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.

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