My letter is written in support of the re-election of George Knittel as moderator of Shirley. I know him as a man of integrity who has a well-grounded understanding of the responsibilities and role of moderator. Mr. Knittel has occasionally asked me to step in as temporary moderator, and in preparing me for each session he has always been impartial on the issues and has limited his guidance to the discussion of the rules of order for running the meeting. I know that is the same approach that he uses for himself when preparing for Town Meetings.
My own experience with town government includes past membership on the Finance Committee from 1992-2000 and current membership on the Personnel Board and Historical Commission. It has always been difficult to convince people to serve on town committees. Mr. Knittel has asked me from time to time if I knew of people who might be interested in serving on the Finance Committee. He has never suggested any qualifications other than a person’s sincere interest to serve the town, and he has never turned an applicant down, with the one exception of Mr. Cappucci, for which I respect his reasoning in that decision.
The town is fortunate to have a Finance Committee with honorable and skilled members, and it is a benefit that some members have had experience on school-related committees. In my experience as a former member, it was always difficult for the Finance Committee to fully comprehend the school budget looking from the outside. To now have Finance Committee members with that inside knowledge is a strength and should be applauded rather than criticized.
I am disappointed that Mr. Hayes resigned from the Finance Committee and his supporters should consider joining the Finance Committee so that their interest in town issues can be represented in that governmental role.