Selectmen Pledge Cooperation
LUNENBURG — Recently elected Selectmen Thomas Alonzo and Michael Jeffreys sat down on Tuesday and showed the cooperative potential of the board after some residents said the previous group did not work well together.
“Together, we have not worked well,” said resident Dave Rodgers, a former selectman. “I know each of you can do it. You’re very intelligent and now it is up to you to show us what you can do.”
Rodgers also urged the board to work together in solving some of the major issues facing the town.
Other residents echoed this sentiment in comments to the board.
“Please sit down, starting tonight, and get to work and get something done,” said resident Dave Passios. “This town needs a group of leaders to move us forward.”
The comments urging compromise and cooperation are not unfounded.
They come after a heated May 14 meeting nearly ended with member Katey Adams leaving during a discussion of the Town Manager performance review.
During the meeting, Selectmen focused on finalizing documents associated with the performance review. The issue which divided board members was a document meant to convey the accomplishments of Town Manager Heather R. Lemieuxt in the past year.
Selectmen, according to now former Selectmen Jamie Toale, would add input to the document “by consensus of the board.” The problem for Adams, however, was that the document included sections from the Town Manager’s self-evaluation rather than statements from Selectmen themselves.
Adams and member Phyllis Luck wanted the section to be cited, while member Damon McQuaid and Toale dismissed the suggestion.
Adams said her input was not taken seriously at the meeting, saying she was “criticized” and “belittled” by board members.
However, there was a different atmosphere during Tuesday’s meeting.
Jeffreys, in addressing the board for the first time, said he was hopeful for the fresh start.
“I look forward to working with [the board] and compromising in a professional and respectful way,” said Jeffreys. “I think tonight is a reflection of what we can do. I think we can put some differences in the past and we can get to the point and move forward.”
Luck, who was appointed as Vice Chair during the meeting, said she was hopeful for the future of the board as well.
“It’s great to have you with us,” said Luck. “I am looking forward to moving together in a positive direction and getting things done together.”
Alonzo returns to the board after a two year gap which he used to focus on his family and job. He was chosen to represent this year’s board as chairman, and took the opportunity to thank residents for the opportunity.
Alonzo said there is a long list of issues that need to be addressed in town. He hopes the board can now come together to address them over next few years.
“We’re going to have to really focus on each item, and probably several in parallel,” said Alonzo. “In order to do that all of us have to be prepared when we come to meetings and engage other boards.”
Daniel Monahan: dmonahan@sentineland enterprise.com