LtE: Chris Haley – Dedicated to Improving Reading

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Dear Editor – 

I have had the Maya Angelou quote “When people show you who they are, believe them the first time.” rattling around in my head for the last few days. Despite having strong beliefs about candidates for Town Boards and Committees over the last few years, I have rarely written a Letter to the Editor in support of any of them. I have decided that needs to change today and I am writing on behalf of myself and not any committee I serve on.

I first met Chris Haley approximately three years ago when he decided to run for the Select Board for the first time. Chris showed me then what he has shown me every day since then. He showed me that he is willing to put in the hard work to do the job. He showed me he is willing to listen and learn from all parties who are willing to sit down and talk with him. He showed me he would bring new, creative, and sometimes crazy ideas to the forefront to solve problems. He showed me he will give, and give, and give again of his time and talent for the betterment of Reading as a whole. 

A few examples of each of the above follow:

  • While a member of the Reading ARPA Advisory Committee, a committee on which I was honored to serve as well, Chris consistently displayed his willingness to listen to all parties while also bringing his creative ideas to the table. As an example, he proposed the purchase and operation of a Food Truck by the Town with the principal use to support the Senior Center. While this idea ultimately didn’t make it off the RAAC cutting room floor, his willingness to propose it to meet a need for our seniors was unique, creative, and admirable. Further, Chris actively engaged in conversation supporting our Seniors, our front-line workers, our Water & Sewer infrastructure, our Town Forest, the Food Pantry, and many other worthy uses of the $7.6MM in Federal funding provided to the Town to recover from the impact of COVID-19.
  • As the underdog in the last election, Chris spent the time, effort, energy, and video editing talent to film, edit, and release a video depicting himself as Rocky. While some saw it as corny, and it was, it also demonstrated who Chris is and how willing he is to dedicate the time needed to create his vision. Since then, we have seen Chris record, edit, and release many videos for the Town of Reading, dedicating his time to help and put the Town in a good light. He did this for Killam, he has done it for the RMHS Band, he has done it for the Fall Street Faire, he did it during the lighting of the Menorah on Town Common, and he did it for the Martin Luther King Day celebration at the High School. Oftentimes, this effort and willingness to give back gets overlooked, but it should not be, and it should not be taken for granted either.
  • Chris, using his own money and talent, decided to launch a website to bring attention to all things Reading. He offers free advertising space on that website to any Reading-based business and non-profits. The site publishes information about the Town Boards & Committees, High School Sports, and multiple other Reading-centric topics. 
  • During both of his campaigns, Chris has individually delivered and installed every one of his campaign signs throughout town. He doesn’t have a band of mighty warriors doing his work. He is doing it himself including drilling through frozen ground to make space for the stakes.
  • During each of the last three Fall Street Faires, Chris organized, set up, ran, broke down, and ultimately donated money to multiple charities through the “Dunk the Readings” fundraiser. Chris took the time to reach out to members of the Select Board, the School Committee, and other leaders throughout town to participate in the fundraiser. The funds raised were used to support multiple local businesses, organizations, and individuals around Reading.
  • Chris has attended every single Select Board meeting, Parking Advisory & Recommendation Committee meeting, Reading ARPA Advisory Committee meeting, Volunteer Appointment Sub-Committee, and Charter Review Committee meeting since he was elected. He has not missed a single meeting, has been on time, has been prepared, and has actively participated in every one of them.

The above are just a small sample of the amount of time and talent that Chris has given to Reading over the last three years. When people say we need “new, fresh ideas” they must be speaking about Chris as no single member of any of our boards or committees has given more in ideas and execution to the Town of Reading over the last three years.

Reading needs leaders of action, people willing to invest the time and talent to help address the many challenges we have faced and will face going forward. Now is not the time to back away from somebody as talented, dedicated, creative, and willing to work as Chris Haley. Therefore, it is with great appreciation for all he has done that I write this letter to request your support for Chris in his reelection campaign. Please join me in voting for Chris on or before March 5th

Thank you.

Tom Wise
South Street
Precinct Four
Town Meeting Member
School Committee Member

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