A manufactured election "conundrum"

Apr 20, 2017

To the Editor:

A letter that appeared on April 14 by Mr. North wrongly suggest that my election to the Planning Board and Selectman will create a problem for the Town. This could not be further from the truth, and here is why,

1. Yes I am running for the Planning Board and Selectman. Contrary to Mr. North’s claim, I am currently a member of only two appointed boards; the Conservation Commission and the Energy Management Committee. If elected Selectman I will resign from those two appointed committees to remove any possible conflict of interest. I made that commitment at the 2016 Candidates Night and I will make that commitment again this year.

2. I am running for the Planning Board primarily to assist with the completion and Town acceptance of the Master Plan (note that I was co-chair of the Master Plan Subcommittee during my previous service on the Planning Board)

3. All meetings of all boards and committees are held in accordance with the Open Meeting Law thus when Mr. Gonsalves and I are present there will be no violation.

4. Any Board member can avoid any possible conflict of interest with an Application on the agenda by simply recusing himself/herself from the proceedings and leaving the room.

5. All the Town Boards and Committees are purposely made up of multiple members ensuring multiple points of view. Each member has just one vote. The Town maintains a legal counsel to keep us out of violations of Commonwealth statutes.

6. Mr. North is entitled to his opinions, but they are of questionable value when not supported by facts.

7. Mr. North is correct that over the years I have served Marion’s residents on a variety of town boards and committees. Through this participation I have gained extensive knowledge and experience about town affairs, experience that has prepared me well to function as an productive and knowledgeable member of the Board of Selectmen.



Norman Hills

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