Sunday, October 23, 2011

Deborah Bartlett answers 3 questions

One of the more interesting races in the Franklin election November 8th will be that of Deborah Pellegri and Deborah Bartlett running for Town Clerk. I spent some time with Deb Bartlett to find out how this came about. It turns out that Deb did not ‘just’ decide to run for Town Clerk. Deb has been planning to run for this office since she stepped down from her Town Council position two years ago.

FM - Tell me a bit about yourself, your family and your life here in Franklin?

DB - I moved to Boston from New York to attend to college and stayed in the area. I have volunteered extensively as my kids moved through the Franklin schools. I was part of the Kennedy PCC, then Horace Mann, and eventually Franklin High School I volunteer for the Franklin Education Foundation (FEF). I was on the building committee for both the West Central Fire Station and the Horace Mann Complex renovations. In addition, I served three terms (six years) on the Town Council and am currently on the Long Range Financial Planning Committee. (FM - This committee, you may recall, was revamped two years ago and is now comprised of all citizen representatives.)

While I was part of the Town Council, the charter changes came through for discussion and to be voted on. At that time, there was discussion that Deb Pellegri would be stepping down some time soon. I was aware of bylaw that you can’t work for the town within a year of holding an elected office. So during these past two years, I have taken several steps to prepare myself for Town Clerk. I recently completed getting certified as a notary public. I scheduled time and met with two other town clerks to review their operations. I have also met with many of the department heads to get their insights on their interaction with the Clerk’s office.

FM - What experience or background will help you to serve in this role? or What do you think makes you a good candidate to fulfill this role?

DB - Effectively I have been preparing for this role all my life. I believe there are three main areas that have prepared me to serve as Town Clerk.

1 - My professional work as an office manager in a physicians office and in information technology
2 - My various volunteer positions where I had frequent contact with the Town Clerk’s office
3 - My customer service skills

My ability to build relationships and my desire to help people will serve me well in this position.

FM - What do you see as your role’s biggest challenge and do you have any suggestions on how we can resolve it?

DB - There will be a learning curve, no doubt about it. The office staff is phenomenal so I will learn from them and there shouldn’t be any negative difference in service. I’ll spend some time observing the operations before making any changes. I think we can do better on the communications front. Two quick examples; one, the verbiage in the annual report hasn’t changed much in years and two, the announcement that candidate papers were available for the November election came out after the period had started. I want to explore what technology improvements we can make.

I am not running against Deb Pellegri (she has a wealth of experience) as much as I am running for the Town Clerk role. At some point in time, Deb will be stepping aside. I want to provide a choice to the Franklin voters. I want to bring a different view to the Town Clerk’s office. We’ll see what the voters want.

For additional info on Deborah Bartlett you can visit her campaign website

**** Note: you can find all the information for the Nov 8th Election collected here

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