TOWNSEND -- Local Realtor Laura Shifrin is hoping to throw her hat in the race for selectman.
Shifrin pulled nomination papers last month to run for the vacancy, and said she thinks her business background and years of experience volunteering in town government make her a worthy candidate.
"During my entire career I have served in positions of leadership, and I have served in positions where decisions have to be made for the benefit of the whole," she said.
Shifrin, who moved to Townsend in 1976, owns Townsend Center Realty and has served on the Finance Committee, and has been chairman of both the Board of Assessors and the Townsend Housing Authority.
"I've always been taught not to hate, and always give back, to your community, your faith, your profession, and so my life has sort of evolved around that way of living," she said.
"Even though these are nonpaying, when you work hard and something comes to fruition, it's a great sense of accomplishment," she said.
Shifrin ran for selectman once in the 1980s, and thought the time was right for another try when former Selectman Robert Plamondon announced his resignation last fall.
She said she would see her role on the Board of Selectmen as that of an objective listener and communicator.
"In any position of leadership, there really should be no particular agenda. The whole agenda should be the benefit of everyone in the community," she said.
Shifrin said she would not come into the position with any priorities among town issues, noting instead that all issues should be given equal treatment as they come before the board. However, she did recognize public safety and the school system as being critical to the town's success.
"Helping keep us a viable school system is important for not only future generations, but also to property values in town," Shifrin said.
The town's failing infrastructure also needs to be addressed, she said.
"The older buildings are an issue as to how we're going to take care, maintain and, hopefully, give them life again so they don't sit vacant," she said.
Shifrin said her strongest asset would be her ability to listen and make decisions objectively with no preconceived notions.
"Ultimately, I feel that all options should be communicated to the citizens of Townsend in a simplified manner of black-and-white," she said. "All those consequences or outcomes should be spelled out for the townspeople."
She said she would not have a problem disagreeing with other members of the board.
"The biggest part is the commitment and willingness to do the right thing," she said.
Overall, she said she wants to bring her skill set and positive energy to the position.
"I have no interest in anything negative or something nonproductive, because that's a waste of time," Shifrin said.