Belf-Becker used to ‘getting things done’

Jackie Belf-Becker is a member of the Select Board. Photo by Spenser Hasak

Jackie Belf-Becker is experienced in Marblehead’s town government. She served for six years on the School Committee, including three as chair, and has been on the Select Board for 18 years, during ten of which she was chair.

She is hoping to add to her more than 20 years of experience on elected boards with a reelection to the Select Board this June.

“Having served on two elected boards, thirteen [years] as chair, I am well-versed in understanding town government, dealing with the public, and getting things done,” she said.

Like many others, Belf-Becker believes that the biggest issue currently facing Marblehead is the town budget. She believes that the town needs a balanced budget as well as a fair override, which is set to be voted on in the upcoming election. Though the town’s financial state has been faulty, she believes that it is trending in the right direction under new leadership from Town Administrator Thatcher Kezer, Finance Director Aleesha Nunley Benjamin, and Treasurer Rachel Blaisdell.

“Our financial house was not in order, but we put new management in place to fix it,” said Belf-Becker. “We have a new finance director, a new town administrator, so we’re in control going forward and we also have a new treasurer to actively manage all of our banking issues.”

When asked about transparency between town government and residents, a heavily-discussed topic in town, Belf-Becker said that it is improving, with more meetings becoming available online.

“Transparency is improving. Hybrid meetings are accessible. Additionally, there is transparency in most meetings, including the hybrid ones. We’ve transitioned to hybrid meetings to be more accessible and the website also provides much needed information as soon as its available,” she said.

Belf-Becker also said that new resources, such as software provided by budget-software company ClearGov, will make “the capital budget more transparent and user-friendly” to residents.

With the town’s overreliance on free cash, she said that the way the town was operating is not sustainable.

“We’re being open and transparent as to what and why there is a need for an override, and that’s to address the structural deficit,” Belf-Becker said. “We know there is much to be done and we’re pointed in the right direction and must stay on this path.”

With more than two decades of experience in municipal government, Belf-Becker also believes that each subdivision of the board is equally important when asked which ones need the most attention in the coming term. However, she said that keeping the town green and environmentally-friendly will be key.

“I believe that all the subdivisions appointed by the Select Board should be vetted and vital,” she said. “I think that they are all important, and I think the future of our town depends on our emphasis of sustainability, conservation, and protecting our waterfronts.”