Moses Grader aims to ‘ensure the continuity’

Photo by Moses Grader

Moses Grader has had a presence in town for more than three decades. While Grader himself is not a lifelong resident, he said generations of his family have lived in town.

He has experience in finance as the co-founder of Marblehead’s Little Harbor Advisors, LLC, where he is the chief risk and product development officer. In addition, Grader is a nine-year veteran of the town’s finance committee, and for the last six he was the committee’s chair.

As for the Select Board, Grader has served five years thus far, and was voted as the board’s chair last year.

At the League of Women Voters’ Candidates Night, he laid out his goals for the coming year if reelected on June 20.

“I am running for reelection to ensure the continuity that the town administrator and finance director hired this fiscal year will continue to be successful and enjoy rewarding leadership roles under a proactive, thoughtful, cooperative, and encouraging Select Board,” Grader said.

Grader believes he and his fellow board members are finally ready to implement a software that will deliver more financial transparency with the help of the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA).

“It is a cloud-based technology that has come along recently that is very powerful in its capacity to radically expand context analysis for better communication with the taxpayer,” explained Grader.

Other goals of Grader’s include maintaining focus and urgency on expanding the town’s resource-management capabilities, and focusing on each board member’s areas of interest and personal strengths.

When it comes to the polarizing $2.5 million dollar override, Grader put an emphasis on communicating to Marbleheaders what it means and why he felt it was necessary to support it.

“I voted for the override… Ultimately we have been anticipating a potential override for the last few years,” Grader acknowledged. “The definition of a structural deficit was carefully thought through so that people could understand when it occurs.”

Grader endorsed a more proactive multi-year approach to put an end to the structural deficit. He also wants to gradually lessen free-cash spending to a point where Marblehead is not overly-reliant on it.

Communication between citizens and the town’s government was already a component of some of Grader’s goals for the coming term, however he lent his thoughts on citizens’ petitions and general meeting accessibility.

“It really gladdens my heart when we have citizen’s petitions… because it’s the one way the people of Marblehead who we represent get to communicate over the heads of their elected officials,” Grader said.

Grader believes petitions about things like open meeting access, and policies and procedures come down to a “thirst for understanding”.

“A lot of people use the word transparency to mean understanding. We’re very transparent. All you have to do is go to every single meeting… but we know that that’s not practical,” said Grader.

He feels the GFOA process will assist in providing more understanding of why decisions are made in Marblehead from a financial and strategic perspective.

Moses Grader is hoping the Select Board’s continuity will be preserved with his reelection on June 20.