I am optimistic about Reading’s future.
Over the past three years, I have had the great privilege to serve Reading as your Select Board member. During that time, we have set the Town up for future success in a number of ways: maintaining a strong financial position, adapting delivery of government services and protecting the public health in the face of a global pandemic, funding additional mental health services in light of a burgeoning society-wide mental health crisis, and establishing the position of Health Director to respond to the public health needs of the community.
In recent months, I was particularly grateful to have been entrusted with the responsibility of chairing the Town Manager screening committee and leading the Board’s search for a new Town Manager. That search resulted in the Board’s unanimous selection of Fidel Maltez to lead the community as the new Town Manager, and I could not be more thrilled with our choice.
Throughout my term in office, fostering a welcoming and inclusive community has been a top priority, a priority that preceded, but certainly came into sharper focus with, our recent and overdue national racial reckoning. I am particularly proud of the leadership role I played in co-chairing an ad hoc committee that led to the creation and funding of an Equity and Social Justice Director position for the Town, as well as the groundwork I laid in drafting a Pride month proclamation and organizing an inaugural Pride flag raising on the Town Common in 2021. At our most recent meeting, the Board voted to update the personnel policies to recognize the Juneteenth holiday.
When the community gathers this June to raise the Pride flag again and to acknowledge Juneteenth, I look forward to being there with you all-as a member of the public. Given my increasing personal and professional responsibilities and the significant investment of time and energy the position of Select Board member calls for, I cannot commit to three more years on the Board at this time.
I will not be seeking re-election this year to the Select Board. Significant work on behalf of the Town remains, including around the work of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and I look forward to furthering that work and continuing to serve my community as a Precinct 5 Town Meeting Member.
I am deeply grateful for the support I received throughout this community through two hard-fought campaigns in 2018 and 2019, and for the opportunity, the voters afforded me in 2019 to serve you as your Select Board member- truly one of the great honors of my life. It will not be easy to step away, but I do so with a deep sense of optimism for Reading’s future, a heart full of gratitude for this community, and a willingness to continue the work- just from a different vantage point.
I would be remiss if I did not conclude by saying (and as I write this, my heart is, indeed, full):
Thank you, Reading.