SALEM — Salem selectmen last night appointed Susan Covey, a regional manager with Enterprise Bank, to fill Arthur Barnes' spot on the board until the March elections.
Covey's nomination failed twice, 2-2, before she finally was appointed by a 3-1 vote. Selectmen nominated all seven candidates, but no others were able to carry a majority.
In nominating Covey, Selectman Elizabeth Roth said Covey would bring diverse experience, especially in budgeting and finance, and forward thinking to the board.
"I was looking for new blood with a progressive approach," Roth said.
Covey served on the Budget Committee from 2006 to 2008 before resigning to care for a loved one. She was chairwoman of the committee from 2007 to 2008.
Both Roth and Chairman Michael Lyons said they thought she would serve in the tradition of Barnes. Roth also told the board she was looking for someone who would run again. Asked after the meeting if she would run, Covey said she "hadn't made that decision yet."
Covey called creating the town budget a "very intricate process" and said learning that process on the Budget Committee gave her an advantage. She said she has hired employees in her banking career, including officers, and could apply that experience to Salem's search for a town manager.
"I am not a micro-manager. I think it's very important to hire the right people and let that process take as long as it has to take to get the right person, and then let them do their job," she said.
Covey said she often interacts with people in town who visit the bank, and also with the town's business community.
She said she could be trusted with confidential information, which she handles in her career.
"I don't speak to the newspapers, I don't bring things up in casual conversation that shouldn't be," she said.