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Former School Committee member challenges Board of Assessor incumbent

Martin ThropeThrope

Martin Thrope has taken a new turn in a public career: The former longtime School Committee member is a candidate for the Board of Assessors, challenging incumbent Kevin P. Feeley for the three-year seat.

He provided his announcement for publication Thursday, Feb. 9:

"Once again I am drawn by the opportunity to serve the community that has been my home for 38 years - the place where I have lived for most of my adult life, created my family, raised my children, and gotten to know the many wonderful people that make Arlington a special place. Therefore, I will be a candidate for election to the Board of Assessors and ask for your vote on April 10.

"The fundamental principles I will bring to the work of the Board of Assessors are quite simple: In these economically challenging times its work must be guided by fairness and accuracy, its processes must be transparent, it must deliver a high level of service to the taxpayers of Arlington, and it must do all of this in strict accordance with the provisions of state law.

"What I bring to the position is an extensive understanding of the workings of local government developed over nearly two decades of elected and appointed service to the town together with the knowledge and proven financial skills gained through my education and professional experience.

"Those who know me are well aware of my high standards, my attention to detail, and my strong belief in the need for good processes to achieve good results.

"I have always been one to ask questions, and there is no area of town government that could not benefit from questions asked and answers provided. Based on experience, I am intimately familiar with how critical it is that our boards and committees adequately supervise and oversee the professionals under their control.

"Finally, I commit to hitting the deck running, seeking out guidance from the other members of the board and obtaining required formal training as soon as possible.

"As I once again set out along the campaign trail, I welcome your comments and suggestions. Look for more information about me and my candidacy at You deserve a choice, and I thank you for your support on Election Day Tuesday April 10."

YourArlington first asked Thrope a series of questions on Jan. 13, days after he took out nomination papers, which are now certified. The questions, similar to those asked of all candidates for key town and school offices were:

-- Your age?

-- How long you have lived in Arlington?

-- Why do you want to run for assessor?

-- What qualifies you to serve in that position?

-- How do your years on the School Committee help your effort? What were your years in the committee?

-- What challenges do you see ahead for the assessors?

-- How do you expect to address them?

Asked Feb. 9 to respond those questions that his statement does not address, he wrote that "age is, for better or worse, public information. The rest of the questions are addressed either in my announcement or on my website."

The town's True List says Thrope was born in 1947. The town's website says he served on the School Committee until 2007, when he resigned and Joseph Curran was elected and served the last year of his term. The clerk's office says Thrope was first elected to the committee in 1993.

Nomination papers for town and school offices may be taken out until 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16. Papers must have 50 certified signatures.

2012 Town Election information | YourArlington election information

This story was first published Thursday, Feb. 9.

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