The Board of Selectmen/Health consists of three residents who are elected for three-year terms on a staggered basis from the community-at-large. The current board consists of Marie A. Smith, Chairman, Joseph R. Pacheco, Vice-Chairman and Karen Roberts, Clerk. The Selectmen also act as the Board of Health.
THE BOARD OF SELECTMEN are the Chief Elected Officials of the Town-the executive branch of town government. Many duties befall the Selectmen among the most important being the power to appoint many of the Town’s department heads and various boards and committees. A list of the most important would include the Police and Fire Chiefs, Town Counsel, Highway Superintendent, Planner, Board of Appeals, Conservation Commissioners, Building Commissioner, Finance Committee members, the Town Administrator and Police Officers. Choosing the right people for these jobs, is as important as any duty the Selectmen have.
Cable Television Advisory Board
Capital Planning Committee (Two citizens)
Council on Aging
Economic and Business Development Committee
Mobile Home Rent Control Board
Open Space Committee
Registrars of Voters
School Planning and Building Committee
Solid Waste Committee
The Board is also the Licensing Authority for the Town. As such it is authorized to issue or deny a wide range of important licenses and permits including those for alcoholic beverage licenses, new and used car dealerships, entertainment licenses and gravel removal operations. The Board also makes and enforces local regulations for these businesses.
Other responsibilities of the Board would include the following:
Fiduciary responsibility for Town finances
Reviewing and approving weekly warrants for the payment of bills and payroll
Issuing warrants for the Annual Town Meeting and any Special Town Meetings required
Enforcing the Town's general by-laws
Implementing the will of the town legislative branch (the town meeting)
Adopting general administrative policies
The Board holds weekly meetings and conducts town business on Tuesday evenings at 7:00 PM at the Town Offices Meeting Room. Generally speaking, this is when the Board holds its public hearings, meets with Department Heads and entertains the ideas, complaints and questions of the townspeople, news media and public-at-large. In addition, this is the time when the Board reviews the weekly warrant for payment of bills and payrolls. The Board's meetings are broadcast on Channel 98, the local public access channel.
While effectively the chief executive officers for the Town, the Board is not all-powerful. Independently elected officials are not answerable to the Board but rather to the voting public. The Board is mandated to carry out the mandates of the legislative branch of Town government, the Town Meeting. Many state laws and state agencies dictate what the Board can and can’t do.
In summary, the Board of Selectmen, more than any other town officials, set the tone for the Town. We have been fortunate to have very public-spirited members who have had the good of the Town as their guiding principle. Disagreements are kept as a professional level rather than personal and a spirit of cooperation is evident.