As a former student in Tewksbury Public Schools, Barry Finegold has strongly advocated on behalf of the students in Tewksbury as their State Senator.
The town needed a new high school due to increased enrollment and a deteriorating facility. Barry was an early supporter of the new high school project and pushed for the construction of a new, energy efficient and technologically advanced facility. He was also instrumental in securing funding from the Massachusetts School Building Authority, which funded 60 percent of the project.
Barry was a leader in passing legislation to end mismanagement and financial abuses at Special Education Collaboratives. The idea came out of a meeting with the Tewksbury School Committee who were upset by the fiscal abuse happening at the Merrimack Special Education Collaborative. Working with school committee members, Barry filed an amendment that will require the executive director of each education collaborative to go before the school committee every year, present its budget, and answer questions. Finegold wanted these collaboratives to be accountable to the school districts so nothing like this would happen again.
Barry Finegold helped Tewksbury become a “Green Community” in 2011, which is a state program supporting renewable energy and cost savings. Tewksbury is eligible for $207,725 in grants for local renewable power and energy efficiency projects that will advance both municipal and state clean energy goals, and most importantly, save the town in energy costs.
In 2010, Barry Finegold, along with former Sen. Susan Tucker and Rep. James Miceli, pushed for the Tewksbury land conveyance, House Bill 4801, An Act authorizing the conveyance of certain parcels of land. This allowed the town of Tewksbury to sell the lot at 918 Main Street where the old police station was formerly located, and keep half the proceeds. "I am thrilled that we can turn what is now an eyesore into a great benefit for the town – meaning immediate revenue for Tewksbury, which can be used to off-set potential budget cuts," Barry said.
Barry Finegold stood up for Tewksbury’s best interests when it was forced into a bad trash contract by the state. The contract between the North East Solid Waste Committee (NESWC) communities and Wheelabrator, the operating company, forced communities like Tewksbury to pay significantly more for trash disposal than the rest of the State. Barry was able to get funding for his district to offset these costs and save taxpayers from a considerable burden.
In 1999, Barry won the Kennedy School Fenn Award for Political Leadership for his leadership in bringing together legislators and officials from New Hampshire and Massachusetts to address the traffic problems on I-93. His efforts led to the opening of the breakdown lane during rush hours, which greatly reduced congestion during peak commuting times, leading to easier commutes and faster access to the business in our communities. The breakdown lane is only the beginning – Barry is focused on working to bring a new I-93 interchange to better serve our local businesses in Tewksbury, Andover and beyond. He has been continually working with the federal delegation, the governor’s office, the Department of Transportation and community leaders to bring attention and funding to the interchange project, which will bring thousands of dollars of tax revenue and jobs to the town of Tewksbury.
Barry Finegold also pushed National Grid, Verizon and Comcast to work with the town during severe storms to defray some of the costs and inconvenience of power and service outages. He called on them to be more responsive, especially during power outages. In 2012, during an overhaul of the regulations on utility storm response, Barry was able to secure an amendment to the bill that prioritizes senior citizens during a power outage.
Barry has helped a number of constituents from Tewksbury with a variety of issues. One resident was having trouble securing MassHealth for his elderly mother while she was at an assisted living facility. With Barry’s help, MassHealth contacted the resident and readily covered his mother, shaving weeks off of the family’s wait time.