Please provide a brief biographical background on yourself. What should voters know about you?
I have been serving the Northborough community for over three decades. I have had the honor to serve on the Personnel Board for six years and the Board of Selectmen for ten years. Since being elected Town Moderator in 2003, I have held leadership positions with the Massachusetts Moderators Association, the most recent was president of that association.
I am the Founder and Principal of GeoSimms Consulting, a boutique practice that works collaboratively with organization leadership teams to optimize their human capital. My career has focused on leadership positions at the corporate level in Human Resources, Operations Management and Finance Management.
My education includes a Bachelors degree in Political Science and a Masters degree in Education both from Alfred University (Alfred, NY). I was appointed to the Alfred University Board of Trustees in 2005 and continue to serve on multiple Board committees.
I am married to Virginia Simms George and we have a grown son, Frederick George, III, who attended Northborough schools.
Why are you running?
I am running for re-election to continue the process that is near to my heart. It is important to me that we honor the tradition of the Town Meeting, one of the purest forms of democracy. My record of being moderator includes being inclusive while welcoming those new to the process of Town Meeting. My style allows for a cadence that ensures all attendees of the meeting understand the presentations and discussions of each article.
Discuss the balance of allowing all voices be heard at Town Meeting and the practicality of running an efficient meeting.
There is a balance of allowing all voices to be heard while running an efficient meeting. This is key when I am running a meeting. It is important that I realize when comments are becoming redundant and it is time to move forward to complete the actions of each motion. Active listening skills really come into play when there is heated debate or a complex matter.
What skills do you bring to the role of Town Moderator?
I bring the following skills to the role of Town Moderator:
Experience – I have served as Town Moderator since 2003. Served on the Board of Selectmen for ten years and a member of the Personnel Board for six years. I understand the Town Meeting process and I have a style that encourages participation.
Knowledge – In addition to my efforts as Town Moderator, I have served as an officer of the Massachusetts Moderators Association (MMA) (vice president and president).
Integrity – The town meeting is one of the purest forms of democracy. As Moderator, it is my responsibility to ensure that the town meeting process is a fair and equitable process for all participants. The Moderator also makes appointments to various boards and committees. It is important that the appointees are able to reflect the views of the entire community.
How can a Town Meeting attendee benefit from an effective moderator?
With an effective moderator, the town meeting attendees can benefit from a meeting with a clear cadence and clear communication that minimizes confusion or misunderstanding. The goal of the moderator is to make sure meeting attendees understand each article as it is presented and the presentations are clear and concise.
If the meeting is clear to the attendees, they will be more likely to participate and return for future meetings.