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Dear Reading Residents,
In early February, Reading made the nightly news. It wasn’t because of our excellent schools, decadent martinis at Venetian Moon, or small-town feel similar to the fictionalized Star Hollows of Gilmore Girls. It was because of inflammatory comments of a former select board member. His comments exposed the lack of leadership by Select Board Chair Vanessa Alvarado and her refusal to schedule a vote on the police chief, who was selected in January. Police officers in attendance at the 2/11 meeting were frustrated not only with a delay in appointing a permanent police chief but also with its undue stress on operations and declining morale among staff. I encourage you to watch the select board meeting in its entirety and learn more about the recall here.
In addition to voting for the recall, I also encourage you to join with me in voting for John Halsey as the replacement. If you spend any time talking with him or listening to past select board meetings, it is clear that Mr. Halsey loves Reading. He has been a constant advocate for town services and schools, navigating through six budget cycles with the kind of dedication and diligence that I want my elected officials to have. He was instrumental in developing and passing the Circuit Breaker senior tax credit, providing an incentive for seniors to stay in our community despite rising property taxes. At a time when Covid-19 has created new challenges, he can apply his former experience on the select board and business expertise to pursue creative methods for balancing funds with town needs.
John Halsey has the integrity and experience to unite us at a time when there is failed leadership. Through his actions and conversations, he has the utmost respect for town staff, the town charter, and the integrity of the select board position. He holds himself accountable to us and is not motivated by partisan goals, but by the altruism to include the voices of all residents. He exemplifies to me what it means to serve one’s community as an elected official and will do what is best for all residents.