By Jon Bishop
AYER — Though Geof Tillotson is new to Ayer — he moved to town only in November — he was ready to throw his hat in for the Planning Board.
“I’ve always felt it important to volunteer in the communities I live in,” he said.
Tillotson is originally from Belmont, where he served as a Town Meeting member for 11 years.
“I’ve always enjoying being involved with the town administration,” he said.
And since he works in real estate, he figured the Planning Board would be a perfect opportunity — especially since he has to deal with boards and committees as part of his job.
“I’m interested in growth,” he said. “I’m really interested in planning.”
But why so soon?
“It’s through meeting people people in the community is how I became interested (in the Planning Board),” he said.
Also, the Planning Board has needed another member for a while, and no one stepped up. So someone had to run for office, he said.
In the meantime, he wanted to learn as much as he could about Ayer, especially how the town uses its resources and how it interacts with Devens. And Tillotson took the time to read the town’s comprehensive plan, which was written in 2004. Ayer is about to begin the development of a new comprehensive plan, and so he wanted to find out what issues from 2004 are still valid and important.
The board is “one of the arms of the community” that should marry the comprehensive plan with the planning of the community, he said.
One of those tasks will certainly include improving Ayer’s entry areas, something that Tillotson called “very important.”
When asked about whether he would fit in with the current board, he said “there needs to be … the opportunity to agree to disagree.”
“There always has to be the opportunity for opposing viewpoints to be heard,” he said.
Tillotson, in addition to his work in real estate and his civic activities, is passionate about conservation and sustainable energy.
“I’m interested in how we can reduce the carbon footprint,” he said.
He has been married for nearly 30 years and has two grown sons. He said he has found the people in Ayer “to be very welcoming” and the landscape beautiful.
“We intend to live here the rest of our lives,” he said.
And that’s especially because he agrees with the people who say the town is up-and-coming. He identified the bike path as an example.
“I feel like there are opportunities in Ayer,” he said.
Tillotson is a graduate of UMass Amherst, where he studied economics. He ran unopposed.
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