greatest challenge ahead for the town and treasurer.

He wrote: "I believe [it] will be achieving the balance between identifying and implementing a financial application (system) that optimizes productivity within the treasurer’s office while being mindful of the needs of the comptroller's office and assessors' office, which also have their own separate financial software."

Asked how he would address that, he wrote:

"On numerous occasions I have presented detailed recommendations to have the IT department lead a collaborative effort of the assessors, comptroller and treasurer; to create a detailed analysis to review the current capabilities of the assessor's Patriot software, the comptrollers' general-ledger MUNIS software and the treasurer's ICS software, and determine whether it is possible that any current applications could meet the needs of all town financial departments, or whether an entirely new software package for all three functions needs to be purchased."

He wrote that he will continue to seek support for "this comprehensive objective review, that all the finance departments will have a cost-effective and efficient application to share."

Financial background

Gilligan spelled out his background in dealing with financial issues:

He listed a bachelor's degree in economics, a master's of business administration degree with a concentration in finance and a certificate of advanced studies in public management.

The list includes several certificates in debt management, investment management and contract management and negotiations from the University of Connecticut. He is also certified to be an assessor in Massachusetts.

In addition to treasurer, Gilligan is an elected Town Meeting member and serves on the Budget & Revenue Task Force and Long-range Fiscal Planning Committee.

He has previously served the town as a member of the Board of Selectman, the Conservation Commission, the Historic District Commission, the Fair Housing Committee and as management analyst.

Beyond Arlington, he has been a senior systems engineer for AT&T, a national account manager for Lucent Technologies/Bell Labs and a managing partner for TCM Management Consulting Inc., which he started and owned.

Gilligan has held the position of treasurer and collector of taxes following John J. Bilafer, treasurer from 1972 until 2005. He is also the parking clerk, a position appointed by the selectmen.

Julie Dunn, a school department employee, is also seeking to be town treasurer.

Campaign website >>

Gilligan was unopposed in three earlier races. In 2011, he received 5,094 votes in an election that saw a 25.7-percent turnout (29,038 registered voters). In 2008, he got 4,719 votes in an election with a 23.4-percent turnout (28,772 registered). In 2006, he received 5,888 votes.

2014 town election: Town | YourArlington

This story was published Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014.