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As you may have heard, it’s been a bumpy year for the Reading Select Board. Sometimes personalities have taken center stage over town issues. The great thing about annual town elections is that we all get a choice. It’s an opportunity to change the tone of the conversation. To demand a focus on the issues facing Reading and to set aside personal conflict. On April 2nd, my choice will be for Mark Dockser.
The Finance Committee was my first introduction to town government and I am grateful for the example Mark set. Mark has always emphasized the importance of detailed review, asking thoughtful questions about the short and long-term impacts of our decisions, and working productively with the Town Manager, Superintendent, staff, volunteers, and his fellow committee members. He has led with grace, humility, the appreciation of contributors and always with an eye on what is best for Reading.
While I respect Mark’s decades’ long dedication to the town and schools, it’s his diplomatic approach to disagreement that stands out as one of his greatest strengths. Mark and I have had spirited debates on town issues and we are not always on the same side. Yet at the end of an impassioned conversation, we part as respected colleagues. This level-headed and civil style of engagement would be a welcome quality on the Select Board.
Yes, Mark has a strong knowledge of town government, but that’s not why I’m voting for him. I’m voting for him because he gets it. He recognizes that the Select Board makes important decisions that will affect our community today, tomorrow and ten years from now. He has a desire to talk less and listen more. For Mark, we are first and foremost a community of neighbors.
On April 2nd, you have an opportunity to shape the future of the Select Board and set the tone for town leadership. I hope you will join me in casting a vote for Mark Dockser.