Letter: It’s Time to Have Our Selectmen Listen to Us

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Dear Editor:

I am writing this letter to encourage Reading residents to consider a positive change for our Town by voting for Vanessa Alvarado for the Board of Selectmen on April 3rd. Vanessa has committed herself to respectfully listen and respond to the residents of this town. This includes members of all of our Town’s Committees, Boards, and Commissions. Her only agenda is achieving the best for our Town, without excluding or removing anyone from participation in town government because they do not agree with her positions. As a volunteer on the Finance Committee for the past four years, she has demonstrated her integrity, reasonableness, and determination to do what is best for Reading without any self-interest.

Regrettably, some of the current Board of Selectmen, including her opponent, do not share her dedication to cooperation, collaboration, and transparency. This is not good for our Town and only causes anger and division where none needs to exist. Below I provide some examples of positions taken by her opponent which I believe illustrate this. Her opponent has:

  • Voted to remove, been instrumental in the resignations of, or failed to re-appoint, a total of at least seven highly qualified members of Town Boards and Committees for political reasons;
  • Voted to appoint a former member of the Board of Selectmen to Town Board of Health for which said member has little if any, qualifications; overlooked applications for Board of Health position from two highly qualified applicants;
  • Approved a planning meeting for the Recreation Committee without posting or requesting Conservation Commission input. Only when it became apparent to concerned Reading residents that this was occurring was the meeting canceled;
  • Engaged Town Legal Counsel to send a letter “on Behalf of the Board of Selectmen” to the State Attorney General’s Office requesting that a formal Open Meeting Law Complaint be ignored a) without sharing the letter with all members of the Board of Selectmen; b) without discussing the letter’s content and intent; and c) thereby not having the required vote on the content and intent of the letter;
  • Committed town funds to oppose the preceding Open Meeting Law Complaint rather than have an unbiased investigation into the complaint to determine its accuracy and remediate as appropriate;

It’s time to return our Town government to open, honest, and respectful discussions of key issues we face as a growing and changing community. It’s time to have our Selectmen listen to us. Vanessa Alvarado has my vote because that is precisely what she will do.

Respectfully submitted,

Emily Maughan
Woburn Street

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