To the editor:
The town of Manchester-by-the-Sea adopted a town administrator form of government more than 10 years ago.
Under this arrangement, the town administrator manages the daily activities of the town and the departments under his or her direction. This was seen by the Town Meeting as a useful and appropriate form of government.
It did, in fact function that way under earlier boards and under Rosemary Cashman when she was the town administrator. Unfortunately, the majority of the selectmen have not supported that arrangement.
Instead of providing strategic guidance, the board has too often interjected itself in the day-to-day business of things such as pothole repair, illegal parking, and micromanagement of town departments. One of my greatest frustrations in my recent term as selectman was that there was not a majority who saw fit to change this mode of operation.
I believe that Karen Smith-Crawley can be a real voice of change on the board to help return us to the form of government that Town Meeting approved long ago.
As a long-time resident of the town, she clearly understands it and knows its needs. As a successful businesswoman in the world of finance, she understands how to make things happen within strict budgets and according to plans. Her recent successes while chairing the Harbor Advisory Committee are but one testament to her care for the town and to her personal abilities.
Most residents are aware of the many important issues we face with limited financial resources yet the need to tackle issues such as major infrastructure investments and long term unfunded liabilities.
Karen Smith-Crawley's presence on the board would put us in much better shape to address the these concerns while getting town administration back on the track that the voters intended.
It is without reservation that I convey my strong support for Karen Smith-Crawley's campaign for the Board of Selectmen and urge you to vote for her on Tuesday, May 15.
Pleasant Street, Manchester-by-the-Sea