AYER — With two new elected members, the selectmen has agreed the board needs continuity as it moves forward.
After town administrator Shaun Suhoski provided board members with copies of the policies and procedures at their May 2 working session, Chairman Gary Luca asked for insight from his colleagues.
Newly elected Selectman Jim Fay wasted no time telling his colleagues where he would like to be.
“Where do you see me fitting on your board?” he asked. “I would best serve, in my mind, to go forward as the (board representative) of the Joint Boards of Selectmen, (Department of Public Works) DPW, the Planning Board, economic development, police, Water Commission and the Personnel Board. Generally, that’s where I’d like to be.”
The chain of command needs to be in place for the board to go forward, said Fay. The board should be going through Suhoski instead of all the individual department heads, he said.
“Time management is important to me,” Fay said. “Once you’ve made your point it’s time to move on. There is no reason to repeat yourself.”
Selectman Richard Gilles, who was elected April 28 along with Fay, suggested each of the selectmen only have two minutes to speak regarding each agenda item at their meetings.
“If you can’t concisely say what you need to say in two minutes, well then I don’t know,” he said.
Selectman Carolyn McCreary agreed with Gilles, but suggested the selectmen have time for a rebuttal, if necessary.
“I keep hearing, ‘Gee, you must be so excited,’ or ‘What a breath of fresh air,'” said Selectman Cornelius “Connie” Sullivan. “You know what? I am excited. I think we have a board that can work together. But that is a challenge. You have to work at working together.”
Sullivan told Fay he “hit it on the head” in regard to the chain of command and time management.
He also had an opinion on the board signing statements.
“I hope this board doesn’t condone or support signing statements,” said Sullivan. “I find it immature and unprofessional having paperwork like that going to the state Legislature, state agency or some other third party. We need to act as a board, showing respect for each other.”
McCreary echoed her colleagues.
“We need to support the board’s decisions,” said McCreary. “I believe the decisions need to be made through compromise and discussion. We need to hear each other and work together to find common ground.”
Luca suggested the selectmen “hold hands and sing Kumbaya.”
“We do need consensus as a board,” he said. “If we decide to stick together, then we need to stick together, and that hasn’t always happened.”