On April 10 we have a chance to elect Michael Greis to our Board of Selectmen. He is a fiscally responsible, out-of-the-box thinker who finds creative ways to get the services our town needs.
While most of us know of Michael’s extensive list of elected positions and volunteer committee chairmanships, what impress me most are his endless efforts to organize, engage and activate town officials and regular citizens alike to explore and implement new ideas that benefit individual homeowners and the entire town. For instance, when RCN petitioned to build a cable network in Needham, Michael seized the opportunity to have them build a network for Needham’s town government at an estimated saving of a million dollars.
Michael enlisted my help, along with others, in his effort to bring wind energy to our capped landfill so we could power the Newman school and possibly other municipal buildings. This project needed zoning approval, funding and expertize and faced roadblock after roadblock. But Michael, recognizing the potential for Needham to save close to $1million per year, has gathered partners, marshaled resources and persisted. At this stage he has acquired a small testing tower through private grants. It is ready to install and, after a year, will let us know if Needham has sufficient wind to justify building a wind-powered generator.
A last example is the 10 percent Challenge, inspiring homeowners to save energy. Michael tapped a team of volunteers from the Green Needham Collaborative (which he founded and chairs) to spread the word about the program. He also brought in extensive outside resources to present information and to provide services at no cost. As a result of his efforts, my wife and I invested in solar panels on our own house in December and our electricity bill for February was $4. Moreover, the overall town energy savings have earned well over $10,000 in grants from NStar and others.
We need Michael Greis to keep working for the good of our town. I encourage you to mark April 10 on your calendar and get out and vote for him. I firmly believe that all of us will be the winner when Michael Greis is elected to the Board of Selectmen.