Part 5 of 5. What should the Selectboard have on its agenda. See below for the question and answer of each candidate for the 3-year seat.
QQ: Other than the adoption of a town plan, what are several issues that you think the Town or Selectboard should or must address in the next 12 to 18 months? Why? Do you have any specifics on how to address?
Adoption of a town plan is key to the other issues facing the town. We need more specificity on the other aspects of our town such as conservation of resources. The environment is changing, resources are becoming scarce, markets are volatile. Weather events such as we experienced in July will become more common. These things affect us fiscally, socially, economically. We need to think holistically on every issue, look thoughtfully at other examples, and seek out guidance. When we make choices, we must be confident that we have done all we can to understand the ramifications of our choices.
Critical issues to be addressed by the Town in this coming year, and which are the responsibility of the Town Manager, are hiring of new employees due to impending retirements or other openings, and negotiating a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. A policy question for the Select Board is whether to compensate union and nonunion employees on the same basis. I would personally like the Select Board to do a capital budget to review our infrastructure condition, costs, and reserve funds. I would like to see as part of our emergency management practices the formation of neighborhood networks that can provide immediate mutual aid in the event that severe storms cut areas off from normal emergency response. I am very concerned that the intensity and frequency of storms will increase, and think it wise for citizens to be prepared to shelter in place if needs be, and think it would be wise if citizens installed generators so they are not reliant on the electrical grid in the aftermath of a storm.
A Meet The Candidates Night, sponsored by the Norwich Women's Club, is scheduled for Tuesday, February 27 at Tracy Hall from 7 to 8:30.