Hamilton seats first committee with female majority

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The 2013 reorganization of the Township of Hamilton Committee was quite a momentous occasion. We formally welcomed our newest committee members, Rodney Guishard and Judy Link. I appreciated their support, along with former Mayor Roger Silva and Committeewoman Aline Dix, to again be selected to serve as chairwoman and mayor in 2013.

Roger, elected deputy mayor that evening, has done a tremendous job, and I can only hope to keep the strong tradition of solid leadership in that chair. I’m particularly proud to be at the helm of a community who continues to be the one leading the pack on many issues.

On Thursday, Jan. 3 the Senate made history with a record number of women sworn in – about one-fifth – and Congress reached an all-time high with 78 females. At our reorganization on Monday, Jan. 7, the Township Committee not only took the dais as a first-time-ever female majority, but with our first-ever elected African American. We now sit as the most diverse committee in our 200-year history!

I’m honored to have been a part of the team in 2012. It was a year of recovery – recovery from hard decisions made to bring expenses in line with revenues, and recovery from personal strife as result of the June derecho and Superstorm Sandy. As a result of these events, we saw an outpouring of generosity, community and volunteerism.

The budget continues to be our highest priority for 2013. This committee has to have the willpower to maintain this fiscally responsible budget, a budget that has allowed us to pay down millions in debt, keep taxes stable, afford our employees and invest in township infrastructure like rescue apparatus, roads and drainage basins.

It is also important for this committee to keep being a driving force behind drainage basin maintenance and corrective actions in 2013. This lone task will mean future cost savings and will offer peace of mind in our neighborhoods.
Just as vital is our focus on neighborhood integrity through code enforcement and celebration of our community spirit as we honor our 200th anniversary as an incorporated township. We need to continue to leverage public and private partnerships, volunteers and efficient use of available resources.
Finally, through our appointments to our boards and commissions, we continue to strive toward diversity of thought and to build a "bench" of experience among our dedicated volunteers. One notable appointment was that of our new emergency management coordinator. I'm confident that Capt. Mike Petuskey of our police department will serve us well if we are to face a time of crisis in 2013 and will ensure a smooth transition with our former coordinator Bob Mattle.

I look forward to continuing the momentum this committee has created to accomplish positive outcomes for our citizens through teamwork among the five of us. 

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