(Editor's note: The candidates running for office in the 2011 Tewksury Municipal Election have been invited to submit candidate statements to be published by Tewksbury Patch. When possible, statements from candidates running for the same office will be published at the same time to assure fairness.)
My name is Denise Graffeo and I’m running for Tewksbury Town Clerk. My commitment to the town of Tewksbury began twelve years ago when I made this town my home. A native of Woburn, I grew up realizing the benefits of hard work and what it means to “always give your best effort.”
From an early age, my parents instilled in me a strong work ethic by demonstrating the qualities necessary to be successful in life. These character traits continue to serve me well and influence my life today. After graduating from Woburn High School, I attended the University of Massachusetts, Amherst graduating Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education.
While studying at UMass, I met my husband, Dean Graffeo, a native of Tewksbury. We are fortunate to be blessed with three children; Courtney (15), Stephanie (11), and Derek (10). We decided to settle in Tewksbury because we believe it is a great community to raise a family. Our children all attend Tewksbury Public Schools and we are very active in the community. By participating in a variety of school, sports and town activities, we’ve had the privilege of developing many lifelong friendships.
My Private Sector Experience:
When we first moved to Tewksbury, I took on the role of Executive Director of Tewksbury Knowledge Beginnings, where I had the responsibility of supervising all of the daily operations, development and construction of this brand-new, state-of-the-art, child-care facility and primary school serving an enrollment capacity of 235 children. At Knowledge Beginnings, I was successful in providing the leadership necessary to create a positive learning environment and deliver quality programming to our families. My education, along with my professional experience managing budgets, staffing, marketing and operations in the private sector, has prepared me for the current challenges facing the Tewksbury Town Clerk’s Office.
My Town Clerk Experience:
In my five years of experience in the Town Clerk’s Office, the last three as the Assistant Town Clerk, I have had the opportunity to gain the knowledge and experience necessary to make me uniquely qualified to step into the role of your Town Clerk. All Town departments and residents are being asked to do more with less. I realize the importance of working as a team and making fiscally responsible decisions. The Town Clerk’s budget is almost $200,000 and, if elected, I will ensure that we leverage our resources, time and capabilities of our team to maximize the impact of that budget for the residents of Tewksbury.
A few of my goals as Town Clerk would be to:
- Investigate the availability of new technologies to increase the efficiency of our daily operations such as on-line requests and payments for birth, marriage and death certificates.
- Utilize our Municipal Website in a more effective manner to ensure that we are continuing to document and share information with the residents of Tewksbury.
- Streamline the Business Certificate process.
- Provide training and support to current Boards and Committees to facilitate the flow of information back and forth between Town Departments.
- Gather input from residents, department leaders, and the Town Manager to develop a system where all residents can vote in a timely manner.
My background in education, leadership experience in the private sector, and current experience in the Tewksbury Town Clerk’s Office uniquely qualifies me to step into the role to meet and exceed the expectations that our residents have of the Town Clerk’s Office. I really appreciate you taking the time to review my background and am asking for your vote on April 2nd.
Thank you so much for your attention and I look forward to working with you as our next Town Clerk.