Town Appointee Adam Smith Seeks Seat on Marblehead Light Commission
Adam Smith, a tech executive who was appointed by the Town to fill a Marblehead Light Commission vacancy last year, is running to serve the remaining year of his predecessor’s term. Smith was the top choice of the Select Board and Light Commission after they interviewed him and seven other candidates in a joint meeting last September. The Commission oversees the town’s Light Department, which provides electricity to all Marblehead residents and businesses.
“I have worked in the technology and innovation field for more than 20 years and as a businessperson, I want to make sure that our municipally owned and operated Light Department – one of only 41 such plants in the state – is prepared for a rapidly changing energy market while continuing to provide reliable services at reasonable cost to all Marblehead residents,” he said in describing his run. He noted that the Light Department is a $20 million operation despite having fewer than 20 employees.
According to Smith, his priorities will be:
• Developing a five-year capital plan to upgrade the Light Department’s aging infrastructure to avoid outages and expand capacity as more residents purchase electric cars and install electric heat pumps and mini-splits to heat and cool their homes.
• Continuing to actively look for economically sound alternatives to costly fossil fuels, such as nuclear, solar, hydro, and wind to keep rates low.
• Supporting more rooftop solar on schools, municipal buildings, homes, and businesses to reduce electric rates for everyone by making Marblehead more energy independent and avoiding costly transmission charges to bring electricity into town from outside sources.
Since being appointed, Smith says he has learned a lot by doing his homework and talking with residents, fellow commissioners, and Light Department employees. “Our linemen and engineers do a great job caring for every light pole, electric wire, transformer, and substation in town, but they face a distribution system that is dated and not designed to handle a load that is expected to double in the near future.”
Smith says that in addition to his business background, he has other qualifications. “Today’s electricity grid runs largely on software, which introduces new technology challenges and cybersecurity risks. Our new $4 million switching equipment used to transmit electricity, for example, will run on Microsoft Windows. I understand this technology through my many years working at Google and now as Director of Business Development at Jasper AI. I can make sure we get the job done and keep our town safe.”
Smith, his wife, and three daughters – who each attend a different Marblehead school – live in the historic district. Smith is a Gas House Beach regular and a Fort Beach Wolfpack cold water plunger.
More information about Smith is available at www.voteforadamsmith.com. Election day is Tuesday, June 20. Early voting by mail is available for voters who are unable to vote that day or in person. Voters must request a ballot via the Secretary of State’s website and return the ballot by June 16 at 5 p.m.