I’ve often heard the town likened to a 100 million dollar a year business, with the Select Board functioning as its Board of Directors, and the Town Manager functioning as CEO. What’s often missed in this analogy is the shareholders to whom the Board answers – the taxpayers.
The Select Board serves two primary functions: the first is to represent the taxpayers. Board Members should be approachable to all residents, and help convey their issues and concerns, advocating for them and seeking to prevent or resolve issues. This also includes ensuring the long-term sustainability of the town, which is obviously in the taxpayers’ best interests.
The second function is to execute on the Master Plan. The Master Plan was finalized in 2020 and serves as the steering document for the town – what opportunity areas we need to work on, what changes people would like to see long-term, and where we already excel and need to keep up the good work. The Select Board works with other boards, committees, and departments to drive towards the goals outlined in the Master Plan. This includes infrastructure projects and capital expenditures, cultural and community events, environmental, conservation, and recreational efforts, economic development, and providing more ways for residents to engage with Town Government.
Lastly, members of the Select Board need to be able to work together. The Select Board is not a mayorship – this isn’t a one-person job. To effect change requires strong relationships with the other board members, as well as with others in Town Hall. Over the past few years, I have built relationships with the Board members, the Town Manager and his staff, and various department heads in Town Hall, and I understand how to work collaboratively towards common goals.