2023 Survey: Town Meeting Precinct 1

Town Meeting is made up of 36 members from each of the Town’s eight precincts, with each member serving overlapping, 3 year terms. That means each year, twelve Representative Town Meeting Members from each of our eight voting precincts are elected. Should a Town Meeting member resign before their three year term is complete, a replacement Town Meeting member will be elected for a one, or two year period to replace them.

Three year position (vote for not more than 12)

Click on the links below to view the candidate’s survey. A check mark (✓ ) indicates candidates who have submitted surveys. You will be asked to vote for no more than 12 candidates.

Three year position (vote for not more than 12)

Olumakinde “Makinde” Adeagbo | 80 Douglas Rd.

NameOlumakinde “Makinde” Adeagbo
I’m a candidate for:Town Meeting
I am running as a:First-time candidate
I live in:Precinct 1
Volunteer & community activities? (optional)I have spent much of my career deeply investing in communities that I’m a part of and building new communities to bring people together. From coaching high school track to founding a peer coaching non-profit, I’ve done it. Since moving here, I’ve joined Belmont Against Racism and Black & Brown in Belmont, volunteered at my son’s preschool, and am now running to Town Meeting. As someone who’s fairly new to Belmont, I look forward to diving deeper into this community for years to come.
Candidate’s StatementAs a parent of small children, I am committed to investing in Belmont’s schools, infrastructure, recreation, and town services. I support the community bike path to make our town more walkable and rideable. I believe in pragmatic solutions (e.g. public/private partnerships) to build town infrastructure and want to make sure that we continue to be an amazing place for families to raise kids in.
Your Precinct (optional)As the precinct that include Belmont’s High School, I’m focused on making sure there are great transportation options for students getting to school daily. We need a healthy mix of students walking, biking, and driving in order to keep our streets safe and manage parking needs.
Government reformYes, and I hope everyone involved in town government has read it as well. The form of our government has a direct impact on our ability to operate the town efficiently and use our resources to build the town amenities that we need. The first step is reforming the executive branch with more professional/appointed roles.
Olumakinde “Makinde” Adeagbo


Dylan Callahan | 13 Underwood St., #2

NameDylan Callahan
I’m a candidate for:Town Meeting
I am running as a:First-time candidate
I live in:Precinct 1
Volunteer & community activities? (optional)Boston Cyclists Union – Member
Greater Boston Tenants Union – Member
Candidate’s StatementAs a navy veteran, I’ve lived in many places, but Massachusetts has always been my home. When I returned, I settled in Belmont and fell in love with this town. I am dedicated to ensuring that it remains a great place to live.

As town meeting member, my top priority will be to improve our material conditions – our “quality of life”.

The most pressing concern in those terms is our sky-high housing costs. Our rents and property taxes are among the highest in the commonwealth. We have very little business tax revenue to offset the burden on homeowners. A two-pronged approach of adding affordable housing and developing local business is the most effective path forward.

As a bicycle commuter, I support our town’s goal of creating safe routes to school for our children through traffic calming. I support the Community Path, climate action, and maintaining our excellent schools.

Please feel free to reach me via email:
Your Precinct (optional)I am very excited about the Belmont community path that would run just north of Precinct 1. Waltham’s path is under construction this year along with other trails to the west of us. Eventually, Belmont will be a link in a chain that runs all the way from Boston to Northampton. In the short term, we can look forward to a connection to the Minuteman Trail and the Somerville Community Path. A connection that will bring people right into Belmont center and the shops located there. I am 100% behind the full completion of the path as soon as reasonably achievable.
Government reformI read the Collins report and found it persuasive. The authors were critical of Belmont’s “decentralized model of financial organization”. According to them, we lack any one person that can coordinate our budget in its totality. Instead, several committees, boards, and individual managers assemble the budget in parts. I worry that this risks producing a sloppy budget that doesn’t require give-and-take between different groups. This is reason enough to centralize the financial management of the town.

Their argument for an appointed treasurer was also convincing. The current elected position is both not very competitive (the last contested treasurer race was in 2005) and it also pulls from a small talent pool, i.e. citizens of Belmont. An appointed treasurer, pulled from a larger pool of eligible people, could be vetted in the same way as other government workers.


Adam Dash | 12 Goden St

NameAdam Dash
I’m a candidate for:Town Meeting
I am running as a:First-time candidate
I live in:Precinct 1
Volunteer & community activities? (optional)Select Board Member 2017-2023, Chair 2018-2019, 2021-2022, Vice Chair 2019-2020 and 2022-2023

Belmont Municipal Light Board, Member 2017-2022, Chair 2017-2018, 2020-2021, Vice Chair 2018-2019

Community Preservation Committee, Member 2017-2018, 2020-2021

Long Term Capital Planning Committee, Member 2020-2021, Vice Chair 2020-2021

Comprehensive Capital Budget Committee, Member 2022-2023

Structural Change Impact Group, Member 2020-2021

Permanent Audit Committee, Member 2017-2018

Capital Endowment Committee, Member 2018-2019

Capital Budget Committee, Member 2019-2020

Belmont Light General Manager Screening Committee, Member 2018

Warrant Committee, Member 2009-2017, 2018-2019, 2021-2022, Vice Chair 2016-2017

Community Preservation Act Study Committee, Chair 2007-2009

Zoning Board of Appeals, Associate Member 2008, Full Member 2008-2009

Town Meeting Member for Precinct 1 2008-2017, Town Meeting Member At-Large 2017-2023

Underwood Pool Building Committee, Vice Chair 2013-2016.
Candidate’s StatementAs a member of the Select Board for the past 6 years, as a Town Meeting Member for the past 15 years, and as a member of both the Warrant Committee and the Zoning Board of Appeals, I have been intimately involved in all of the issues affecting the Town. We need to complete and maintain our capital projects, ensure a sound fiscal future by implementing the Collins Center’s recommendations, and draft zoning and other bylaws which promote business and affordability. While I am leaving the Select Board, I would like to continue my work in these areas as a Town Meeting Member.
Your Precinct (optional)Traffic and parking issues related to the Belmont Middle and High School project need to be addressed, as well as Precinct-wide sidewalk and roadway improvements. Construction mitigation for the library and (if passed) the rink project need to be worked out to avoid undue impact on the neighborhood.
Government reformYes, I am familiar with the Collins Center report, and I have been pushing on the Select Board to move on adopting the Collins Center recommendations, which includes changing the elected Treasurer position to a professionally hired position. Changes to who appoints the Permanent Audit Committee, and numerous financial reforms, need to be acted upon forthwith.


Kelly Elizabeth Michaud | 11 Stone Road

NameKelly Michaud
I’m a candidate for:Town Meeting
I am running as a:First-time candidate
I live in:Precinct 1
Volunteer & community activities? (optional)-Belmont Soccer Coach
-Burbank School Volunteer
-Girl Scout Volunteer
-New Library Campaign Volunteer
-Food Link Volunteer (Arlington organization that rescues excess food from stores & restaurants and delivers to people in need at food banks, shelters etc.)
Candidate’s StatementAs an active Belmont resident and public school parent, I have closely watched Town Meeting and committee proceedings, while volunteering at Burbank, with Belmont Youth Soccer, and on the library campaign. These experiences have shown me the challenges and opportunities facing us. I am committed to Belmont’s tradition of high-quality public education — an investment in our young people’s future, and the value of our town and real estate. I have a business background and am committed to transparency and smart commercial growth. I want to see Belmont thrive and would be honored to represent Precinct 1. I pledge to educate myself on the issues at hand, consider a variety of perspectives and to problem solve with logic and creativity.
Your Precinct (optional)I love my neighborhood and neighbors and a challenge in our area is traffic and the resulting safety issues. There are no easy answers in a dense multi-school zone, but I want to contribute in finding some fair solutions.
Government reformHaving read the recommendations from the Collins Reports, I agree with the findings that we need to align our town with other similarly sized large towns and create efficiencies in a centralized government structure. I also support the more modern approach of doing away with full-time elected positions (in favor of appointed ones) which I believe subjected the town to undue risk. I believe managers should hire the most qualified person for the job.


Kristin A. Nelson-Patel | 82 Trowbridge St.

NameKristin Nelson-Patel
I’m a candidate for:Town Meeting
I am running as a:First-time candidate
I live in:Precinct 1
Volunteer & community activities? (optional)Recently joined Belmont IT Advisory Committee.
Candidate’s StatementI moved to Belmont with my spouse shortly after we got married in 1999. We have been homeowners and parents here since the mid-2000s. I care deeply about maintaining Belmont’s high-quality infrastructure and services. This requires tradeoffs and careful planning to balance long-run and short-term risks and benefits. Because I’ve built a 20-year career in technical systems analysis, risk analysis, decision support, and now reliability governance, I would be honored to use that professional skill set as a Town Meeting Member, to help Belmont build its capability to navigate these decisions.
Your Precinct (optional)Though I want to take a broad view of the well-being of Belmont, as a long-time homeowner and parent in the neighborhood between Clay Pit Pond and Brighton Ave, I am particularly concerned with improving pedestrian and traffic safety in our neighborhoods. Cars often speed on our streets as they cut around congested main roads.
Government reformI am open to learning more about our options for town government reform and carefully weighing potential impacts of those options.

Christopher Grande | 64 School St | Candidate for re-election

NameChris Grande
I’m a candidate for:Town Meeting
I am running as a:Candidate for re-election
I live in:Precinct 1
I am seeking my ___ term in office:2nd
Volunteer & community activities? (optional)Medford council on aging board of directors
Candidate’s StatementMany of our plans revolve around the towns budget. Interior and exterior forces are at work. I am researching creative ways to raise revenue for our goals (schools, library, rink, parks) without resorting only to tax increases. Therefore my goals include getting more involved in budget related committees and business promotion work.
Your PrecinctPrecinct 1 has traffic issues related to the high school and to being a cut through area from Watertown, Waltham and other close towns. I would like to work with the town and residents to selectively limit some of this traffic (certain places or times) to maintain a neighborhood feel.
Christopher Grande, candidate for Town Meeting, Precinct 1

James Y. Knight | 55 Watson Rd | Candidate for re-election

No survey received.

NameLarry Link
I’m a candidate for:Town Meeting
I am running as a:Candidate for re-election
I live in:Precinct 1
Volunteer & community activities? (optional)Comprehensive Capital Budget Comm; Transportation Advisory Comm; HS/MS Neighborhood Traffic Working Group; Belmont Library Foundation
Candidate’s StatementAs TMM, I am very concerned re Belmint finances, in many areas; we have operated at a structural deficit for many years—which means we cannot pay for important services each and every year due to the 2 1/2% tax cap, let alone the critical discipline of yearly full capital maintenance and replacement. I believe strongly this takes a long term view with much collaboration and communication among Town entities and constituencies. I am also very focused (and involved) in improving safety and transit of pedestrians and non-motorized vehicles (bikes) through my work on TAC and Safe-Routes-To-School (SRTS), and to making headway on reduction of cut-through traffic which causes much congestion and safety issues for Belmont residents. TM’s awareness and attention is another way to make progress on these issues.
AccomplishmentsWith others in appropriate groups or committees, I helped raise charitable funds toward new Library; devised the student parking plan near High School; created/analyzed parent and student driver survey to help inform on next steps in improving school transit, and implemented Concord Ave protected bike lane which will vastly increase Safe student transit to the new Middle/High School.
Your Precinct (optional)Pct 1; fair and appropriate student parking but without impinging on residents of nearby streets.
Government reformThe Collins Rpt offers many strong elements of sound Town government, planning and finances. I agree with a majority of its recommendations and think Belmont and leadership has already made some good progress. However, we have much more to go, and it will take several years of disciplined effort and tough decisions to implement even just the key priorities. I hope to be an active participant in this are in my TM and Committee work.

Dawn MacKerron | 70 Becket Rd | Candidate for re-election

No survey received.

Jeffrey S. North | 138 School St | Candidate for re-election

NameJeffrey North
I’m a candidate for:Town Meeting
I am running as a:Candidate for re-election
I live in:Precinct 1
Volunteer & community activities? (optional)Managing editor, Belmont Citizens Forum Newsletter
Land Management Committee for Lone Tree Hill, 2012-2022
Conservation Commission, 2008-2022
Candidate’s StatementIf re-elected to Town Meeting, I will support all fiscally responsible advances in our quality of living, working, learning, and connecting, and our adoption of best practices for town governance. 
AccomplishmentsAs the managing editor of the Belmont Citizens Forum Newsletter since 2021, I have recruited and coached writers from among Belmont citizens to inform our community on affordable- and MBTA-zoned housing, financial management and the Collins Center Report, the Community Path, electrification, zoning, and more. I have written about local environmental concerns, having served for more than a decade on the Conservation Commission and Land Management Committee for Lone Tree Hill.
Government reformI support our efforts toward greater fiscal discipline, including the adoption of the recommendations of the Collins Center Report.


Daniel J. O’Connell | 23 Becket Rd | Candidate for re-election

Matthew Taylor | 59 Edgemoor Rd | Candidate for re-election

NameMatthew Taylor
Campaign website/Facebook page/ Etc. (optional)https://www.02478.org/
I’m a candidate for:Town Meeting
I am running as a:Candidate for re-election
I live in:Precinct 1
Volunteer & community activities? (optional)Warrant Committee

Town Meeting Member with perfect attendance

Built a searchable website for the Structural Change Impact Group’s final report. Please don’t let this committee’s ideas and hard work get lost! There is a lot of overlap with the Collins Report. See https://www.02478.org/scig/

Economic value of our library analysis, and looking up debt exclusion tax impact by address. See https://www.02478.org/our-library/

I have run every street in our town. See https://www.02478.org/#footnote-every-street

I co-organized the largest machine learning meetup in the Boston area for 5 years.

Since 2018 I have focused on studying neighboring towns, urban planning, traffic management and the best practices from other municipalities.
Candidate’s StatementI view community as a multi-generational team sport. Our town’s long-term strength depends on investing now in our public schools and our tradition of government services. I work to find and share clear, accurate explanations for complex topics.

I’m passionate about moving beyond asking tough questions to finding solutions to hard problems. To prepare, I study what works in other towns. I’ve spoken at public meetings on the municipal budget, the school budget, capital planning, the importance of traffic calming, zoning and land usage, fiscal analysis, housing production plans, and the immediate need to fund and staff longer term work.

I love hearing from you, especially when you and I have differing opinions. I learn a lot from my fellow members, neighbors, and Belmont employees.
AccomplishmentsI am just one person among nearly 300 town meeting members. Our accomplishments, and struggles, are shared. I have attended every night and been active in representing Precinct 1 and Belmont more broadly.

I have read the full Collins Center report, the nearly 500-page SCIG report (see https://www.02478.org/scig/) and volunteered for the Warrant Committee fully aware of the difficult, heartbreaking, and important decisions we must make in the coming years. We must show we can and will start making these decisions within the context of a multi-year plan, rather than pushing them off one-more-year. We must serve our community well even when–and especially when–the choices are limited and unpleasant. By delaying, we only further limit our choices and increase the consequences.
Your Precinct (optional)I am currently focused on the Concord Ave ecosystem–from Cambridge to Belmont Center–and the effects of traffic, parking, and transportation have on the surrounding neighborhoods, businesses, and our whole community. We must invest in our current and future quality of life for our neighbors, students, and employees. Our neighbors who live close to the MHS entrance have endured automobile chaos and deserve lasting solutions, without moving the problem to other streets.

In the coming years, we should fully open and staff the 7-12 school; move, demolish and rebuild our public library; (hopefully) construct a functional year-round rink building; support existing and open many small businesses; preserve our nature walk around Clay Pit Pond; celebrate our veterans at the memorials; come together as a community at our chosen places of worship; make use of our bus services; and improve bike and pedestrian safety–all which come together along one of our busiest avenues.
Government reformWe should have a hired/appointed treasurer. The treasurer (I’ve looked into this) is a highly regulated, the-details-really-matter administrative specialization where mistakes–no matter how well intentioned–have big and lasting consequences. This expert professional will have more frequent accountability than elections every 3 years. Along with the entire town administration and finance team, this hire will be held accountable by the elected Select Board and ultimately the voters. This key change is essential for the success of all other recommendations in the Collins report. See the Select Board’s prioritization on the town administrator’s budget page: https://www.belmont-ma.gov/town-administration/pages/town-budget-information

Modernizing and adopting proven best practices allows us to be more efficient, practical, empathetic and forward looking. Our local services have grown in complexity, sophistication, and serve a wider range of needs–a $150 million non-profit that serves our residents, employees and local businesses. Like a non-profit, we should have a long-term aspirational vision that aligns with and elevates our community, ambitious goals that serve current and future residents well, and high standards for how we can do better by each other every day.


Alex K. Thurston 101 Baker St | Candidate for re-election

NameAlex Thurston
I’m a candidate for:Town Meeting
I am running as a:Candidate for re-election
I live in:Precinct 1
Volunteer & community activities? (optional)Town Meeting Member since 2020
Energy Committee Member
Member, High School/Middle School Traffic Working Group
Candidate’s StatementBelmont faces town-wide issues as a partial result of current zoning requirements. I believe a fresh look at these requirements can begin to solve many of these issues. Belmont has found itself economically lagging behind its neighbor towns due to outdated policies and restrictive zoning bylaws. Commercial and creative residential development should be encouraged with the Town. Town Meeting should champion ways to foster that development via updates to town staffing, zoning bylaw revisions and other recently suggested changes to Belmont’s structure to ensure the Town remains attractive to businesses opening here.
AccomplishmentsConducted traffic and school transportation studies in the Hittinger neighborhood as part of the HSMSTWG.
Your Precinct (optional)Re: Zoning – P1 has a significant General Residence district as well as multiple commercially zoned (Local Business III and General Business) districts. If neighbors in the GR zone wish to update their properties, and if anything greater than a 0 square foot addition is made to the footprint of the structure, an automatic Zoning Board of Appeals decision is required, usually adding months and additional costs to the project. Neighbors not in GR are not subject to this requirement. The commercial districts are located on main roads that can help these businesses grow and flourish, given the right opportunities and no upfront hurdles from the town.
Government reformFirst hand experience – Having worked within committees and groups that ultimately result in larger picture questions or actions that can positively impact the town and its future goals, and also witnessing a good idea vanish because there is no centralized leadership direction or point person to help complete the action – this is immensely frustrating for all members. This is likely the most tangible, day-to-day aspect for most of Belmont’s government that might be solved from the Collins Report recommendations. With project frustration as a feature, not a bug, within all of the Town’s committees and boards, it is no surprise these groups have the turnover they do, being all (mostly) volunteer operations. I have concerns about the sustainability and consistency of the Town’s committee makeup if the structure remains the same.


Rachel Schorr Hirsch | 256 School Street

No survey received.


Joseph B. Wholley | 15 Emerson Street | Candidate for re-election

No survey received.