Better communication, financial stability among new Heath Selectboard member’s goals


  • The new Heath Selectboard includes, from left, Sue Lively, Robyn Provost-Carlson and Elissa Viarengo. STAFF PHOTO/BELLA LEVAVI

Staff Writer
Published: 5/21/2023 2:02:15 PM
Modified: 5/21/2023 2:01:58 PM

HEATH — As Elissa Viarengo moves into the Selectboard seat held for more than two decades by Brian DeVriese, she looks to bring a governing style that will “embrace different opinions and not be afraid of them.”

In the wake of decisions that have left the town divided, most recently with the layoff of Highway Department employee Mike Shattuck due to budget cuts, Viarengo said she hopes to improve communication between residents and town officials; increase transparency; and create an environment where residents feel like they are heard.

“I want to make sure information is made available to be shared throughout the community, so we can all be on the same page and have conversations together,” she said.

Moving to Heath in 2020, Viarengo is a relatively new resident of Heath. She moved there after retiring as a alternative medicine practitioner in New Jersey and followed her parents, who have lived in Heath for 32 years.

“Me and my husband kept comparing Heath to towns we were looking to move to, and it dawned on us that Heath was the perfect place,” she said.

Viarengo feels she is a neutral party, not having deep social involvement, and she hopes to represent all residents. She said she has been lucky to meet lots of people while getting to know the town better.

Before being elected to the Selectboard in an uncontested race on May 5, Viarengo served on the Board of Heath and Building Use Committee. She has also served on the staff of the Heath Herald.

She hopes she can help create a five-year financial plan for Heath to increase its financial stability as property taxes increase from year to year.

“There are many brilliant minds we can use to help the financial situation here,” she said.

Viarengo also noted her election means all three seats on the Selectboard are being filled by women, which is an exciting chapter for the town. She thinks she will be a great partner to current board members Robyn Provost-Carlson and Sue Lively.

“I am excited to work with them,” Viarengo said, “and we will see what we can do together.”

Bella Levavi can be reached at 413-930-4579 or


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