Town Crier

TEWKSBURY — Earlier this week, the account “Pro­gressive Tewksbury” took to Twitter to call on the Town of Tewksbury to follow the lead of several surrounding towns by changing the name of the Board of Sel­ectmen to a more gender-neutral title. This change would acknowledge the pre­sence of female elected members.

In response to 18th Essex District State Represen­tative Tram Nguyen’s tweet congratulating the North Andover Select Board for their recent name change, the account expressed a desire for Tewksbury to take similar action.

“It’s past time for Tewks­bury to consider changing the Board of Selectmen to the Select Board,” their tweet read. “There are two women currently serv­ing. Women hold government leadership roles, too. Cra­zy, right?”

Currently, Jayne Wellman Miller and Anne Marie Stronach are serving on the Tewksbury Board of Sel­ectmen. Both were elec­ted in 2019, with this being Wellman’s first term in the position. Stronach currently serves as the board’s clerk.

In January 2020, the Mas­sachusetts Selectmen’s As­sociation also opted for a name change, now going by the Massachusetts Sel­ect Board Association. In a news release from the Mas­sachusetts Municipal Asso­ciation, it was stated that the decision to change the name was done in an effort to promote equality and in­clusivity among those serving and considering running for election. The re­lease read:

“The association’s Execu­tive Board proposed the change in order to align with a trend among cities and towns to adopt gender-neutral terms for local government bodies in an effort to promote inclusivity and equality.”

At the time of the re­lease, 85 towns in Massachu­setts had opted to adopt “select board” as the title of their elected policy board. Since then, more towns across the state have adopted the change.

Aside from North Ando­ver, Chelmsford and Ando­ver are among other surrounding towns that have undergone a name change within the past two years.

Thus far, there has been no comment on behalf of the Board of Selectmen regarding a potential name change.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.