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Letter to the Editor: Chair defends Select Board after criticism

by | May 1, 2022 | Letter to Editor

I feel compelled to respond to the recent comments disparaging the Select Board. To allege Select board accountability for the resignations within town government is ludicrous. The great resignation is happening throughout all aspects of the economy, including private businesses. To blame the Select Board is misplaced as these issues have nothing to do with the work of the Board.

I’ve come to know our town manager, Norman Khumalo, and personally witnessed his devotion and dedication. I’m proud to call him my friend and I agree that he will be sorely missed if he leaves. I would wish him the best in advancing his career, If he were to advance his career by taking on a job in a larger community. For Mr. Coutinho to blame the current Select Board for career advancement, he is making arguments that have no basis in reality.

I have tremendous respect for the work the Select Board accomplished during Mr. Coutinho’s tenure, however, he was not solely responsible for the projects completed. I cannot take responsibility for the current board’s accomplishments, including collaborating with town staff on the Pledge, Principles and Actions on Systemic Racism, supporting needed capital projects to address population growth such as the Marathon School addition, and maintaining level services throughout the pandemic, to name a few. For me to take credit for the accomplishments of the town over the past four years ignores all the work others have done through collaboration with the Select Board.

Leadership is creating a vision for the future and collaboration with the professional staff and the incredible volunteer effort within the town to make it happen. Coming out of this pandemic, the Select Board has gone through great lengths determining the priorities for the town moving forward, including addressing mental health issues after isolation during the pandemic and connecting to the MWRA as a long-term solution to the town’s water needs, to name a few.

I am proud of the work that WE as a Select Board have accomplished. I am proud of the work the Select Board accomplished while John Coutinho was a member, and equally proud of the work we have accomplished since Mr. Coutinho has left. Our job is to work together as a team, through collaboration and leadership, and I am proud to be a member of this Select Board.

— Irfan Nasrullah, Hopkinton, Select Board chair

Editor’s note: The opinions and comments expressed in letters to the editor are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the Independent. Submissions should be no more than 400 words and must include the writer’s name and contact information for verification. Letters should be relevant and not primarily for the purpose of promoting an organization or event. Letters may be edited by the Independent staff for space, errors or clarification, and the Independent offers no guarantee that every letter will be published. For a schedule of deadlines for letters and other submissions for the print edition, click here.

1 Comment

  1. Darlene Hayes

    Irfan very well said. “We” not “My” is a collaborative inclusive board.
    Anyone using the self-focused term “My” when referring to a board does not reflect the joint efforts and partnerships our community needs and diminishes the efforts of others on boards, town staff and hundreds of volunteers that work together for the betterment of our community.