Meet Troy Tufano
The race is on for two open seats on the Dartmouth School Committee, and five local residents have declared their candidacy for the posts.
Among those running is Troy Tufano, the former chairperson of Dartmouth’s Democratic Town Committee and a current recess and lunch monitor for kindergarteners at Quinn Elementary.
Tufano, who has two kids at Quinn, said he has been interested in running for School Committee for some time but was waiting for the right moment.
If elected, Tufano said his top priority would be improving pay and benefits for teachers and to give more power to the teachers’ unions to negotiate going forward.
“I just don’t see how there’s been cities like New Bedford, Fall River, Taunton that have been able to give Covid raises and incentives and how we can’t as a town,” he said. “Even with the 2.5% [levy limit cap imposed by Proposition 2 ½] there are ways to give negotiating power back to the unions.”
Tufano also emphasized the need for increasing school safety in the district. He said as a playground monitor, he often sees people walking their dogs on school property without realizing that the areas are off-limits during the school day.
He added that school administrators do not have the bandwidth to police this kind of behavior and suggested the district consider privacy fencing around some school areas to increase safety.
Among the challenges facing the district in coming years, Tufano identified population growth in Dartmouth as a particular concern.
He said that while new housing is being developed around town, there is little room for new students. He added that while the issue may not become critical for some time, it will need to be accounted for well in advance because of the time and money required to expand or replace buildings.
On the subject of calls to ban certain books from school libraries, Tufano was defiant.
“I would never ban a book,” he said, explaining that he trusts the school’s librarians to make the right choices about what books to provide. “They do a fantastic job.”
With the challenges that lie ahead for the district, Tufano argued that he has a unique mix of experience that makes him the right candidate for the job.
He explained that his experience as a parent and school employee gives him an on-the-ground perspective of the district’s needs, while his role as a Town Meeting member and clerk’s office employee have taught him how to get things done in municipal government.