“Connection starves suspicion.” – Fawn Weaver
The most important part of the political process is the open and in depth dialogue between all entities. He believes that change begins with meaningful connections among people, and that simple actions can facilitate these connections between the general public and their elected and appointed officials. Listen to learn more.
Mike's Plan for Increasing Engagement
Looking to modernize the language used in our government, Mike is advocating for a change in the name of our town's Board of Selectmen to the more inclusive "Selectboard". This change would not only better reflect the diversity of our community but also serve as a symbolic step towards a more inclusive future.
In the past, "selectmen" was a term used to describe only prominent male citizens who were "selected" by town meetings to lead. As our community continues to grow and evolve, it is important to ensure that our language and terminology also evolve to represent all members of our town.
Mike believes that this change will have no negative impact on those who are currently serving on the board, but rather serve as an opportunity for those who may have previously felt excluded, or not felt seen and heard. As a community, we should strive to be inclusive and welcoming to all, and this simple name change is a step towards that goal.
Mike believes that the appointment process for various town committees should be fair, objective, and inclusive. As a member of the community, he has witnessed the current interview process and has found it to be ineffective in ensuring diverse representation on boards.
To address this issue, Mike proposes the implementation of an objective target system that would help the Board to identify potential candidates from different backgrounds and communities. The new process would enhance the interview process by asking questions that elicit meaningful responses from applicants, beyond their time commitments to the board.
Mike believes that the interview process should be a chance for the Board and the public to hear about the unique opportunities that an applicant can bring to the committee. Moreover, Mike emphasizes that the appointment process is as crucial as the interview process. It is important to deliberate each candidate's interview to ensure that they strategically meet the committee's needs.
As a member of the community, Mike believes that everyone deserves a chance to contribute their skills and knowledge to the betterment of the town. With his proposed process, he aims to promote diverse representation on boards and ensure that all voices are heard.
Mike believes that public input is a critical part of any democratic process. He understands that the community's voice should be heard and that the public should have an opportunity to weigh in on important issues. To ensure that public input is solicited, Mike supports drafting a policy that would require most votes to be taken after a second reading of an item placed on the agenda.
By providing the public with additional time to review and consider information, the Selectboard can build trust with the community and foster more robust public engagement. While public input may not be mandatory in every situation, Mike believes it should be a priority for any public body.
As a champion for transparency and community involvement, Mike is committed to ensuring that the residents of Wilbraham have a voice in their government. He will work tirelessly to promote policies that encourage public input and will continue to advocate for greater transparency and accountability at every level of government.