LtE: Vote for Melissa, A Mom for Select Board

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If you haven’t been paying attention to the local governmental meetings, well let me just say that things have become a bit tense. My solution, elect Melissa Murphy, mother of 4, to the Select Board. Why? Let me share a few of the qualities a mom will bring to the board.

First, a mom’s job is to put the best interests of her kids first. Melissa does this every day by being involved with their educational and extracurricular activities, advocating for her kids, and knowing when it is appropriate (and necessary) to challenge authority. Melissa will use that same fierce attitude to make decisions that are in the best interests of Reading and its citizens, and not some bureaucratic mandate from the state or federal government.

Second, moms are often the peacemakers in the family. That requires strong listening skills, the ability to empathize, and produce solutions that address the real issues. With 4 kids, this is a common occurrence in the Murphy family, and if recent Select Board meetings aren’t an indication of the need for those skills, I don’t know what is.

Third, moms today must juggle multiple priorities. They realize they can’t do it all, so they make decisions that might have to limit what the family wants, but address what the family needs. Today we are living in a community that has put forth a great deal of wants, each with their own set of challenges, and it seems we are trying to accomplish everything at once. It has been close to 20 years since a Community Master Plan activity was performed, while that activity will take time, we need strong leadership now on the Select Board to make those difficult choices and prioritize our limited resources.

Fourth, moms play an important role in managing family finances. They must budget for the unplanned, cover expenses for necessities, set aside funds for longer term requirements such as college and retirement, and fund the priority family activities taking into consideration competing wants and needs. Our Select Board faces those same challenges, and on that front having a mom that is dealing with today’s family economic reality is a check and reminds town government that it cannot simply have unbridled tax and spending.

Fifth, moms must set the example, manage behavior, and when necessary, discipline their kids. Today we find a society that doesn’t want to hold people accountable for their actions. The citizens of Reading deserve more from their elected officials. Melissa understands this and while unfounded attacks on people’s character are unacceptable, it is important that we call out those behaviors and actions that are contrary to our values.

Even with all the above responsibilities of being a mom, Melissa finds the time to invest in her kids through her being involved with their activities. This included taking an active role in the Wood End PTO and Wood End School Council, and leading fundraising efforts at her local church. As a 16-year resident of the town, Melissa volunteers her time for the betterment of the community, including 4 years as a Town Meeting member.

Please join me in voting for Melissa Murphy for Select Board on May 14th.

Respectfully submitted,

John Sasso
Richards Rd

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