In 1990 he and his wife Andrea moved to the Cape to begin a farming business, opening Cape Farm Supply Co. in Harwich. Their farm is one of the largest certified organic cranberry bogs in MA. With the addition of their daughter, Evangeline, they operate two farms offering fresh and dried cranberries along with USDA inspected pork and lamb meats. During the spring, summer, and fall they offer tours of the bogs and their operation. This is an attraction for families, individuals and out of state bus tour groups. As part of their passion for farming Leo became a state director of the Massachusetts Farm Bureau in 2001 and president of the Cape and Islands Farm Bureau from 2002 to 2013.From his arrival on Cape Cod, Leo has been very involved in local government. He has served Harwich as a finance committee member, representative to the Cape Cod Commission, capital outlay committee and the town administrator search committee. In 2008 he was elected as the Harwich representative to the Barnstable County Assembly of Delegates. He participated in developing the county budget and served on their finance committee. As a member of the special committee on the review of the Cape Light Compact (CLC) & Cape and Vineyard Electric Cooperative (CVEC) and their relationship to county government, he was a driving force in bringing transparency to their operations. In 2010 Leo participated in the county charter review committee, culminating in a vote which brought changes to the county charter that passed on the 2011 ballot.
During the past six years Leo has filed a number of resolutions at the Assembly:
- Requesting the aid of the Attorney General’s, and Inspector General’s office for a review of CLC and CVEC and County Government. Passed by the Assembly then vetoed by the Commissioners.
- Requesting the Charter Review Committee to look at expanding the Executive branch of county government from the present 3, to 5 elected commissioners by region. Passed by the Assembly.
- Requesting the Assembly to support expanding the Executive Branch going from 3 to 5 elected commissioners by region. Passed by the Assembly.
- Making amendments to County Budget for three years. Failed to garner support.
- Proposing the creation of the Special Committee that reviews the CLC, CVEC and County Government. Passed by the Assembly.
His most recent focus has been on the proposed changes to the county charter and increased oversight to the CLC and CVEC. Leo is passionate about ensuring that all are fairly represented and the governing bodies serve their constituents well.
Leo’s positions on some of the current issues are as follows;
- Strongly opposed to new County Government which proposed to consolidate the Assembly and County Commissioner and have One Elected Executive Official. (vote on record)
- Is in favor of expanding the Executive Branch of County Government increasing from 3 commissioners to 5 (elected by region) and a strong County administrator appointed by commissioners.
- He is not opposed to the idea that Towns vote to remove themselves from the Cape Cod Commission, knowing that this cannot be accomplished by a town vote but by a County vote. However, he feels that we may be tossing out the baby with the bath water and that a stronger stand by the County Commissioners, to keep the CCC as a Planning tool and aid to the Towns, rather than another level of regulatory government, will serve Cape Cod better.
- Is opposed to offshore wind projects. Not primarily for their impact on the views over the sound, but because wind towers just do not return enough power for the investment. He personally had a 160 foot met tower measuring wind speed on his farm at his own expense, and the return on investment proved to be weak.
- Waste water Issue, Here is where the Cape Cod Commission can help; the 208 plan is becoming a great tool for communities, however the County needs to be ever vigilant in keeping the waste water issue a town controlled issue, He is not in favor of the creation of yet another tax based solution that will be controlled by the County.
- In regards to the CLC and CVEC, he feels the County needs the assistance the offices of the of Attorney General and Inspector General to review the County’s handling of these agencies.
As you see, Leo is a strong leader willing to get involved in the tough and complex issues, roll up his sleeves to assess the issues, and develop solutions. He is passionate about maintaining Cape Cod’s environment and ensuring that Barnstable is an economically vibrant County.