Everyone in Groton has a different idea of what the most important issues are each election, and sometimes each week. It’s difficult to prioritize, but these are what I think the top issues are this spring:
Of course, those aren’t all the issues facing the town, but there isn’t enough room to list them all. Be sure to look at this page for my thoughts and positions on a host of other important topics.
Groton residents elect the selectmen with the understanding that they direct the Town Manager’s budget priorities. Groton’s selectmen are responsible for making sure that residents pay a fair fee for the services the town provides, but no more than necessary, and no less than good service requires. That’s what “Fiscal Sobriety” is: Always be aware of the future and be circumspect when deciding what to fund.
One of the reasons I live in Groton is because it’s a great place to raise kids. A big part of that is the school system, so it’s important to me that my children, Bunny and Carter, and all the other children in Groton, receive an excellent education.
Everyone in Groton should be able to get as much information as they want about what and how the Board of Selectmen, the Town Manager, and the rest of town government operates, both day-to-day and long term.
When I was appointed to the Town Meeting Review Study Committee (TMRSC) years ago, I was required to go through state Open Meeting Law training, and sign a document accordingly. Our incredible Town Clerk, Mike Bouchard, stated it very succinctly, “You’re doing the public’s business, and so it needs to be in public.”
As the town grows, and new employees join the staff, making an active effort to ensure that operations area transparent is even more important. I can promise you that unless there is a highly compelling reasons, such as state law on privacy or personnel functions, that I will work to ensure that everyone in town government from the Board of Selectmen through the Town Manager, department managers, and line employees provides open, honest, and timely communications with the public.
Leadership is not a one-way street. In small town government, residents, voters, are the leaders. They lead by picking great people to act for them on the Board of Selectmen. The Board of Selectmen lead and manage all town employees, not the other way around. Their “customers,” the residents and voters, tell the members of the Board of Selectmen that they are receiving great services or suggest ways in which they might improve.