AYER — Two stepped forward, and following interviews Wednesday night, the same two were unanimously recommended by the Finance Committee to fill two vacancies on what should be a five-member panel.
The Board of Selectmen will consider the appointment Aug 2.
John Kilcommins, a tax accountant who also serves as a director of the nonprofit Ayer-Shirley Education Foundation, said he wants to serve because “you can be someone who lives in the town or someone who participates.”
Kilcommins also no longer has to commute to New Hampshire for work, so he has more time to serve. “I can make a commitment now. I’d like to step up and do more for the town.”
When Kilcommins expressed concern about a high volume of meetings, particularly during his busy tax season of February through April, Chairman Brian Muldoon said, “We’re trying to ratchet that down a bit.”
The second candidate for consideration was Michael Pattenden, who previously made an unsuccessful run for selectman.
“I’ve been involved, one way or another, here with town,” he said.
Pattenden said he was motivated when he “saw the headline in the paper: “For FinCom, few hands make for heavy work.”
Pattenden said he would like to bring a voice to the table for the “awful number of people who are of limited means and have lived here a long time.”
Pattenden recalled his efforts to reinstate a tax-relief work program for seniors to work off a portion of property taxes.
Board member Scott Houde said it would be “fantastic” to have such a champion on board, often such programs are something “we don’t have control of.”
Pattenden also discussed his work digging into the merits of the recently-voted $750,000 feasibility study for improvements at Ayer-Shirley High School.
“I know you want to stick up for members of the community that are not being served,” said Muldoon. “But my biggest concern is that all of our citizens are represented to the best that we can … I think we come out with a united voice. Rarely do we split.”
Pattenden said he provided the examples to show “I don’t sit around and complain… I’m not just somebody who thinks this would be a nice idea on a resume.”
“Thanks you for being very candid,” said Muldoon. In the end the committee agreed unanimously to forward Pattenden’s name to the selectmen.
Though member Jesse Reich hesitated briefly.
Reich said he felt the post might not be “exactly what you want it to be. But I voted ‘yes.”