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Today I am sharing with Reading a little secret. I see the number 5 everywhere I go— like it’s haunting me! For those of you not keeping score, just one year ago I lost my re- election bid to the Board of Selectmen by one of the smallest margins in town history…5 votes! That means that there are 6 of you reading this letter right now who supported me — but didn’t vote. That is just how incredibly important each and every vote is.
This year a friend of mine is up for re-election: John Arena. John is a dedicated volunteer on the Board of Selectmen and has been a great asset to Reading, beginning even before he was a selectman. While raising his three children in town with his wife Lynn, John coached baseball and soccer and assisted with wrestling programs. He also helped manage several ‘Friends of Reading’ sports fundraising programs and imbedded himself in his children’s activities. If he wasn’t actively involved, he was on the sidelines cheering.
Simply stated: John Arena is Reading.
I will tell you why I feel so strongly about John’s re-election to the Board of Selectmen. John brings a thoughtful, reasoned, and clear approach toward Town Government. His only concern is achieving the best possible outcome for our Town and its residents through his service. During my time on the board with John, it was clear to me that he takes thoughtful discussion, openness for opposing views, and personal integrity very seriously.
There’s been a lot of talk about “transparency” lately. During my campaign last year, “transparency” was my opponent’s buzzword, too. Well, if transparency is high on your list of qualities in a candidate, look no further than John Arena. John started out in Town Government specifically to ensure that our Town was responsibly utilizing our tax dollars. It’s what led him to become a Town Meeting Member, a FinCom (Finance Committee) Member, and then a Board of Selectmen Member.
Transparency is a great thing, but clarity is something completely different — and much more inclusive. (Read John’s thoughts on this subject here: http://www.johnarenaforselectman.com/why_transparency_isnt_enough) John has proven, time and time again, that he wants residents to understand exactly how Town Government spends money. Not just through making it more transparent, but by making government clear.
On April 3rd you have a critical decision to make. You can choose change for change’s sake. Or, more importantly, you can vote for the candidate who has skillfully fulfilled our needs while respectfully championing the unique, irreplaceable character of our town.
I fully support John Arena for Selectman, so he and our current Board can continue work on the difficult task of making Reading work better for all its residents. Remember…5 votes. Don’t let it haunt you.
Please vote John Arena for Selectmen on Tuesday, April 3rd!
Kevin M. Sexton