My Work on the Select Board

Joining the Select Board at a critical time

I joined the Select Board on September 1, 2020 during one of the most challenging and consequential periods for local government. The difficulties posed by the COVID 19 pandemic, both fiscally and operationally have been significant. I quickly formed relationships with staff and fellow Board members to participate fully in thoughtful and expedient decision making.  I have been directly involved in the following significant initiatives:

  • Allocation of Municipal CARES Act relief funds

  • Preparation of the COVID 19 Town Wide Financial Plan update

  • Initial capital and operating budget guidelines and preparations for an inter-board meeting

  • Detailed review of Select Board operating and capital budgets

  • Review and endorsement of the School Building Committee's recommended option for the MSBA elementary school building project at the Hardy Elementary site

  • Preparing the Warrant for Special Town Meeting

  • Finalization of collective bargaining agreements with several unions including Police, DPW and FMD

  • Town Hall interior renovation feasibility plan reviews

  • Preparation for the December 1st Middle School Building Systems debt exclusion vote

Sustainable Mobility

 

As the Select Board's representative on the Mobility Committee I have represented Wellesley as follows:

MBTA Advisory Board representative for Wellesley

  • Advocating for continued Commuter Rail service and Mass Pike capacity during the Allston-I90 multimodal project​

  • Advocating for greater public outreach and more responsive rebuilding of service by the MBTA as part of their "Forging Ahead" plan

  • Asked by the acting director of the MBTA Advisory Board to join their Budgetary Committee

MWRTA Advisory Board representative for Wellesley

  • Working with the MWRTA on a "micro transit" pilot for local trip ride share as an alternative to fixed route local bus service

Sustainable Mobility Visioning Plan

  • Worked with the Mobility Committee to issue a Request For Proposal to create a Sustainable Mobility Plan (SMP) for Wellesley to address and enhance the use of current and alternative modes of transport in Wellesley, reduce reliance on single occupancy vehicles, and focus on reducing green house gas emissions.

  • Worked with a subset of the Mobility Committee to review proposal responses, interview candidates and select a consultant.

Other Initiatives

  • Advocating with the Department of Conservation and Recreation to expand trail connectivity between Wellesley Office Park and the nearby Quinobequin Trail and Hemlock Gorge.  As a future site of 350 residential units connectivity is critical.

  • Attending a "Safe Routes to School" conference and working closely with the School Committee representative on mobility issues in order to move forward sustainable initiatives surrounding arrival and dismissal traffic.

Liaison assignments

 

As the Select Board's liaison to the Audit Committee I have worked with the Advisory Committee liaison and the chair of the Board of Public Works to ensure the Audit Committee has appropriate updates on discussions surrounding the allocation of General and Administrative costs to the Water and Sewer division of the Department of Public Works. As outgoing chair of the Audit Committee, and later as Select Board liaison, I worked with the Select Board, the director of Information Technology and the towns Executive Director to advocate for a cybersecurity audit.

Ongoing training

 

I have attended the following educational events:

  • Mass Municipal Association finance training

  • Massachusetts Selectmen's Association training on performance reviews

  • Open Meeting Law training

  • Safe Routes To School conference

  • Various transit meetings and conferences

 
 

Personal story

Colette was born in Scotland where she attended Glasgow College of Technology (now Glasgow Caledonian University) and earned a Bachelor of Arts with distinctions in Accounting.  In 1990 she moved to Jersey, Channel Islands to start her career as an auditor and sit for the Chartered Accountant exams (the UK equivalent of a CPA) with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC). Colette worked with PWC in Jersey, auditing mutual funds, merchant banks, private banks and trust companies. 

 

Colette was trained as a specialist in assessing internal controls and analyzing data for audit purposes. In 1995 she joined PWC in Boston to continue her career as an auditor in financial services, specializing in mutual funds and banking. Her clients were based in Boston, New York, San Francisco and Houston and included The Scudder Funds, Bank of America (commercial lending, international operations and treasury operations), Fidelity Investments (selected mutual funds), State Street Global Advisors (selected mutual funds), GT Global/AIM (mutual funds), among others.

Colette decided to live in America permanently when she met her husband, Dr. Saint Aufranc, who grew up here in Wellesley where his parents and grandparents had lived for many years. In 2002, Colette took a career break to raise her family. Colette became an American citizen in 2005.

Colette and Saint have two children who attended Sprague Elementary School. Her daughter is a college freshman and her son is a senior at Wellesley High School.

Volunteering in schools and other local organizations

Colette began volunteering as a room parent  when her daughter entered preschool and has just never stopped. Among the myriad volunteer roles Colette has undertaken, highlights include: 

 

  • Select Board Member September 2020 - date

  • Treasurer for Sustainable Wellesley 2018 - 2020

  • Co-president at Wellesley High School PTSO 2018-2019

  • Webmaster for  Wellesley High School PTSO 2018 - 2020

  • Board member Winsor Parents Association 2015 - 2018

  • Treasurer for the Wellesley Teen Center 2013-2017

  • Treasurer for Committee 21 2013-2014

  • Treasurer of Central Council of PTOs 2011-2015

  • Treasurer of Sprague PTO 2010-2012

  • Chair of fifth grade activities Sprague 2013-2014

  • Sprague fundraising auction treasurer (twice)

As Treasurer for Central Council of PTOs, Colette's main achievements included:

  • Forming a network for PTO and other associated organizations (like POPS WPSAS, etc) to meet, connect, share ideas and support each other

  • Writing and sharing a comprehensive guide for PTO treasurers addressing the compliance and ongoing business operations treasurers may come across

  • Organizing semi-annual meetings with the school business office to form better communications and stronger relationships

  • Encouraging all PTOs to share, for the first time, financial information about how parents support their students, schools and communities, so that in turn could be shared with Advisory Committee during important school budget discussions

  • Soliciting bids from tax service providers and engaging a professional tax service provider at a reasonable cost for all PTOs in town

  • Soliciting bids from fundraising auction software providers, so that all PTOs could leverage better "back office" payment processing and support for auctions

  • Having monthly discussions with PTO presidents updating them on matters of interest they should be discussing with their treasurers

 
 

Serving Wellesley before joining the Select Board

Neighborhood advocate

 

Colette's involvement in town affairs began around 2006 as a neighborhood representative during the redevelopment of Linden Square.  As a neighborhood advocate, Colette encouraged neighbors to engage in meetings with the property developers and various town boards to discuss and give constructive input on matters including lighting, traffic, noise, parking, pedestrian safety, elimination of a dangerous curb cut, and landscaping.

Colette pursued all discussions and interactions in a reasonable, personable, persistent and polite manner, developing strong collaborative relationships with neighbors, developers, several town boards and employees including the Executive Director.  This approach resulted in good outcomes for the neighborhood and the town.

Town Meeting

Colette ran for and was elected as a Town Meeting Member in March 2018.  As a Town Meeting Member, Colette prepares thoroughly and participates in discussion and debate.  

 

Audit Committee

In March 2018 Colette was appointed to the Town of Wellesley Audit Committee, serving as member 2018-19, secretary 2019-20 and as chair in 2020 until she was elected to the Select BoardThe mission statement of the Audit Committee is as follows:

"The Audit Committee consists of five residents, appointed by the Moderator, who have financial expertise. The Committee is responsible for appointing the independent accountant who performs an annual audit of the financial statements of the Town. The Committee defines the scope of the auditors’ assignments and reviews their findings and recommendations with the appropriate boards and departments."

During 2019-2020 the Audit Committee reported on the following:

  • Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR)

  • Compliance Report on Federal Award Programs (school business office)

  • Wellesley Municipal Light Plant financial statements 

  • Wellesley Contributory Retirement System – 12/31/18 Financial Statements

  • Management Letter

  • School End-of-Year Financial Report

  • Compliance with Required Communication to Audit Committee

Campaign Team

Stacy Braatz - Co-chair

Wendy Paul - Co-chair
Matthew McKay

Christine Mizzi

Phyllis Theermann

Todd Himstead - Treasurer

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© 2020 by Aufranc for Wellesley BOS