Saturday, August 29, 2009

Dodd Creates Successful Liaison Program

Westborough selectmen serve as liaisons to appointed boards
March 26, 2008 Westborough’s five selectmen have begun serving as liaisons to 19 of the town’s appointed boards and committees.Selectman Tim Dodd said he modeled his proposal on a practice put in place in Boxborough a few years ago. Boxborough Town Administrator Selina Shaw said having liaisons to the appointed boards “keeps the communication lines open, which is very important.”In Westborough, Dodd said his aim is to ensure that selectmen provide “leadership, not micro-management.” When surveys gauging interest in having selectmen serve as liaisons were sent out last fall, Dodd said, a characteristic response among board and committee members was, “If I wanted to get something on the [Board of Selectmen’s] agenda, I wouldn’t know how to do it.”Because of the many professionals living in Westborough, boards and committees often include people with highly relevant experience, Dodd said. The Conservation Commission, for example, has included a geologist, while a historian has served on the Historical Commission. While such individuals have expertise in their areas, Dodd said, “They might not necessarily have expertise in town government structures.”Each of Westborough’s five selectmen are serving as liaison to at least three of the boards and committees.
Written by MMA Associate Editor Mitch Evich

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