Letter: Voting “NO” on the Recall

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Recent letters to the editor have discussed many important aspects of the upcoming recall election. I would like to take a look at two that may not have been fully explored.

First is the obvious effort by the pro-recall group to portray this election as a choice: do you support the police or not. This is both simplistic and disingenuous. Simplistic because, as in most things in life, it is not one or the other. One can support the Reading Police Department, as I do, and one can support Vanessa Alvarado, as I do. Disingenuous because this matter has been seized upon by well-known malcontents within town to unfairly oust a dedicated public servant before her term is up.

The Reading Police Department and the Reading Fire Department have helped my family and me in recent years with several challenging and sensitive situations. I appreciate and respect our public safety staff. During the police chief hiring process I had faith in our town manager, our Select Board, and our acting police chief David Clark. I anticipated that it would be a months-long process. I also considered it wise to have the community weigh in on what it felt was important to have in a new police chief personally and in the department programmatically.

The “no” vote on the recall that I will cast does not signify my lack of support for the Reading Police Department. It is extremely dismaying that recall supporters are and will insinuate that this is the case for me and others who vote no.  

The second aspect I would like to mention is the idea being floated by a retired select board member and his supporters that his return would somehow make everything better. Nothing could be further from the truth. Such an instance is far more likely to worsen the civic atmosphere in town. I am very pleased to have three accomplished, knowledgeable women now serving on our select board. For years we had only one woman on the board and when she retired we went several years with no female member of the board. It is refreshing and exciting to have these three women on the select board.

Please join me in voting “NO” on the recall.

Mary Ellen O’Neill
Summer Avenue 

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