Forlenza and Finger elected to Lincoln’s first 5 member selectboard
LINCOLN — Lincoln’s selectboard has officially expanded from three members to five. Bill Finger and Paul Forlenza were elected to the board in a special election last Tuesday, May 14, joining incumbents Barb Rainville, Elwin Isham and Oakley Smith.
Forlenza garnered 169 votes and Finger received 189. The two bested opponents Joe Martell and Jim Adams, who received 30 and 22 votes, respectively.
The May 14 vote followed a special town meeting in Burnham Hall on May 7, when around 200 voters affirmed a petition to move ahead with the selectboard expansion this year instead of waiting until town meeting next March. They also rejected a counter-petition that would have rescinded the town’s action on Town Meeting Day this past March to expand the selectboard.
“We had a very exciting first meeting last night and it was very clear that each of us brings a different set of skills to the table,” Forlenza said in a Thursday interview.
Forlenza has been chair of the Addison County Democrats for seven years and has been active in Montpelier as a lobbyistadvocating for health care reforms such as universal care and improved health technologies. Prior to entering politics, Forlenza worked at IBM for 15 years, where he served as the technology giant’s director of government relations in Latin America.
Forlenza says his fellow Lincoln residents inspired him to run for local office.
“I was thinking about it, I was serious about it, but talking to them really encouraged me to do so,” Forlenza said.
As a selectman, he hopes to find additional ways to maximize the value of the town’s many assets, including the Lincoln Community School, the Lincoln Library, Burnham Hall and the Weathervane Senior Center.
Bill Finger retired last August after a career in town administration. Most recently he spent 11 years as town manager in Middlebury. Before Middlebury hired Finger in 2000, he served as town manager in other Vermont towns, including Shelburne.
“I am particularly happy that Bill Finger was also elected,” Forlenza said.
Finger told the Independent that fiscal responsibility and good governance were his only goals in office.
“At a time when the selectboard was expanding, it’s good to get it off to a good start,” said Finger, a longtime Lincoln resident. “I thought it would be helpful with my experience to help facilitate that process.”
Forlenza praised Rainville, Isham and Smith for laying a solid foundation for the expanded board to build upon.
“Bill and I are looking forward to working with them,” Forlenza said. “They’ve been working so hard, but I think even they will admit it’s been hard with only three members.”
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