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You know her as Select Board Member Alvarado and you may see her as the woman in the colorful blazers on RCTV. The woman who knows the background on every town issue and the woman who will passionately advocate for neighbors in need. The woman who will always say, “Yes, give me a call, and let’s talk about that.”
I know her as my caring wife and the wonderful mother of our children. The woman who reminds me to wear sunblock, because she knows I always forget. Or gets mad when I do flips on the trampoline because she’s afraid I’ll break my neck… (I won’t, but I love that she worries.) She’s the one who always knows what size clothes the kids need and makes me meatloaf even though she hates it. She is a kind and loving, regular person who serves because we believe in service.
She is also the one spending hours researching issues, watching old meetings, learning the background, and asking for different perspectives so she’s fully informed on a topic. When Vanessa won two years ago, she understood the significance of the role and the responsibility she had to every person in town, residents, and staff alike. She has continually made it a point to be available and open, listening to everyone who wanted to have a discussion. I’ve heard her advocate for residents who disparage her on social media. I’ve seen her defend town staff when they are criticized. I’ve heard the stories of her getting yelled at and given the middle finger for supporting the override campaign.
When she first ran for office, I listened to her talk (at length) about how the police officers and firefighters needed more support due to low staffing. As a mother of two kids in the school system and a member of the Finance Committee, she recognized that the override was about protecting the quality of the schools and critical town services including public safety. Vanessa wanted to make sure we were advocating for our teachers and police officers and firefighters.
Being a veteran, I am proud of my wife’s support of the uniformed services. I understand what it means to be dedicated to “Corps and Country”. Those who put their lives on the line so that the rest may have our freedoms need support from the top. It is not in them to complain about a difficult job. It is our responsibility to support those who protect us. As I sat down to write this letter, I had to resist the anger stemming from the suggestion that Vanessa doesn’t support the police. Or that she is in the wrong for trying to ensure that the town had a voice in choosing a strong and capable public safety leader. Vanessa has advocated for the resources RPD needs in normal times, and for the resources, they have needed to stay safe during the pandemic. We strongly support our police force and our Chief.
Two years ago, I stood proudly by Vanessa as she took the oath of office for the Town of Reading’s Select Board. Today, I stand proudly by the woman who has given so much to this town we chose to make our home. Service to the community and country can take different forms. Some of us geared up. Others kneel. Some wear a mask and tend to the sick. And yet others put their name on a ballot, volunteer on a committee, and actively participate in our community. Even in the face of unprecedented attacks, we believe in the office and in the service. I would ask that you stand with us, with a vote “Against the Recall”. Semper Fidelis.
Justin M. Scott (husband of Vanessa Alvarado)