Salem selectmen choose leaders, but board divided
Pat Hargreaves was elected the board’s new chairman by a 3-1 vote with one abstention. Everett McBride, who was chairman, will now be vice chairman and Stephen Campbell will remain the board’s secretary.
Selectman Michael Lyons voted against the slate of officers while James Keller abstained, but not before for first speaking for several minutes about how he was disappointed in the leadership selection process.
“It’s difficult to even have an attempt to instill a new approach when you are not given an opportunity to do that,” said Keller. “Apparently, based on the nomination of the slate, there is no desire to see a new approach or even a sharing of responsibility.”
“I have constituents, as we all do, and they want their voices heard and they want a chance at leadership,” said Keller. “I advocate this for everyone, not just me, whether it is Stephen or whether it is Michael. At some point, I’m probably going to seek a modification of our bylaws to potentially codify this.”
Lyons said he would not support the slate of officers in part because he did not believe it would do enough to solidify and protect the town manager’s position.
“I had one request, I wanted you to protect the town manager so he would not be bogged down by one selectman,” said Lyons. And while he said Hargreaves did a good job of staying on top of that, Lyons said he does not believe that has happened over the past year, noting that Town Manager Keith Hickey has applied for and is a finalist for the town manager position in Dracut, Mass.
As for his new term as chairman, Hargreaves said he will work to keep it as organized and fair as he did two years firstname.lastname@example.org
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