‘I believe the citizens of Northfield deserve a choice’


Recorder Staff
Published: 4/24/2018 9:46:21 PM

NORTHFIELD — Robert Leighton says that as a selectman, he would preserve the values that he thinks have made Northfield livable in the past: high-quality schools, economic development and conservative government spending.

“My objective in being elected to the Selectboard is to continue to serve our town at the highest level,” Leighton wrote in an email on March 16 to announce his candidacy. “I have invested my life serving our community. The current Selectboard has worked hard to keep our town running professionally and efficiently while keeping the small-town feeling that we enjoy. As a selectman, I will continue this initiative.”

Leighton has worked for the Northfield Police Department since 1987, moving through the ranks until reaching his current position as police chief in 2013.

“It has shown me the importance of community and sacrifice, but most importantly I’ve learned that making the right choice is not always the popular decision,” Leighton said.

The relevant experiences from working at the Police Department that Leighton cites are producing a budget, managing employees, coordinating effective department policies and following proper protocol in purchasing equipment.

Leighton decided to run for Selectboard after seeing that only one candidate had been nominated at the caucus in March. He collected 23 signatures of people who endorsed his candidacy, and was added to the ballot the next day.

“I decided it was my time to file nomination papers to run for Selectboard, in part because I believe the citizens of Northfield deserve a choice,” Leighton said. “I have lived in town and paid taxes as a homeowner for 31 years. My son has attended Northfield schools. I care deeply about Northfield. I believe I could serve the town very well as a member of the Selectboard.”

Leighton said that before deciding to run for Selectboard, he consulted the State Ethics Commission.

“I was assured that there is no reason that I cannot serve the town as police chief and Selectboard member,” he said. “All municipal employees and elected officials must adhere to the conflict of interest laws. … I have been aware of conflict of interest laws during my years of service as a town employee, and would have no difficulty adhering to these laws in the future.”

Leighton said that the schools and children are “a priority,” adding that the quality of the children’s education is built on the talent and dedication of the teachers.

“If we do not make sure that (the children) receive a quality education in a safe and supportive environment, then we have failed our future,” he said.

Leighton also emphasized the importance of creating jobs in Northfield and maintaining conservative government spending practices.

“We cannot tie our future to waiting only on campus development, assuming that someone else is going to solve our problems.” he said. “Our property values depend on keeping Northfield attractive to families, a draw for business, and affordable for our seniors. Listening is an important quality for a selectman; acting to improve our circumstances as a town is vital for our future.”

“Schools. Economic development. Affordability,” Leighton said. “That is why I am a candidate for selectman.”


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