A candidate has stepped forward to fill Jim Healy’s seat on the Board of Selectmen after Healy officially resigned from the position last week.
Michael Greis, a current member of the Needham Public Schools School Committee and a Town Meeting member, announced Monday he plans to run in the April 10 election to fill the remaining two years of Healy’s term.
“The work I have done in the community has given me confidence that I can contribute on the Board of Selectmen, but the extensive interaction I have had with the board and its members makes clear the depth of commitment required to serve,” Greis wrote in a letter announcing his candidacy.
Greis is in the first year of his third three-year term on the School Committee (serving a total of seven years) and has also been involved on other boards and groups in town over the years. A Town Meeting member for 15 years, Greis also serves as chairman of the Green Needham Collaborative, is a member of the Needham Channel Board of Directors, the Cable Television Advisory Board and the Needham Heights Neighborhood Association and was involved with efforts to restore Needham’s Town Hall.
Greis said his knowledge of the town and the breadth of his work in Needham make him a strong candidate for the position of selectmen.
“I have been interested in and worked in a lot of the parts of the town,” he said. “I have always talked about the fact that we are only as successful as a town so far as the whole town succeeds.”
Greis said that several people have suggested over the years that he run for selectman and that he felt the timing was right with Healy’s recent resignation.
“I love the School Committee and certainly could happily stay there if I don’t end up being chosen for the Board of Selectmen,” he said. “But it seemed like an opportune time with someone stepping down and vacating a seat, because, by and large, I feel like the selectmen have done a fine job.”
Greis said both the School Committee and the Board of Selectmen are charged with working together toward making Needham the best they can and that, if elected, he hoped to “bring the same collaborative spirit” he has enjoyed as a member of the School Committee to the Board of Selectmen.
Below is Greis’ complete letter announcing his candidacy:
I am announcing my candidacy for the vacant two-year seat on the Board of Selectmen. I have been pleased to serve our town of Needham in a number of ways over the last 15 years—as a Town Meeting Member, on appointed boards and committees, and with volunteer organizations. I have been a member of the School Committee since 2005.
The work I have done in the community has given me confidence that I can contribute on the Board of Selectmen, but the extensive interaction I have had with the board and its members makes clear the depth of commitment required to serve. While much focus has appropriately been upon the deplorable incidents that precipitated Mr. Healy's decision to step down, we should not forget the debt we owe to his willingness to devote so much time and energy to the town we all love. While we differed in approach and on some issues, I deeply appreciate his service.
I want to bring the same collaborative spirit to the Board of Selectmen that has characterized our work on the School Committee and the work I have done with other organizations. I have and will continue to focus on developing, communicating and executing financial plans that ensure the long-term sustainability of our community. Our community's foresight in building a responsible strategic plan for its facilities and our constancy of commitment in executing that plan have literally built us a solid foundation for the future. I would like to take a similar approach to planning the services Needham will provide our citizens as we prepare for a competitive future.
Please reach out to me with your thoughts and questions at email@example.com or by phone at 781-559-4623. I hope to earn your support on April 10 to serve Needham as a member of the Board of Selectmen.