Letter: Bacci & Halsey Will Bring Back Some Normalcy

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To the Editor,

Bacci & Halsey will bring back some normalcy to the Select Board.

I haven’t lived in Reading for as long as some, only 14 years. My kids have grown up here though, and the plan is to stay until the last shovel-full of dirt drops on us. (In my case some hope that’s tomorrow, I’m sure.) In short, we like it here.

I offer this preamble because I haven’t been happy with the direction of the town for the past three years. Over the past decade, I have been heavily involved in local politics. But honestly, with the changing voting demographics of the town leading to the current composition of the Select Board, and the possibility of that not changing anytime soon, I had packed it in. I was done fighting an uphill battle. I was ready to just go about my daily business, enjoy my friends and family, and watch the town go down the crapper if I even bothered to pay attention.

Then, God bless him, Mr. Friedmann was true to form. And I realized, again, that what was going on in my name went against everything I hold dear. I also realized that I wasn’t alone. He poked the bear, and in doing so exposed, for the whole town to see, the agenda of his handlers and the current Chair of the Board.

This all manifested itself during the SB meeting on 2/11. Mr. Friedmann’s disgraceful performance, awful as it was, is almost secondary to the real, persistent issue: The agenda to subvert our very capable Town Manager at every turn. The outrage over Mr. Friedmann’s comments, insinuating that if he voted against the wishes of our police one of them would gun him down, fortunately, brought to light the delaying tactics Ms. Alvarado has used throughout the past eight months of the selection process of our new police chief. Her about-face was obviously in direct response to the mobilization of hundreds of residents, first responders and their families, and long-time residents, who for the first time are paying attention to local politics. So now we have a new chief, which is a good thing for the Town.

But if you think that will be the end of it, if you think that a new era of cooperation between this SB and the Town Manager will spring from the rubble of Ms. Alvarado’s mess, think again. The question is, will you settle for this small win and go on your way like they hope and expect, or will you show up on March 3 and address the real issue. Will you settle for a small win, and then let Ms. Alvarado and Mr. Friedmann have the big jackpot? It may sound overly dramatic, but the future of this Town could very well depend on the outcome of this upcoming election. A win for them will all but certainly mean the end of Mr. LeLacheur’s tenure as Town Manager. If that happens, and this new Board is the one to choose his replacement, you can bet there will be plenty of cooperation between the Board and the new Town Manager then, for that person will be in their image. And then you can throw that last shovel-full of dirt on the Town we love.

But if you aren’t going to be satisfied with this small win, and you want to bring some moderation to the Select Board, you can start by voting for Carlo Bacci and writing in John Halsey Sr on March 3rd.

Carlo, as most everyone knows by now, is a small business owner. As we keep facing turnover in our downtown storefronts, having someone on the Board with real experience running a small business will be invaluable. It is a perspective that has been missing on the Board since I’ve been in Reading. For that reason alone, Carlo would be the right choice. But there’s more, for Carlo has immersed himself in the community coaching youth sports and doing what small businesses do, supporting community events and charities. Carlo wants what’s best for the WHOLE community, and will get right down to the real business of the Town.

As for John Halsey, what can I say? His one driving motivation for the past six years has been doing the Town’s business. His no-frills approach has been refreshing: See a problem, solve it. His partnership with the Town Manager has been nothing short of spectacular. The trust and respect is evident in every interaction. It’s no surprise really, given John’s long history with Scouting. John lives the Scout oath every day. “On my honor, I will do my best. To do my duty to God and my country, and to obey the Scout Law; To help other people at all times; To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.” You may scoff, but for John, those words MEAN something very special. And he lives them every day. He is a man of honor and integrity, built over a lifetime of service. Thankfully, he has agreed to throw his hat back in the ring, understanding that the Town is at a crossroads.

I will happily cast my vote for these two great citizens. I encourage you to do the same.

Karl Weld
Highland St.

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