I have been excited to see the array of quality candidates running for election. I am hopeful that, following this upcoming election, we will see an improvement in the internal workings of the board and in its interactions with town residents.
Jerry Storey and Mary Kehoe are running unopposed and both bring intelligence, maturity and proven abilities to weigh all sides of any issue before rendering decisions. I am confident we will be better off for their service.
With the Jaime Heins and Chris Boyd contest, we have two qualified candidates running for the third seat. Chris’ past service to the town is varied and impressive, as even Jamie noted in the candidate forum on Feb. 20.
That said, my vote will be for Jaime Heins. Last year, Jaime was willing to step down as chair of the Planning Commission to offer himself up to fill the temporary seat left by the departure of John Kerr.
It is noteworthy that many planning commissioners have written in glowing terms about his leadership, his focus on teamwork, his helping to navigate numerous challenging issues in his years working with that body. He is professionally well-versed in dealing with complex and sometimes contentious matters.
As a regular attendee at Selectboard meetings, I was immediately impressed with his responses to the many emotionally charged matters before the board: clearly articulated and well-reasoned ideas and decisions. Jaime has consistently done so in his service to the town. The calm manner he brings to town matters and the thoughtfulness he has put into formulating his decisions has served us well.
One small example: When Hillside Terrace residents notified the board that their basements again experienced town sewage backup through no fault of their own, Jaime offered to look into what, if anything, the town could do to address their predicaments. He reached out to a number of individuals and organizations, thoroughly researched the options and offered a detailed rationale for why the town, in good faith, should assist with the considerable costs of repairing the damage. His proposal was endorsed by the board.
Jaime Heins has already demonstrated the skills and sensibilities we so desperately need. With his election and the prospect of his serving with a strong contingent of other board members, I am convinced Shelburne will benefit significantly.