Dear Town Meeting Colleagues,
We are disappointed to report that the Town's Chief Equity Officer has resigned, and her last day is July 20th. She made this announcement at last Monday's July 11, 2022 Select Board meeting, at the end of her report to the Board (see https://tinyurl.com/CEOreportJul2022, roughly minutes 15-42). We appreciate all that she has accomplished to date in working with staff and community.
We were pleased that the Town created the Chief Equity Offer (CEO) position after significant community advocacy, which included among many other factors, the unanimous passage of STM 2020-2 Article 8, “Systemic Racism,” and subsequent passage of a full-inclusion resolution and revisions to the zoning bylaws. There is community support for this position and continuing the work.
We hope that the process to replace the CEO will involve community and staff input to build on successes as well as address any challenges. We recommend the process revisit the job description and reporting structure, including full membership on the Senior Management Team. We should now have enough experience to gauge whether the demands on and expectations of this position, along with the resources provided to it, were appropriate and reasonable.
In addition to developing strategies and recommending policies, a Chief Equity Officer can play a key role in carrying out plans, surfacing issues, ensuring celebration of community, and helping us maintain accountability to each other.
It is not easy to work in local government, and it is not easy to make community change. In our opinion, we need to nurture a culture where we more commonly engage in difficult conversations, and have them yield surprisingly satisfying results involving action and accountability. We also need to incorporate lessons learned, hire a new Chief Equity Officer, and set them and our community up for the future.
Members of STM 2020-2 Article 8 Team
Jodia Finnagan TMM Pct 6
Tanya Gisolf-Mcready TMM Pct 1
Pam Hoffman TMM Pct 7
Vineeta Kumar TMM Pct 9
Deborah Strod TMM Pct 6
(only listing members we were able to reach prior to sending)