LtE: On the Ballot in Precinct 7; Thanks to Chris Haley and Laura Gemme

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Letter to the Editor,

I would like to announce my candidacy for a 3-year term as a Reading Town Meeting Member in Precinct 7. First, I should acknowledge that although I had collected the requisite signatures and been certified by the Town Clerk, my name was omitted from the ballot published on the Reading Town Website and printed this past week. It wasn’t until Chris Haley (current Select Board member and candidate for re-election) noticed the discrepancy and immediately contacted Laura Gemme (Reading Town Clerk). I want to thank Chris for his diligence in the matter, and Laura for being able to rectify the situation over the holiday weekend. Unfortunately, I was not the only Town Meeting candidate affected by this error. One other candidate from Precinct 2 was also omitted from the Ballot. I think I can speak for all candidates and say that omitting someone who qualified for the election from the ballot is not an acceptable situation and might have even raised doubts in our election process had the problem not been resolved.

As a 23-year Reading resident, having raised a family and stewarded children through the school system and a myriad of local community activities and organizations, I’m ready to step back into Town Meeting. I previously served 3 terms on Town Meeting, and 1 term on the by-law committee. My experience with RCTV (former Board President and long time volunteer) gave me the opportunity to gain exposure to municipal government, schools and the community as a whole.  

Reading is facing several challenges that will be decided in part by Town Meeting. These include zoning changes for MBTA Communities, fiscal (capital) expenditures for a potential new elementary school and Sr./Community Center, the push for adopting the Community Preservation Act, and a non-stop list of state mandates. I will endeavor to view each of these issues through the lens of my fellow citizens and make informed decisions based on the facts and aligned to those common ideals we hold.  

I look forward to earning your support to better understand your concerns, and I respectfully ask for your vote for Town Meeting, Precinct 7.

Marcel A. Dubois
Willow St

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