This is the last in a series of articles profiling the for North Reading .
Maureen Harty-Vacca is a registered lobbyist and works with state legislators daily.
"I do research and educate legislators and committees who can't possibly do all the in-depth research on every piece of legislation filed. I have many contacts at the State House and enjoy the opportunity to help develop public policy and set budgetary priorities," Harty-Vacca said.
She was on the North Reading School Committee for 15 years and on the Finance Committee for five, three of which she served as chairman. While on the School Committee, she was on several subcommittees, including contract negotiations, finance planning committee and the athletic subcommittee. She was also chairman of the Elementary School Building Committee during the Project, which was completed on-time and on-budget, she stated.
"Recently, I was awarded a Lifetime membership with the Massachusetts School Committee Association. I continue to work with the association lobbying on school issues both on the state and national levels," Harty-Vacca said.
During her spare time for the last two years she worked with former Superintendent Dr. Troughton and Town Moderator John Murphy to form a nonprofit organization, the North Reading Education Foundation.
She decided to run for the Board of Selectmen because she truly enjoys serving her town, she said.
"The biggest challenge in the foreseeable future is to find ways to preserve services for all residents, without raising taxes. The voters approved a new high school/middle school project which is admirable, but many families will experience financial hardship in order to pay the additional taxes," she said.
"The financing is spread out over 25 years, and we must minimize the tax burden to residents during those years. This will not be easy, but it can be done with strong leadership."
If elected, she plans to work with board and committee members on the town's budget priorities, invest time in the water capital plan and stimulate economic growth in town.
She believes she would be a good fit for the board because she is an effective team player, can make tough decisions under pressure, possesses leadership skills and extensive knowledge of town finances, and has successfully bargained union contracts, she said.
"If elected, I will serve in an open and constructive way. I will respect everyone's opinion whether I agree or not," Harty-Vacca said.
She hopes that residents will remember her years of service and the positive role she played as a leader in the community when it is time to vote, she told Patch.