Sue Salamoff says she will not seek reelection to the Natick Select Board next year, but don’t think for a second her town involvement will end.
Salamoff next spring will wrap up the second of two consecutive 3-year terms that began 30 years after she wrapped up a 5-year stint on the Board of Selectmen in the 1980s. Only the second woman to serve on the Board, Salamoff nearly served longer the first time around, but lost a bid for reelection by just one vote on election night & 11 votes on recount).
In comments addressed to the Natick community regarding her decision not to run next year, Salamoff says:
“It’s been an amazing honor to serve on the Natick Select Board. It is my 11th year, 6 in this century and 5 from 1981-1986. I have had the unique opportunity to address multiple community challenges as well as those that affect 1 person. My first involvement with Natick’s town government began in September of 1972 when I volunteered to be the League of Women Voters of Natick’s observer at Natick Planning Board meetings. After much thought I have decided not to seek reelection to the Board in March 2022. It is time to limit my participation and give others an opportunity to serve. In or out of office, I will continue to work on improving Natick’s government, advancing equity, and being a voice for a better future.”
This grandmother and nearly 50-year Natick resident’s record of public service is long and varied, crossing over two centuries. She’s served with the Finance Committee, Personnel Board, Council on Aging, the committee to determine whether to build a community or senior center, Town Meeting, and recently, the Equity Task Force and Freedom Team. (My typing wasn’t fast enough to keep up with Salamoff’s entire list during our phone conversation…)
Says former Selectman Josh Ostroff: “Sue is always thinking about how Natick government can better serve its people.”
Supporters point to her seminal work in developing Natick’s Town Charter, which formalizes the rules of local government. Erica Ball, Natick’s first female Selectman, wrote a letter of support for Salamoff’s 2016 campaign in which she said “The Town Charter, which defines and codifies Natick’s current form of government, is a testament to Sue’s ability to make government work on behalf of its citizens. She spearheaded that effort: indeed, she wrote most of its text.”
Salamoff’s return to the Board of Selectmen (now Select Board) in 2016 was fueled by concerns such as planning for a growing older population, though also making Natick age friendly for all residents.
Her past two terms have come during a period of “a lot of challenges…a lot of unexpected challenges.” This includes everything from the emerging PFAS water situation to racial equity and sustainability issues, plus a change in town administration. Not to mention the COVID-19 pandemic that forced the Select Board to meet online instead of in person while dealing with so many serious topics.
Salamoff is pleased with progress that’s been made, including Natick’s plans to hire a chief diversity officer. On climate and sustainability, she says simply: “People are taking it more seriously now.” She says progress has also been made on issues that affect individuals, including clarity on unaccepted street repairs and water bill appeals. Salamoff spearheaded a committee that explored tax breaks for seniors, but changes there will need to wait in light of other circumstances affecting the town.
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