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By Anne O’Connor

TOWNSEND — Cindy King, a first-time candidate for selectman, wants to provide the confidence in leadership that people need.

She has held leadership positions throughout her career and as a volunteer on town boards.

The 35-year resident lives with her wife, Karrie, in West Townsend. A clinical social worker, King has a private practice in town.

King, 58, brings a variety of experience to the table.

The Desert Storm veteran retired from the U.S. Army Reserve as a master sergeant. She is a past commander and a life member of the Townsend VFW.

“I just end up in a leadership role,” King said.

In addition to her military leadership, she is the chairman of the Finance Committee. Fellow board members felt confident in her ability to lead the group even though she had only been on the committee six months when she became chair, she said.

King holds a Master of Social Work from Salem State University and a Bachelor of Science in accounting from Fitchburg State College.

Communication within the town needs to improve, she said.

“People in town don’t get information,” she said. “It’s critical.”

She plans to work on getting postings and notices to different parts of the community using the newspaper and Town Hall. Using a forum like Facebook might be fast, but it is not always accurate, she said.

Ensuring the town knows about municipal finances is important, she said. Residents need to know how much debt the town has and what it will mean to the tax rate when debt exclusions are approved.

Tax payments will go up when the bill for the new high school kicks in around 2017, she said. Not everyone is aware of that.

Another area of concern is the conflict within boards, between boards, and between boards and people, she said. Conflict resolution is a “key in my professional life that I can bring to Town Hall to resolve (an issue) before it becomes a bigger problem,” she said.

Five years from now, she’d like to see a town where boards, committees and the community can work together.

If King is not elected, she plans to continue business as usual. She will remain as the Finance Committee chairman and consider another run for selectman.

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