Tewksbury Finance Committee chair Robert Kocsmiersky, Select Board chair Todd Johnson and town moderator Dustin Weir, who together constitute the appointing authority for the Finance Committee, held a virtual meeting this afternoon. They interviewed Stephanie Klinkenberg-Ramirez, who applied to fill the open seat resulting from former member Richard Russo’s election to the School Committee in April.
Klinkenberg-Ramirez was born and raised in Lowell and has been a Tewksbury resident since 2021. She attended Harvard and majored in neurobiology, with a minor in global health and health policy. She then attended NYU School of Law and is currently an attorney with Choate, Hall & Stewart’s Wealth Management Group specializing in estate and tax planning and asset management.
Stephanie Klinkenberg-Ramirez joins the Tewksbury Finance Committee
Property and tax law are her main interests, and she sees her profession as a plus for the Committee.
“The number one thing lawyers are is risk averse,” said Klinkenberg-Ramirez, adding that she can contribute insights on prudent management of funds.
Johnson added that the ability to ask good questions and think about the ramifications of decisions are also valuable skills that attorneys bring to the Finance Committee, and he stressed the need to balance competing interests, given a finite amount of funds.
“In the public realm, often we see that people come to the table with very strong opinions,” Johnson said. “And the way that town government, local government, in my opinion is effective is if people are willing to work together and compromise.”
In looking to become more involved in the community, Klinkenberg-Ramirez also applied to join the Economic Development Committee and the Tewksbury Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Advisory Committee. She will formally rescind those applications as she was voted unanimously to fill Russo’s unexpired appointed term, which extends to 2024.
Klinkenberg-Ramirez joins Kocsmiersky, vice-chair Jason Christian, clerk Richard Levasseur and members Susan Bishop, David Aznavoorian and Thomas Cooke.
Levasseur and Cooke were also reappointed unanimously.
Johnson noted that Christian, whose term ends in 2024, is among a number of applicants seeking an open position on the Tewksbury Planning Board. It’s unclear whether Christian could hold both the Planning Board and Finance Committee seats.
The Finance Committee’s seven members are charged with working with town manager Richard Montuori to review departmental budget requests and, before every town meeting, the Committee holds a public forum to hear from residents, Montuori and others presenting articles for consideration; field questions from citizens; and vote on whether to recommend, not recommend or make no recommendation on passage.
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