Newly elected selectman David Madigan said Monday that his priorities as a selectman will be to bring transparency to how the board governs the town and to use his financial background to improve the town’s budgeting process.

Madigan assumed his new duties Monday night after being sworn in Saturday by Town Clerk Nancy Oates at the close of the election. He beat his opponent Paul McCormack by a vote of 733 to 314. Madigan replaces Selectman Christopher Donato, who did not seek re-election after one term. Madigan said he was surprised about the election results.

“I was positive about the vote, but I wasn’t predicting the numbers that actually came out,” said Madigan. “I thought it would be a lot closer. I just appreciate the support of everyone who came out to vote on Saturday, and I hope I will live up to their expectations.”

Due to Selectman Ted Flynn’s absence from Monday’s meeting, Madigan was given no time to take a back-seat role. Instead, he was included in his first closed-door session on distribution of money in the King Caesar Fund before the open meeting began. Also, he had to help decide the extent to which the town should participate in hearings regarding the safety of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth. 

Madigan said he plans to keep an open mind as a selectman on all issues that come before him.

“I don’t have any axe to grind on any issues,” said Madigan. “I have no agenda at all. I hope to be prepared and really keep an open mind when we’re discussing some of these topics because you’ve got to hear both sides of the issue. I really want to be fair and even-handed. One of the main priorities I have is to get transparency to this process, so it’s clear why we are making the decisions we are, rather than people wondering what the backroom discussion was. I think it all has to be out in the open.”

While this year’s Town Meeting and the budget discussion is a receding memory for most residents, Madigan said it is never far from his mind.

“I think I’ll bring a more financial view to what we’re doing on the board,” said the former member of both the finance and the fiscal advisory committees. “As we get more into the budgeting (for 2013), I’ll talk more about how we’d like to co-ordinate the budget between the finance committee and fiscal advisory committee and selectmen early, in the process to have more of an impact as to what goes into the budget, rather than reacting to a finished product. We need to set some guidelines before the department heads start to do all their budgeting, so we have a better idea of the resources we have and how we should really divide them up.”

When asked about his decision-making process, the 52-year old South Pasture Lane resident said he likes to do a lot of analysis. “I think that comes from being a financial analyst for so long,” he said.

Madigan said he spent four days researching the issue of wind turbines after residents asked his views about them during his campaign. Madigan said he heard both sides of the wind turbine discussion in Duxbury, and is interested in the topic, especially focusing on the economics of green energy for the town.

“I’m glad that the Alternative Energy Committee came back to the view they expressed early on, which was that it’s not economical [responsible] right now to build a wind turbine,” said Madigan. “It’s much more valuable to have the solar, which actually pays dividends and energy credits to the town. It’s a cleaner solution for our town.”

He expressed an interest in seeing if any of the new, smaller, quieter wind power ideas could work for Duxbury.

“I’d like to keep an eye on it,” he said. “There may be an opportunity in the future to do some kind of wind power.”