|By G. Michael Dobbs|
CHICOPEE – Marie Laflamme said there is more to the treasurer’s job than just the ability to manage the city’s money.
She explained to Reminder Publications the treasurer must be “a trustworthy person” who has both the technical knowledge required by the position as well as the ability to be compassionate.
“You’re dealing with tax titles when people are at their lowest,” she added. “It’s more than just numbers.
This is Laflamme’s first run for public office. If elected, she would succeed her father Ernest Laflamme Jr. Her brother Frank is a city councilor.
She is the owner of Centennial Insurance Company for the past 19 years and also has experience in real estate and construction. She has been very active in the Chicopee Chamber of Commerce as a board member and chair of the board, among other charitable and civic activities.
She added she learned from her father the importance of public service.
With the father retiring after decades of service, Laflamme said, “I looked at my background and thought it was a great fit [for the job].”
Speaking of her father and his reputation, Laflamme said, “His shoes are too big to fill. I want to make my own footprint.”
Although she not a not a certified public accountant like her opponent John Peret, Laflamme said her education in financial administration “is a better fit.”
She said, “it’s not an auditing job, it more an administration job.”
As part of her volunteer work she has overseen budgets for Sunshine Village. “It’s all familiar,” she added.
She said, “Things are going really well in Chicopee, and [if elected] I would definitely continue what’s happening now.”
Laflamme said that she would like to add the convenience of the treasurer’s office accepting debit and credit cards and would look for ways to create greater efficiencies, such as moving to a paperless system and paying vendors on line.
One advantage she said is her knowledge of the department heads in city government.
If elected she would not run her insurance agency. She said she would either hire a manager or sell the business.
“The treasurer is too big a job,” Laflamme explained.
One advantage she has is her knowledge of the department heads in city government.
Laflamme can be located at www.facebook.com/ElectMarieLaflamme.
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