The Board of Selectmen serves as the chief executive board of the Town, and as such, oversees all matters affecting the interest and welfare of the community. The Board exercises the authority vested in the Town not specifically assigned by law to any other board or office.
1. What is your track record on environmental sustainability, including any related interests, experience, or initiatives?
While my record certainly doesn’t match the one of my esteemed opponent, in my own way I continue to advocate and execute environmental sustainability on a daily basis. For instance, in our household we are consistent recyclers as well as working to raise environmentally aware children. We reinforce turning off lights when not in the room, reducing waste where possible, and having an overall understanding of the amazing beauty of our planet, and the essential stewardship we must offer for it to survive.
As PTO President at Sprague, I assisted Green Schools with their recycling initiative during lunch, thereby reducing bags of garbage as well as purchasing reusable clam shells for cold lunch. As an individual, I helped on the gas leak project in town.
I am particularly interested with the areas in which public health and sustainability intersect: lawn treatments, insect spraying, and turf fields and playgrounds. I’d like to see research done on all of these topics to ensure we keeping our residents and planet as safe as possible.
Maintaining a healthy and habitable environment has been a driving force in my life and the focus of my work as an advocate and activist. I’ve served for five years as an elected member of the Wellesley Natural Resources Commission and I’ve been a member of the Sustainable Wellesley leadership team for 8 years. I was also co-leader of an interfaith coalition advocating at the state level for the transition to a clean and just energy future for Massachusetts.
– I initiated the NRC’s recent Grow Green Wellesley campaign to promote eco-landscaping and reduce pesticide use in cooperation with the Board of Health and Sustainable Wellesley.
2. How do you see sustainability and climate change as factors in the development of policy for the Town of Wellesley?
I believe that sustainability and climate change should be considered as part of all town initiatives, but they will need to be evaluated and prioritized like all other facets like budget, staffing, etc.
3. What specific initiatives related to the environment and sustainability should the Board of Selectmen undertake in your next term?
As the most experienced in this area, I would look to the NRC and Sustainable Wellesley to guide the Selectman in pursuing the most relevant environmental and sustainability issues.
Given that the Board of Selectmen is responsible for making appointments to several important town committees, what will you do to ensure that at least some members of these committees will advocate for an environmental perspective on issues under consideration?
Board appointments are among the most crucial duties of the BOS that they must be made by fully understanding a person’s qualifications and the needs and responsibilities of the board to which the appointment is being made. Having a well-rounded board is critical so that all points of view are considered; sustainability and a focus on climate changeis of utmost importance to Wellesley and the larger world, and thus potential appointees would be vetted according to these viewpoints.
Recruiting Wellesley residents to serve on boards and committees has been one of my responsibilities as a member of the Natural Resources Commission. Wellesley is fortunate to have many residents who are interested in sustainability and the environment, and who are willing to generously volunteer their time by serving the town. I’m confident that we will be able to find residents who are able to represent an environmental perspective on the committees appointed by the Selectmen — many already do.