To the editors,

I had the pleasure of serving with Marie Sobalvarro during the first six months of her term and the last six months of mine. Over the course of my 12 years as a member of the Board of Selectmen I have served with men and women who brought a range of skills and interests to the Board, but none as thoughtful, intelligent, humble, gracious, collaborative, interested in varying views, able to listen, — and did I say smart? — as Marie.

Marie’s talents are unique and well-suited for being selectman. She brings a strong financial background and understanding of municipal financing, gained through serving on the Finance Committee before becoming a selectman. She has an incredible appetite for researching the appropriate sources relating to the issues that come before the board, whether data, state or local regulations and policies, or constituent interests. She reads everything she can find that is pertinent to a particular matter and comes to the meetings well-prepared. She also strives for consistency in board decisions, be they for licenses, codification of regulations, or the Web page content. She works first to find a common ground with her fellow board members, but is willing to stand alone if need be.

In addition to her intellectual strengths, Marie is tenacious, as witnessed in her successful efforts to move the town to a less expensive health insurance offering while maintaining the same level of coverage for the employees. She learned about the various options; she listened to the concerns of employees. And, in the end, she saved the taxpayers $200,000/year in health-care costs.

The perennial question asked of candidates running for the Board of Selectmen is: “why should I support you?” While Marie is too humble to say this, let me say it for her: because she is so very good at the job. We are extremely fortunate, indeed, to have such a well-qualified woman serving on the board.

I hope you will join me in re-electing Marie to the Board of Selectmen on April 5.