Name: Michael B. Isaacs
Address: 46 Bunker Hill Lane, East Greenwich, RI 02818
Email address: [email protected]
Education: Hillwood High School, Nashville, TN (1965); University of Rochester (B.A. 1969); Boston College Law School (J.D. 1974)
Marital status: Married to Mindy Isaacs
Number of children/grandchildren: Stepdaughter Tara married to Stephen Hart
Occupation: Attorney, former business executive. Formerly: Vice President, Development, Bresnan Communications. Vice President, Government & Corporate Relations, The Providence Journal Co. (when it was a publicly traded media company)
Have you run for elected office before? Yes
Have you held elected office before? Town Council President 2004 – 2014 (5 terms)
Why are you running for Town Council?
It has been a privilege to serve on the Town Council for five terms as president. I am seeking office again to continue fiscally responsible policies and to see through to completion the initiatives that I support. My objectives include continued control of operating costs and fiscal responsibility, continued structural changes in government and consolidation. We also need to address capital improvements regarding road and sidewalk repairs, within the overall context of delivering Town services while holding down taxes. I want to continue our efforts and policies to make East Greenwich business-friendly so as to attract businesses, and thereby bring in commercial tax revenues.
As council president, I have worked with a coalition of suburban communities to press the concerns of municipalities at the State House. We have worked for pension reform, fair funding for education and against unfunded state mandates. We need to continue these efforts and continue to focus on legislation that will remove restrictions that prevent municipalities from operating as efficiently as we otherwise could.
What are the most important issues facing our town?
The level of property taxes continues to be an overall concern of residents. This past year, as in all other years, we worked diligently to hold down expenses and operating costs. We have had the cooperation of town employees in changing to high deductible health insurance plans and in implementing other cost saving measures. We have refused to adopt new vehicle taxes, as many other communities have.
Since first being elected to the Town Council, I have worked for structural changes in local government. I still think that consolidation of functions within the town and with the school department and other communities is one of the best ways to operate more efficiently and save money. A significant structural change was implemented by the Town Council when the previously independent Fire District became part of the Town government. Working with the School Committee, we have consolidated the separate finance departments, grounds maintenance, snow plowing and trash collection and recycling. Other areas to consider are more maintenance services, information technology, human resources and benefits administration.
Another important issue is the need to address road repairs. We need to step up infrastructure improvements for roads and sidewalks. We need to address this by approving the road bonds on the ballot and by shifting funding to this capital improvements area. As we have taken on other projects, this basic function has fallen behind. Savings achieved in other areas of operation should be used to fund road and sidewalk projects.
What distinguishes you from the other primary candidates for Town Council?
We are fortunate to have good qualified candidates running in the primary election. All of us believe in fiscal responsibility. For the 10 years that I have served as Town Council president, we have controlled costs and taxes, consolidated services, made structural changes in government and we have maintained the high level of services that the residents of the community expect. I ask that the voters return me to office to continue these efforts. As Town Council President for five terms, I have demonstrated my ability to implement sound, fiscally responsible government. My approach to addressing issues is to develop practical solutions and to foster consensus building and teamwork among council members, School Committee members and other elected officials. I will bring this experience on the Town Council.
Is there anything else about yourself you’d like to add?
I have extensive experience as an attorney and business executive in the broadcasting and cable television businesses, and more recently in private practice. My experience includes corporate development, acquisitions, business law and negotiations, regulatory law, and public policy formulation. From positions I have held, I have a perspective gained from both private and public sector experience and from working in companies that operated businesses in every region of the country.
I have brought this expertise to my analysis of Town issues and development of solutions to the problems that arise. I look for ways in which municipal government can operate like an efficient business, with a concern for its customers – the taxpayers. I have also brought this perspective to my efforts at the State House on behalf of municipalities.