As Election Day approaches, I would like to share my vision of the Town and some of the great accomplishments we can achieve together.
Our Future Starts With a Strong Base: All residents of Fairhaven are the owners of the Town; they have a right to be heard and to have the best services provided. The Select Board should protect the residents’ investments in the Town. We must protect every tax dollar from frivolous spending to ensure a strong financial future. I believe we should reexamine the approach to how we engage with residents and business, and I plan to do so as a member of the Select Board.
In addition, our valued Town employees have not been properly supported. Too many times they have been used as political pawns and publicly criticized. That will not happen with me. As an Operations Manager and certified HR professional, I know the Town’s success is achieved through supported, engaged and valued workers. When elected, I will safeguard a system where we will create a cohesive atmosphere of job collaboration and satisfaction which will benefit all in Town.
My role as a Select Board Member and Leadership Task of a Town Administrator. This is why the Town Administrator search is so crucial to the present and future success of Fairhaven. We will find a leader who works from the trenches rather than one who delegates from a desk. The TA is the chief culture officer at Town Hall. We must ensure daily operations and avoid undue internal and external influences, including the Select Board itself. The Select Board’s role is to set policy, the Town Administrator’s role is to manage our employees in a responsible way. With an engaged Town Administrator in place, we will provide stability, and stop the attrition of employees seen over the past few years.
First Responders — Our Town Heroes. Our first responders should be acknowledged. The Police and Fire Departments must have the best equipment and a secure environment to work and live. Currently, the public safety building is cramped, the police station does not have the proper holding facilities, and the building is plagued with mold.
As we acquire more details concerning the future public safety complex (learning about costs and negotiating the purchase of a parcel of land), I make this promise: I will be completely transparent. I will not allow a single dollar to be wasted in the course of this project, while at the same time ensuring every need of our first responders is met.
I believe, as advocated by [Police] Chief Meyers, a public safety Social Worker is needed for residents that require advocacy instead of the judicial process. This position is fiscally responsible and moves us in the right direction. Having a social worker assist during the current mental health and opioid crisis is a much needed position, and will also decrease the Town’s liability. Further, our fire fighters need more dispatchers — trained public safety professionals are the vital first step in saving lives.
Responsible Common Sense Approach and My Role as a Member of the Select Board. As a member of the BPW, I see firsthand how hard our employee’s work. As a collective bargaining team member, I am proud to have protected tax dollars and achieved a fair agreement when some exempt workers were receiving unprecedented five figure pay raises in a single year. The general fund allocations do not fully support infrastructure and our public infrastructure employees.
I will bring ingenuity and think outside the box and apply a common-sense approach. We will explore a merger of our Highway/Parks Departments with the Recreation Department. This will eliminate duplicate spending and allocate more towards our green space. When this was proposed to the current Select Board, the response was that nothing could be done without a DOR report. While I fully support an external review of our municipal operations, the Town of Fairhaven must learn to walk and chew gum at the same time. Cost savings cannot wait.
When we focus on working together by rebuilding our base of strong, unified employees, we will once again have smooth operations. Together we will move forward with one common goal, doing what is best for Fairhaven and all its people.
I look forward with great excitement in leading that charge as a member of the Select Board. I respectfully ask for your vote on July 26th.
Click here to download the entire 7/22/21 issue: 07-22-21 KarenNicole_REV
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