In her quest to earn a third term as a selectman, Mary Steele hopes to continue the work she began in her first two terms. Steele has enjoyed her role as a selectman, helping to shape the direction the town is heading in.
“In my first term, I was absolutely brand new in politics,” Steele said. “I learned how things operate and learned the responsibilities of being a selectman. I’ve been more effective getting involved with what’s going on in town.
“I want to affect decisions that affect townspeople.”
Steele’s interest in becoming a selectman was fueled by a desire to have a hand in decisions that impact the school system. She has three children attending Norton schools and has lived in Norton for 11 years.
“I was initially attracted to being a selectman because I wanted fair representation for the schools,” she said. “As time has gone by, I learned so much more. I’ve seen what town government does beyond the school system. It’s nice to know that some decisions I make are in the best interest of the town I live in.”
Professionally, Steele owns a freight forwarding company, which was launched earlier this year. She has been in the freight industry for the last 15 years.
“Each of the selectmen have a background in the business sector,” Steele said. “As a board, we have a good rapport with each other. We allow each other to express our opinions. We have respect for each other.”
One of the more pressing issues the board of selectmen recently faced was hiring a town manager. Michael Yunits was hired and will start the job in March. Steele thinks he’ll be a “great fit.”
Steele also spends time on the Industrial Development Committee, which she says is being brought back to life to secure more industry in the town.
Steele is recruiting her children to help out with her campaign for a third term by holding signs come election time in April.
“My family is very supportive,” she said. “I think my kids like me being a selectman. They are learning that you should be an active member of the community. I like the lessons I’m giving the kids about giving back to the community.”
Steele enjoys living in Norton and its small town feel.
“I like Norton because it’s a small town,” she said. “I like the fact that if I’m at the post office or riding a bike down the street, I know people. I like how the community comes together to help people. People respect each other. It’s a nice, quiet place to raise my children.”