OPINION: Burlington resident supports Shari Ellis for board of selectmen
Wicked Local – Burlington Union
February 22, 2021
Burlington is fortunate to have a contested town election in April with three qualified candidates for the board of selectmen offering a diversity of experiences and unique strengths. I’ve been fortunate to serve in town government with the incumbents as well as town meeting member Shari Ellis. Each of these leaders deserve appreciation for their hours of sacrifice for little besides the satisfaction of serving Burlington.
Shari may not be known universally, but she stands out as the hardest working person I’ve served with in government. Her depth and breadth of knowledge on aspects of Burlington is expansive drawing on 25 years of town meeting experience. Shari brings a generalist perspective that includes advocacy for improved sidewalks, stronger budgeting controls in the schools and the preservation of open spaces. It wasn’t uncommon in the days of in-person interaction to walk into a committee or subcommittee meeting to find Shari participating, asking questions or doing research before a given issue makes its way through town.
A recurring theme in Burlington requires balancing the town’s growth with the livability of our neighborhoods. Shari carved an expert’s perspective on matters of residential and commercial zoning as a former member of town meeting’s land use committee and as zoning bylaw review committee chair. She championed the creation of the zoning bylaw review committee having recognized cause to strengthen and provide clarity to a series of zoning laws designed to protect the interests of the town’s various and diverse constituencies. Zoning matters come before the board of selectmen constantly. Shari will draw on experience as a solutions-oriented consensus builder while leveraging her relationships with town meeting members and the planning board.
I don’t agree with Shari on everything, but always find her demeanor to be agreeable and demonstrating a willingness to listen. She’s successful at moving opinion to a place that’s compelling and worthy of thoughtful consideration. Her professional experience includes time working locally with the LABBB cooperative learning program as well as serving as a resource coordinator for senior citizens. The role of selectmen will require a basic understanding of school finance in addition to the board’s direct oversight of the senior center.
The Burlington Board of Selectmen will be stronger with Shari and I invite you to join me in supporting Shari Ellis this April 10.
Adam Sensesi, town meeting precinct 1, Town Line Road