It has been my privilege to serve the citizens of Acton as a member of the Board of Selectmen. I would like to share my thoughts about the past three years, and explain why I am seeking a second term.
When I won a seat on the Board in 2010, I knew that municipal government was complex and the responsibilities of the Selectmen were substantial. I felt confident, however, that I was up to the task due to my training and experience as an attorney, my diligence, my ability to work collegially and collaboratively, and my several years as a member of the Acton Conservation Commission and Community Preservation Committee. My balanced approach (and sense of humor) also has been invaluable in my working effectively with my colleagues, Town staff members and others to tackle the issues that the Town has faced in a faltering economy.
In the past three years, the biggest challenge for the Board and Town staff has been to assure the high-quality services that residents and businesses need and expect, while at the same time controlling property taxes and the use of reserves. This is no easy task, spawning diverse opinions about the best course of action. But I believe Town government has performed responsibly under difficult circumstances, even maintaining its strong bond rating throughout. In my first term, the Town has become a “Green Community,” expanded its open-space holdings and protections, improved area mass-transit services, preserved and transformed the historical high school, proactively addressed the obligation for municipal retiree healthcare benefits known as OPEB, created the Acton 2020 master plan, added the Miracle Field, and created memorials to local victims of the September 11, 2001 attack and to veterans through the ages. I was especially pleased to serve as the Board’s representative in discussions among representatives of all municipal unions about healthcare plans, which resulted in changes and substantial savings for the Town.
I have the experience to address recurring responsibilities such as ongoing budget pressures, but I also have the bigger-picture perspective of ongoing, longer-term capital and other needs that the Selectmen must continue to address such as OPEB, fire safety coverage, wastewater policies and municipal space needs. I have enjoyed my work as a Selectman, and would welcome the opportunity to do more in service to the Town. Thank you.
Janet K. Adachi
Simon Hapgood Lane