Letter: Resident Supports Arena for Re-Election

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I write as a long-time Reading resident, in regard to the pending election (April 3), to support both an affirmative override vote and the reelection of the current BOS Chair, Mr John Arena.

Since settling here in 1978 my wife, Kris, and I have happily enjoyed our pleasant and stable neighborhood and town. Our sons transited the local schools and now a second generation of granddaughters is doing the same. Meanwhile we have enjoyed town amenities and public services … many services over many years.

It is certainly possible to go into far more detail about our time here in town, but similar cases have already been discussed in several excellent supporting letters, now archived at thereadingpost.com, by fellow residents Michael Fusco [2/12], Susanne Sullivan [2/15], Steve Peacock [2/16], David Cory [2/23] and Michael Monahan [2/26]. The basic points of course being that continued educational and town services require adequate funding, that costs continue to increase due to inflationary pressures as well as just basic demand from an increasing population, that town employee salaries are not extravagant nor is per-pupil spending or the tax rate (relative to nearby communities), that there has been no override in 15 years, and that in general Reading may be near a tipping point at which property values and employee strength become affected.

As for the election for the Board of Selectmen, it seems to me to reduce to a matter of preferring more experience or less in the senior office. A careful reading

and comparison of the writings and blogs on each candidate’s website should make the case. (And please, not a matter of gender!) There you will note rather specific plans vs more airy generalities, esp in the context of the ongoing pressure from 40B/40R housing development. In a more specific direction we can also note the recent successful increase in Senior Tax Relief, namely doubling the max property tax credit, so that eligible seniors could see a substantial credit towards their property taxes.  Indeed, already more than 180 seniors have signed up for this benefit in the coming tax year.

Mr. Arena has demonstrated deep involvement in the detail of town business and management for 6 years now and wishes to apply this hard-won expertise and experience for one more term. He is careful to note that he did not even consider this sort of public-spirited work until his children had been successfully launched into adulthood. That seems like a sensible precondition to undertaking such time-consuming work…

Richard Holmes
Redgate Lane Reading

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