Vote for Mike Akillian

I’m running for re-election as an Amherst Selectman. Here’s why, and why I’d like your vote in March.

My wife, Carol, and I have lived in Amherst since 2009. In that time, besides serving twice as selectman, I’ve served on the town’s Ways & Means Committee, the Capital Improvements Planning Committee, the Superintendent of School’s planning team, and, most recently, I’ve been invited by the new SAU SP2.0 planning team to offer a selectmen’s perspective on their evolving model and plans.

I have a B.A. from Northeastern, a master’s from BU, attended the Tuck School Executive Program at Dartmouth, and have over 35 years experience in applying strategic governance, management and communications to help organizations prosper.

I’ve served on the management teams of firms specializing in decision support and analytic software, electronic publishing, and strategic communications, and have consulted with corporations, non-profits, schools, and government agencies at all levels. Some clients include: the Harvard Business School, GE, Mellon Bank, Pillsbury, Perdue Farms, Raytheon, United Asset Management, Boston College, UCLA, Joslin Diabetes Center, and the U.S. Department of Commerce. I have appeared on WBUR’s Morning Edition and WGBH’s Greater Boston discussing aspects of leadership and governance.

A decade ago, the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges adopted my refinements to traditional strategic planning as best practices for its 1,900 member organizations and 40,000 individual members. And, in 2013, in my first stint as selectman, I adapted strategic governance for Amherst town government and have led the town’s adoption of it. The results have been good:

“All town goals are now stated in terms of desired outcomes for Amherst residents.

“Since 2014, voters have passed all town budgets and almost all key warrants by a 2:1 or 3:1 margin – reflecting their support for a clear strategy and sensible related investments.

“Citizens know where things stand and seem pleased with the performance of town government.

“Of the 31 municipalities in Hillsborough County, Amherst continues to have the 8th lowest tax rate while providing strong town services. This represents an excellent value for taxpayers.

“Other town committees, commissions, and boards are also embracing strategic governance and are attracting excellent talent from across our community. The NH Municipal Association featured Amherst’s innovative approach to strategic governance in its fall 2017 edition of its flagship publication, Town and City, and had us showcase our approach at their annual conference last November.

I have a very positive working relationship with the current selectmen, town administrator, department heads, -and the press. I’d like to continue to apply strategic governance to:

“Use taxpayer dollars cautiously and wisely, while providing excellent town services,

“Maintain a high quality of life for Amherst residents, and

“Ensure that Amherst is attractive to, and affordable for, people of all ages.

For that, I’ll need your vote in March. I hope you find my platform and performance worthy of that vote.