Letter: A Sign of a Healthy Democracy

The Reading Post accepts Letters to the Editor. All letters must be signed. The Reading Post reserves the right to edit or not publish any letters received. Letters do not represent the views or opinions of the Post. editor@thereadingpost.com

To the Editor:

I was present at the Board of Selectmen meeting on 9/26 that was referenced in your Oct 1 letter to the editor from Kevin Sexton of the Board of Health, and I heard the public comments to which he refers. I’d like to set the record straight. At no point was his “competence or character” called into question. The citizens who were speaking about the issue were simply questioning qualifications for the position, which is an entirely reasonable question to ask. Another candidate for the position on the board of health had credentials in the field of public health, including working for Harvard School of Public Health and the CDC. So some interested citizens were looking to the Selectmen to answer questions as to why that candidate did not receive an interview, and why someone was appointed who had fewer career-based qualifications.

Now, it may be, as Mr. Sexton suggests, that one does not require credentials in a health field to serve on the Board of Health, but it is completely reasonable for constituents to ask questions about this, and that is all that happened. No one was attacking Mr. Sexton personally; they simply observed that his career background didn’t immediately and automatically indicate that his appointment to the Board of Health was the best choice among the candidates who applied. I’d like to think that it’s a good thing that town residents are paying attention and concerned about whether town government is serving their interests, and looking to hold the Selectmen accountable. In fact, this is a sign of a healthy democracy!

Rebecca Bailey
Reading, MA

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