Selectboard race on Wendell ballot
WENDELL — Voters Monday will be presented with two options for the Selectboard, as long-time incumbent Christine Heard faces a challenge from Nancy Riebschlaeger.
There are no other races on the ballot, but there are two vacancies for which Town Clerk Gretchen Smith would like to encourage write-in candidates. These are for one partial three-year term on the Planning Board and one full five-year term on the same board.
Polls will be open from noon to 8 p.m. Monday in the town office building, 9 Morse Village Road.
Christine Heard said she enjoys her work with the Selectboard and doesn’t have an axe to grind.
Heard, of 149 Wendell Depot Road, has served on the Selectboard since 1998.
“I think I do a good job and I’d like to continue to do it,” Heard said. “It’s interesting and rewarding.”
Heard said she thinks of herself as more of a facilitator than a visionary.
“When I first was running for the board, I felt like Wendell was in a good place and I still feel like that. I don’t have a big agenda,” Heard said.
Heard said she is well organized and a good listener, enjoys working with people and her main priority is finding people to fill vacancies on other boards and committees.
Outside the Selectboard, Heard is the elementary school secretary, has past experience on the School Committee and helped organize the Neighborhood Emergency Planning Committee, which organizes neighborhood volunteers to check in on their neighbors in an emergency.
Heard said she has lived in town since 1977 and points to the new library and town office buildings as accomplishments of the Selectboard during her tenure.
Nancy Riebschlaeger said she thinks it’s time that people have an opportunity to make a choice for Selectboard member and she has been building up to the board with work on numerous others.
Riebschlaeger, of 74 Lockes Village Road, said she would like to make the Selectboard more inclusive of other town bodies and the public, suggesting more public hearings or presentations before important decisions.
Riebschlaeger said she would also like to post Selectboard agendas online and send them out via the town mailing list before meetings, and have the board read an old and a new bylaw at each meeting.
Riebschlaeger said some of the old laws are fascinating, and people tend to forget some of the new ones after they pass them.
“There are things we’re not conscious of because they have a town meeting and that’s it,” she said.
Riebschlaeger has been a town accountant in Orange and Wendell, a procurement officer in Orange, and works as a personal care attendant and is a member of the Planning Board, Energy Committee, Broadband Committee, alternate to Wired West, town representative to the regional council of governments’ Community Economic Development Strategy Committee and chairwoman of the county Economic Development District governing board.
“I guess I would say that I’ve probably been working up to running for Selectboard by getting involved in so many town committees,” she said.