Reading, MA — Town Clerk Laura Gemme has confirmed to the Reading Post that the second phase petition calling for the recall of Select Board Chair Vanessa Alvarado has been submitted to her office. Alvarado has come under fire by some who believe that she intentionally used her position as chair to delay a vote to confirm David Clark as the new police chief.
The second phase required a petition to be returned to the town clerk within 21 days of the first filing and needed to contain the signatures of ten percent or 1,988 signatures, of the town’s registered voters. That deadline was today, March 12.
Gemme now is tasked with certifying that the submitted petition contains the required number of signatures and that all the signatories are, in fact, registered voters in Reading. Gemme expects to complete this process by Wednesday, March 18.
If the second phase petition is successfully certified, then, by town charter, the Select Board must call for a recall election not less than 64 days, and not more than 90 days from receipt of the phase-two petition.
The Reading Post reached out to Vanessa Alvarado and she responded: “I will wait until the signatures have been certified before making a formal statement.”
At the February 19 Select Board meeting, Alvarado defended her decision to have a board discussion of the police chief selection process at the board’s February 11 meeting, instead of a vote. “My utmost concern was that my colleagues had the chance to ask questions,” Alvarado stated. She also shared that the discussion was delayed from the February 4 agenda “to allow full participation of the board.”