Concerning my educational background, I graduated from the University of Buffalo with degrees in both Economics and History. Following my undergraduate studies, I worked in banking and insurance, and at night obtained both a Masters in Business Administration from the College of Saint Rose and a Juris Doctorate Degree from the New England School of Law in Boston. I am the owner of the Law Offices of Andrew J. Schultz, P.C. which has its home office here in North Reading, along with additional offices in Worcester and Salem, New Hampshire. I have been in private practice for over 15 years, primarily handling real estate/zoning, family law, and personal injury matters. My wife Leslie and I have resided in North Reading since 2005 along with our two sons, who both currently attend the North Reading Public Schools. I am very active in community endeavors, having just recently ended my term as the President of the Reading/North Reading Chamber of Commerce, where I am proud to state that during my tenure the First Annual North Reading Town Day was conceived. Our family is also a member of the North Reading Union Congregational Church.
The main reason I am running for Selectman is because I want to help improve the commercial areas of our town. As a small business owner and 2016 Chamber of Commerce president, I feel my business background and experience will be an asset to the Town as we are certainly at a crossroads while we chart our future economic course. The town has the unique opportunity with the sale of the JT Berry property to invest in our future like never before and this is an opportunity that cannot be misused. As a town, we need to increase our commercial tax base and develop economic growth in our Concord Street and Route 28 business zones which will also reduce the burden on the residential tax base. By investing in sewerage in these commercial areas, starting on Concord Street, we will then have an opportunity to revitalize these areas and attract new business, and finally build nicer buildings and be able to build vertically. Until sewerage in the commercial areas is brought in, our commercial areas will continue to look the way they look and lag behind other towns. We need attractive commercial space to attract new businesses, including retail, hotels and restaurants. Moreover, the commercial sewerage investment will pay for itself through increased tax revenues once higher appraised buildings are constructed. I believe it is important that the JT Berry proceeds are invested properly so they will give year after year returns to the town and not just be used for one time expenditures. With proper financial structuring, the town will be able to use the investment proceeds to generate increased revenue in future years, so down the road projects for the schools and especially the items listed in the town master plan report such as town hall, the library, the senior center and the fire station, will have the funding and financing they need while still helping to preserve a solid future financial position. Additionally, the increased commercial revenues will help protect our seniors from higher annual property tax increases. I believe fresh ideas and a business sense is needed to move us forward as we need to keep our commercial dollars local and support our small businesses. To learn more about my positions on the other issues affecting our town, please follow me on Facebook at Andrew Schultz for North Reading Selectman.