A letter from Jo-Ann Berry, Acton Town Moderator.
As Acton Town Moderator, it is my responsibility to appoint the members of Acton’s Finance Committee. At this time, there is an opening for an Associate Member of the committee. One goal of my outreach is to broaden the diversity of voices and representation on the committee.
The FinCom consists of nine voting members and two associate members who participate in all meetings and contribute to decisions, but who do not vote when the committee takes votes. Associate members learn the “ins and outs” of town finance and how the committee fulfills its responsibilities, while also contributing their own perspectives to the deliberations. When a voting member leaves, the more-senior associate member moves into that position.
According to the Town’s bylaws, the Finance Committee is responsible for “the review of and recommendations concerning the budget for the annual meeting, the review of and recommendations concerning any other matter of a financial nature arising at the annual town meeting or at any special meeting, and the preparation of long range fiscal plans for the town.”
In filling this position, I am looking for someone who will bring their experiences and skills to the committee and broaden the committee’s perspective. An associate FinCom member, ideally, has at least some of the following skills/abilities:
- to think both critically and flexibly, and to ask questions that contribute to the quality of FinCom evaluations
- to work as a member of a team and to “disagree without being disagreeable”
- to be literate (or at least conversant) in budgeting principles, finance, and/or economics, whether through professional background or general experience and interest
- to understand how spreadsheets work
In addition, it is essential that any member of the FinCom be prepared to contribute actively to, and accept a fair share of responsibility for, the committee’s workload.
Finance Committee meetings are open to the public and are currently conducted on Zoom and available for viewing at ActonTV’s website or its YouTube channel.
I hope that there will be interest among your organization’s members and/or network in this Associate Member position on Acton’s Finance Committee. Please invite anyone who wants to learn more to contact me at JoannBerry@acton-ma.gov. Thank you!
To learn more about the many other opportunities to serve, the Volunteer Coordinating Committee is a good place to start.