I want to take the time to wish all of you a happy holiday season. I have been your town administrator since October and this report, and the ones that follow, will allow me to update residents on town issues and upcoming events.

Let me start by stating that I have been very welcomed by the community. The people here are kind, gracious and eager to educate me on the history of Shirley. I have been received well by the employees in town, and I can say that their dedication and efforts are to be applauded. I have met with many boards/committees informing them of my goals and objectives. You should be proud of the many residents that serve on these boards/committees, for without them the town would lose great insight and wisdom. I have seen many hours and a lot of hard work from this group of dedicated volunteers.

In regards to town business, we had a Town Meeting on Nov. 18 and two articles were passed. These articles were to raise and appropriate money to the town's stabilization funds, which will build up our reserves, making the town stable. The Board of Selectmen has begun to meet annually to discuss their goals and objectives for the upcoming year. Setting agreed upon goals assists the selectmen in moving forward.

In regards to personnel, I have met with the Personnel Board numerous times and the personnel policy manual will be adopted by the Board of Selectmen. It is a good manual and the work done prior to my arrival is evident. It will serve the employees of Shirley well.

As we look toward Annual Town Meeting and the fiscal '15 budgeting process, I have set the goal to bring a unified departmental budget to Town Meeting in the spring. Residents need to be able to trust that all town departments agree on how the town functions, and more importantly where it spends its money. Pitting one department against the other helps no one, especially residents, which is why a unified budget is crucial for fiscal '15. Discussion and disagreement is healthy, but, at the end of the day, the budget put forward to Town Meeting should be unified.

I look forward to the coming year and working with all of you in one fashion or another. There is a lot of work to do but together it is possible.

Patrice Garvin

Shirley Town Administrator

(from Shirley website)