Each week, the Abington News is asking the five candidates for the board of selectmen a question to help voters better understand them as candidates. Election Day is Tuesday, June 23.
This week’s question was: What would you do to foster and improve communication between the Board of Selectmen and the community? What would you do to ensure that the community stays informed and that you are accessible to residents? (And if you disagree with the premise of this question, feel free to say so.)
And here’s a link to candidate interviews conducted by Abington Community Access & Media.
(Responses are provided in the order they were received)
There has been a serious communication problem for several years at the selectmen’s office. When I was on the BOS from 2015-2018, that was one of my biggest issues with the [Town Manager]. Social media is the way a lot of people get information today and the towns people should know what is going on in their town hall. During a major power outage in 2018, the then TM and the police chief , through the town manager were sending me things to post on FaceBook and Twitter so the residents would know what was going on. I pushed for the town to create a FaceBook page which they finally did. However looking at it this morning it has not been updated since mid March. The Town Manager should be on the local radio station on the morning of Selectmen’s meetings to discuss the upcoming agenda. All other towns do this. Abington has always resisted. I will continue with my social media accounts. I have always published my personal email and cell number so that anyone that has questions can reach out to me. Selectman Jim Connolly had started “Coffee with Selectman”, which I think is a great idea and I will continue “Office Hours” if elected so that residents can meet face to face when they have issues. I will ask that the new Town Manager be pro active in reaching out to the residents. I am always open to listening to the residents to see how they would like to receive more communications.
I’ve seen an improvement in communication over the past few years. I know the coffee hours were a hit prior to COVID. They’re also much better about letting people know about upcoming meetings. I have had to reach out to them once or twice regarding residential issues and have always received a prompt response. If elected I would like to see this continue and improve on it.
Thank you once again for bringing up another great and important subject to discuss.
The town web site should be the place that the community and the Board of Selectman communicate, but in the past the web site has not been as reliable as a tax payer would hope.
As a member of the board of health we had many issues getting our meetings listed on the front page calendar. I see this had been much better. As a matter of fact, because of this question I looked at the web site and it has improved. It is my hope that this continues because we residents deserve better.
But not all residents in our town have computers or are savvy with computers. The other 3 avenues I like are as follows:
Abington Cam for planned events
Nixle for emergency issues
The Senior Informer for our folks that might not have computers