Four people are running for two open seats on the Groton Public Library’s Board of Trustees. Incumbents Susan Hughes and John J. Kelly both declined to run for another three-year term this year.
Mark Ellis, Barbara “Bobbie” Lamont, Jacqueline Viau, and David Zeiler are running for the two vacancies. There are six trustees who serve rotating three-year terms. The members of the board who are not up for election this year are Jane R. Allen, Mark W. Gerath, Kristen Von Campe, and Nancy Wilder.
In the table of questions and facts below, only Lamont and Viau are represented. Ellis and Zeiler were the only people of all candidates running for contested offices who did not respond to several emails and phone calls from The Groton Line asking them to participate in the Candidate Questionnaire.
The Groton Line Candidate Questionnaire
|Candidate Name||Barbara Lamont (Bobbie)||Jacqueline Viau|
|Office Sought||Groton Public Library Trustee||Groton Public Library Trustee|
|Are you the incumbent office holder?||No||No|
|Candidate address||47 Peabody Street||PO Box 654 Groton - 23 StarHouse Lane|
|Phone||(978) 448-0318||(978) 448-9950|
|Web site URL||www.avalonconsultinggrp.com|
|How old are you?||51||63|
|What year did you become a Groton resident?||1997||1979|
|Academic degrees / training -- please enter one per line.||Douglass College, Rutgers University, BA, Chemistry, 1984||BA - English
Advanced Management Training
Multiple Human Resource Certifications
Other significant training and certifications as a Human Resource and Organization Development Professional and business owner.
|If you're currently employed, what is your "day job" or vocation(s)?||Groton School Science Dept, Oureach Coordinator (part time)||I am one of two owners of a management consulting business specializing in the development of people and organizations.|
|Family information -- married, divorced, number of kids, etc.||Married to Tom Lamont since 1988.|
Three sons ages 17, 20, 23.
|I have a life partner of 30 years and a 35 year old daughter.|
|Please outline your experience in the public sector or community service, including elective or appointed offices.||Current community service includes Monday Meals on Wheels Driver and Groton River Festival Committee.|
When my children were in grade school my community service focused on school improvement committee, GDEF, and Groton Cultural Council.
|I have none.|
|What personal quality do you think is your strongest asset?||Curiosity||My communication, business and leadership skills.|
|Why did you decide to run for this office?||Love of the library and because Susan Hughes asked me to.||Over the years, I've had several conversations with library staff about becoming more involved with the library. Having taken the opportunity to speak with an incumbent trustee about the role and responsibilities, I became excited about what I might bring to the Board as a trustee.
As a successful business owner of 22 +years, I understand how business and organizations work ...what success looks like and what can inhibit progress. In fact, my company's tag line is "Business People in the People Business."
I believe my years of experience in the private sector successfully consulting to Boards, CEOs and Executive leaders of companies across multiple industries would prove a unique advantage in this role. In addition, my track record as a facilitator for teams and staffs and my expertise in people development could also be very beneficial.
Last but not least, I am a customer and huge fan of the Groton library ...I use it constantly...and feel it is one of the town's greatest assets. It would be a privilege to serve as a trustee.
|What is the single most important issue facing the town and how would you address it from this office? OR What is the most important issue facing this board?||The school budget crisis is the most important issue facing the town. The library can't face that issue directly, but we can support teachers, students, parents with resources and programs. |
I also think town planning of downtown is a big issue and the library represents the best use of linkage to the rail trail, playground, and shops we have, it is a model for pedestrian and bike friendly planning.
|I believe the challenge for the library board is to help guide the new librarian's success, preserve the library's legacy of outstanding service, and work to keep the library's reputation as an invaluable town resource alive and well.|
|What other issues are important and how would you address them?||Planning for the future and investing wisely.
Like any organization, it's important that the library looks ahead to the future and remains current and relevant to the lives of Groton residents. I believe the library has been very forward thinking and made wise investment decisions to date. Maintaining that track record is an important role of the board.
|Does Town Meeting have a role in setting town policy or strategic direction, or is that solely up to the affected elected board? Can the BoS or other elected boards ignore articles and directions approved in Town Meeting?||Town meeting links our town to its democratic history and should retain its role as a place for discussion of policy and strategy.||Depends on the circumstance...I believe either and both entities can make significant contributions to the town's welfare, today and tomorrow.|
|What else would you tell Groton voters?||The library is the cultural heart of our town and has grown beautifully to accommodate new technology and new roles. I don't have any agenda for change except to continue to be responsive to keeping the library accessible and open to the needs of all.||Given the reality of budgets / funding for resources, I would tell Groton voters that we are very fortunate to have a library building and a library staff of the caliber we do, especially given some of the recent trends affecting libraries. The Town of Groton has been generous in its support of the library and as a longtime resident, I truly value and appreciate that.|