As candidate for Commissioner for Reading Municipal Light Department, I’d like to introduce myself. My husband and I have lived in Reading for 18 years. We have 2 sons educated in Reading schools, which prepared them well for their college years.
A volunteer in town government and youth organizations since 1997, I’m currently active in Town Meeting and a member of Reading Finance Committee for 9 years, serving as Chair for 2 years. As a member of the Audit and Finance Committees, I have reviewed RMLD financial reports over the years. I also served as Treasurer of Cub Scout Pack 728 for 4 years and managed 6 Destination Imagination / Odyssey of the Mind teams across 9 years.
I bring strong financial and analytical skills to the role of Commissioner. Professionally, I have worked in Financial Services for 25 years, where I have managed staff of 70 in 3 locations across the country with hiring and budget responsibility. I improved efficiency with technology and process changes, creating new work capacity for existing staff. Today, I focus on process improvements and efficiencies in servicing clients. These valuable skills are transferrable to the RMLD Board, which is focused on providing ratepayers with low cost, high value service.
RMLD board members must be comfortable with complex financial concepts. They need to weigh all aspects of a situation objectively to arrive at well grounded decisions necessary for the financial health of a $90 million a year municipal utility.
I believe members of the Board have lost their focus on ratepayers, instead emphasizing personal ideology as seen in a recent Board vote to retire Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) valued at over $31M. After the January 25th meeting, I’ve become concerned that the Board appears unwilling to act upon input from ratepayers when new circumstances indicate that reconsideration is needed.
I am committed to clear and transparent processes in public organizations, demonstrated in my leadership of the Finance Committee. I work with stakeholders that hold diverse views and have a proven track record of achieving consensus. My current job requires constant assessment of current process and critical consideration of the future state to achieve optimal results for our clients.
I ask you to cast a single "button” or “bullet” vote for me on March 6th. Both my opponents are strongly committed to retiring the RECs, costing ratepayers to support an ideological concept. A single vote for me reminds RMLD Commissioners they work for you, and it is a vote putting YOU, the ratepayer first.
Marsie West, Precinct 4
Candidate for RMLD Board of Commissioners