State representative Denise Garlick is planning a community report this evening at the Needham Town Hall to talk with residents and answer their questions about issues facing Needham and the state.
“I hold myself very responsible to the people that I represent,” said Garlick. “I feel like they asked me to go do a job, I’ve worked really hard at this job for a year, and I want to report back to them on how things are going.”
Tonight’s event will start with a half hour reception where Garlick will mingle with residents. She’ll then give a half-hour report on health care, education, and the state budget. Afterwards, she’ll open the floor to questions.
Garlick said that one important topic she hopes to cover is how the state budget is constructed.
It’s important for Needham residents to know not just what decisions are being made, she said, but how they are made.
Garlick determines her budget priorities, she said, by meeting with town mangers, school superintendents, police chiefs, fire chiefs, and other officials from the three towns she represents, which include Medfield and Dover. She listens to community input about what services residents feel are important.
She is currently working on next year’s budget.
“I want to hear what the residents see as their present concerns,” she said. “We want them to know what the process is, what I use to inform my ability to be effective.”
Garlick also said she plans to explain how residents can access constituent services that her office provides.
Garlick, who has lived in Needham for the last 25 years, is in her first term as a state representative. She was elected in 2010, and is a member of the Health Care Finance, Education and Public Health committees.
She has also served as the Vice-Chair of the Needham Board of Selectmen, and as the Chair of the Needham Board of Health.
Tonight’s meeting is the first of three that Garlick is holding in her district. She’s planning a report in Dover tomorrow night, and a report in Medfield on Wednesday.
“The reason I think it’s important for people to know this is because I am working on their behalf,” she said. “I want them to know how this work is done and why this work is done, and how they can access my help in the issues and concerns that matter to them. Whether it’s children, families, seniors, or veterans. This all belongs to them.”
Tonight’s meeting will start at 7 p.m. and run until about 8:30.