The Town of Salem periodically puts out a MailChimp newsletter, called the Town Hall Times. If you are a Salem Resident, I urge you to sign up to receive this email which appears to be coming about once every 30-45 days. With no daily or weekly newspaper that covers Salem, this is a good way to keep informed about upcoming events in our community.
I was particularly impressed with the July 29th issue, where they have listed a community vision (below). As a member of Salem’s Charter Commission, I will explore to see if part of this is appropriate to be included in our Town’s Charter.
This list of core values are important for every organization, whether it is the Town of Salem or the New Hampshire House or local non-profits. In my elected Town positions as Secretary of the Charter Commission and Chair of the Zoning Board of Adjustment, these are already the values that I strive for. As the former President of Salem NH Farmers Market, I saw how important these values were, and as a new member of the Board of Directors of Salem Family Resources, I’m thrilled to see the integrity within that organization. So, you know that when elected to the NH House in November, they are also the core values that I will try to help implement there.
One part of the details particularly jumped out to me, so I’ll mention it here, too: The Town touched on the downshifting of more (financial) responsibility from the State to the Towns. As your State Rep, I will strive to keep the State from changing its financial obligations in a way that will increase local property taxes.
The following is taken directly from the July 29, 2022 issue of Town Hall Times (emphasis mine), but the whole issue is worth reading.
For our Town to be successful, we must focus on advancing toward a community vision. Our organization’s response to this vision outlines how the Town government will respond, take action, and deliver services. At the core, we have values that will guide and conduct our organization and its employees. It serves as a set of strategies, from maintaining collaborative partnerships to empowering employees. These values drive much of what we seek to do daily and how we go about doing it.
We want to focus on the core values that support our organization.
- Integrity and Honesty
- Diversity and Inclusion
- Respect for Others
- Listening and Communication
- Continuous Improvement
These values should be grounded in the work we do, the services we deliver, and how we make decisions. A few examples of how these are used: Integrity and Honesty require us to share information with the Board of Selectmen, whether it is good or bad news. These are not always pleasant conversations, but they are always necessary ones. It is incumbent upon us to be honest about where we are financially and what we have the capacity to do.
Respect for others is infused in all we do. Regardless of your job title or specific assignment, you deserve the respect of your fellow employees, supervisors, administration, and residents. Similarly, we are expected to show the same respect to those we deliver services to and interact with.
Listening and communication are so critical in our organization. Our responsibility is to provide robust engagement with our residents, neighborhood businesses, and employees. We go to great lengths to ensure our engagement uses as many platforms as practical and that we listen as much as we communicate.
Each year, it seems more responsibility is shifted to local government from the State and Federal levels, and the need for additional services on the local level emerges. Rarely are adequate resources provided to accommodate these new expectations. This reality necessitates an unwavering emphasis on efficiency with the resources we provide.
Finally, our core values require that we be accountable to one another and our community. This accountability is closely related to the other values and directly tied to measuring outcomes. We hold one another accountable via rules of conduct, policies, code of ethics, professional standards, and regular evaluations.
We are not perfect in applying these values in every situation or circumstance, but hopefully, we are perfect in our motive or intent to strive to act following them.