Letter: Alvarado for Board of Selectmen

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I write to express my support for Vanessa Alvarado for Board of Selectmen in the upcoming Town election on April 3rd. I am a Townie. I grew up in Reading and graduated from RMHS in 1981. Two of my daughters also graduated from RMHS and the third will be a freshman there next year. After a detour to Arizona, we returned to Reading to raise our family because we believe in the schools, appreciate the small town feel and my Mom lived here!

After her 8 years in Reading I am impressed by how much Vanessa knows about our town! She understands the workings of our government and embraces “government of the people, by the people, for the people.” Vanessa believes in a transparent government collaborating with and seeking the opinion of all volunteer boards and committees and town residents. Vanessa will streamline town information, be open well in advance about meeting times and be honest about her stand on issues. Vanessa will seek out the wisdom and expertise of Reading residents and is an advocate for visibility and shared decision making. These qualities are desperately needed in a time of the town’s financial stress and regardless of the result of the override vote.

In fact, the open and transparent government is what is most important to my family. We want our town government to be approachable, not off-putting; to be open and not “after the fact.” We all know someone who has been shut down and turned off from the current Board of Selectmen. This is OUR town. They are ELECTED officials who have an obligation to US.

How many times have you found yourself saying, “We don’t need another bank, pizza joint or salon?” Vanessa has solid ideas regarding Reading’s economic development. She proposes reinstating the disbanded Economic Development Committee, with a renewed focus on small businesses and our downtown. She urges public input so that economic development mirrors residents’ priorities. Finally, she wants to add an Ombudsman to the Development Review Team so that residents have a voice at the table early in a developer’s process and not when plans are a “done deal.” She believes that the boards should create opportunity for residents to be involved, not discourage our voices. Her commitment to advocating for Reading at the state level is also noteworthy.

Have you ever met Vanessa? I encourage you to do so. When I first met her the first thing I noticed is that she was listening. She has many ideas and positions but she will listen to yours. She understands that the decision the town makes affects us personally. I trust Vanessa. I trust her with my ideas, opinions and my beloved town of Reading. I will be voting for Vanessa Alvarado for Board of Selectmen on April 3, 2018. I hope you do too.

Nancy Littlehale
Dana Road

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