"My family instilled in me the value of hard work, service, and above all responsibility to ourselves, our community and our future" - Mike Squindo
Our Future Begins Today
Mike Squindo brings leadership, teamwork, and vision to the table. He believes the single greatest purpose of the Selectboard is to continue to strengthen the town’s future by ensuring that all community members feel heard; each is given the opportunity to serve in a manner that fits their lifestyle; and everyone feels a sense of belonging to the shared community.
Mike is seeking a position on the Selectboard because he believes there is opportunity to strengthen the process so that more citizens have the information they need to feel empowered. He will use his education and training as a Licensed Certified Social Worker in MA; as well as his years in municipal government, and non-profit employment to help Wilbraham continue to strengthen its future for every resident.
It will only be possible to achieve this vision with the help of all those who share in the belief that Wilbraham’s future looks brightest when it involves the voice of each member.
Frequently Asked Questions
My name is Mike Squindo. I am excited to be running for a position as your newest Selectman. In 2012 I moved to Wilbraham to live with my now wife, Elizabeth. We reside on 9 Mile Pond with our son, and golden retriever. Raised to value and contribute to my community, I want to work with you to build a stronger Wilbraham community.
At a young age I discovered my purpose was to help others. In 7th grade I became a peer mediator, guiding classmates through a structured dialogue to resolve disputes. By 8th grade I was the lead mediator for the school. Through that opportunity I joined a group similar to Minnechaug’s Above the Influence Club. By 10th grade I found myself driving 4 hours every other Sunday throughout summer and fall from Vermont, where I had moved, to New Jersey for this group. I was asked by the director why I continued to make this trek year after year. My answer was simple, she had created a community I cared for and from which I felt valued. Wilbraham offers this sense of value and belonging for many, but for others we fall short of our full potential.
I became a Social Worker to help build community and to empower others in achieving their own purpose. When I moved to Wilbraham, I served the town through attendance and participation at town meetings. As I settled in, I continued to find other ways to engage the community. For several years I was the DJ for the Mother-Son Dances at Wilbraham United Church. More recently I have worked with the Wilbraham Welcome Project on their Farmer’s Market; and to create a Facebook group focused on providing a space to engage in healthy dialogue and information sharing about municipal business.
Now I seek to work with every board, employee, and community member to build a stronger Wilbraham together! With your support, I wish to serve as the newest member of the Board of Selectmen.
What is the role of the Board of Selectmen?
According to the Massachusetts Select Board Association of MMA, “the Board of Selectmen (or Select Board) operates as a collective decision making body”, more specifically they describe this body as the “…group in town that sets the strategic direction, coordinates activities of other boards, and hears appeals and resolves problems that have not been settled at lower levels”. Mike sees this being completed primarily through the drafting of policies to provide guidance to the Town Administrator and departments, through the budget process to provide financial support based on town priorites, and to offer guidance on various topics that come before the board throughout the year.
Please refer to the pages of this website on Transparency, Empowerment, Accountability, and Meaningful Connection to get a better understanding of some of Mike’s positions. If you have specific questions that are not answered in the context of those writings, please feel free to contact Mike or his committee to get your specific question answered.
Click here to view Mike’s response to this question as posted on his facebook page.
Mike’s suggestion was that the town consider using the $500,000 to reduce it’s long-term liabilities to the taxpayer rather than short-term budget impact. The town has certain long-term liabilities, namely the Hampden County Retirement Fund and Other Post Employment Benefits (OPEB). These two funds cover the town’s share of pension and health insurance costs offered to all retirees. Wilbraham also took a significant portion of its stabilization funds to reduce the amount of debt we incurred through bonding, in order to build the new senior center – a decision that Mike believes was well thought out, but nevertheless impacted these accounts. In Mike’s view, this $500,000 would have gone a long way in helping to reduce or replenish, respectively, these areas of our budget. In so doing it would have helped to reduce our future tax burden as taxpayers while making Wilbraham’s financial future stronger. uture stronger.