Rutan is only candidate for Northborough BOS


Leslie Rutan (photo/submitted)
Leslie Rutan (photo/submitted)

Northborough – Only one candidate, incumbent Leslie Rutan, is running for Board of Selectmen in the Monday, May 13 Annual Town Election. Here, in her own words, is her bio and thoughts on four issues:

I am originally from Pennsylvania, attended Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, MA, and subsequently worked for Liberty Mutual Insurance Company in MA and NH. My husband, Mark, and I have three children: Patrick is a senior at Yale University, Emily is a junior at Penn State University, and Ben is a senior at Algonquin Regional High School and will attend Dartmouth College in the fall. Our family has enjoyed living in Northborough, and being part of a wonderful community, since 1991.

What specific career or personal experience in your past do you feel prepares you for this position and why?

I have had the opportunity to take part in leadership and management positions throughout high school, college, and into my work career. As my kids entered the school system, I became involved as Co-chair of the Peaslee PTO and School Council, and Treasurer of the Melican Middle School PTO, during which time I also served on the Northborough School Committee (2000-2004) and as Past Chair. I continue to take part in several school-related subcommittees and both the Melican Middle School and Algonquin Regional High School Councils. I have been serving on the Northborough Board of Selectmen since 2004, and am the liaison to several town boards and commissions, and am Chair of, and Selectmen liaison to, the Lincoln Street School Building Committee.

What level of involvement do you think residents should play in local politics?

Whether it be attendance at Town Meeting, or involvement in the many town boards, it is integral that residents become involved in their local government. As Selectmen, we cannot be truly effective or representative without this citizen involvement and input. Many in town have taken part for several years, while others are jumping in where there are current needs – they represent many different frames of reference and life experiences, all of which are important in maintaining the town of Northborough as it has been and as it will be in the future.

In many towns, the school budget is 50 percent or more of the overall budget. What ideas do you have that will help ensure equity, so that the needs of the schools as well as the town will be met?

Many of the costs associated with both the schools and the town are fixed or state-mandated.

Though the Board of Selectmen, the Town Administrator, and the School Superintendent work together to ensure that all departmental budgets are carefully scrutinized within the framework and confines of the overall budget, some items are unavoidable. Each year, we work with our legislators to regain past levels of Chapter 70, Circuit Breaker, and Transportation funding, which can, and will, alleviate local budgeting requirements.

What US political figure, local or national, past or present, do you admire the most and why?

I always admired my own father, who was on the School Board for many years in my hometown, and served as Chair. He was passionate about the position, and was respected for his integrity and hard work. Quite honestly, in terms of political figures, and on a local level, I most admire the residents of our community who make the time to become involved, even if only for a few hours a month. All opinions, frames of reference, and walks of life are welcome! We need your time and talent, and you will not regret the opportunity to have a say in how your town operates, and in the decisions we make as a community. I cannot do my job properly without the involvement, large or small, of the residents of Northborough, in order to serve the needs of current and future generations.

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