TRP Sunday Edition 3/25/18

Selectmen Candidates Participate in Forum

A candidate forum featuring the two candidates for Board of Selectmen was hosted by Reading Community Television (RCTV) on Tuesday, March 20. Alan Foulds moderated the forum and it contained questions posed to the candidates by Kevin Vendt of the Reading Post and Joanne Senders of the Reading Advocate.

The forum featured John Arena, candidate for re-election to the Board of Selectmen, and the challenger, Vanessa Alvarado. To begin, each candidate was given the chance to make an opening statement. “I am trained, work-ready, known and capable,” Arena put forth.Alvarado suggested, “We need change and we need it now.” Question topics included the Proposition 2 1/2 override, fees for specific services, relationships with other boards and committees, and economic development. Regarding a split tax rate, Arena and Alvarado disagreed. “There is no benefit to the town,” remarked Arena, though he did suggest that small incremental tax increases on commercial properties could be useful. “A split tax rate would alleviate the burden on taxpayers,” Alvarado countered,“It is reasonable to ask businesses to pay their fair share.” [More]

RCTV Hosts School Committee Candidates Forum

Reading Community Television (RCTV) hosted a forum with the four candidates vying for two seats on the School Committee on Tuesday, March 20. Alan Foulds moderated the forum and it contained questions posed to the candidates by Kevin Vendt of the Reading Post and Joanne Senders of the Reading Advocate.

Incumbent Elaine Webb and current committee member Sherri Vanden Akker are challenged by Rebecca Liberman and Alicia Williams. In opening statements Webb highlighted her years of service on the committee while Vanden Akker shared her professional credentials. Both Liberman and Williams spoke about being regular audience participants at School Committee meetings and active parent volunteers at their schools for several years. Williams also stressed her experience on the Special Education Parents Advisory Committee.

Question topics revolved around budgets and financial issues, Joshua Eaton progress, communication, and school security. When asked what would happen if the the override fails Vanden Akker confessed, “I’m terrified as to what will happen.”Webb, citing the challenges of the last several years chimed in, “After fifteen years, we need to step up.”Liberman believes that not enough has been done to save teachers in the current balanced budget. Expressing concern over the loss of teachers she indicated that she would be willing to cut athletics to save teachers “if that is what is required” though she believes that there are other creative solutions available. [More]

Yes for Reading Produces Override Support Video

Informational Financial Forum on Override Ballot Question

On Wednesday March 28th, the Reading Finance Committee is sponsoring a Financial Forum to answer community questions about the upcoming override ballot question on the April 3, 2018 election ballot. Members of the Board of Selectmen, School Committee, Board of Library Trustees, the Finance Committee and some school and town leaders will be in attendance. 

The meeting will be held at RCTV Studios, 557 Main Street in Reading, starting at 7:30 pm. This public meeting will also be broadcast live on RCTV. 

We are asking the community to submit questions in advance so that specific answers can be provided at the meeting. Please send in your questions by e-mail to: readingoverridequestions@gmail.comAudience questions will also be answered at the meeting. 

Police Chief Segalla Graduates from FBI National Academy Program

The Reading Police Department is pleased to announce that Chief Mark D. Segalla completed the FBI National Academy Program this month.

Chief Segalla graduated from the 10-week training program on Friday, March 16. This was the 271st session of the National Academy and consisted of members of law enforcement agencies from the District of Columbia, 18 international countries, five military organizations and five federal civilian organizations.

“We are so proud of Chief Segalla for completing this advanced FBI program,” said Reading Town Manager Robert LeLacheur, Jr. “His experience and enhanced skills as a result of this training will only make him a stronger law enforcement leader in our community.”

The National Academy Program, held at the FBI Academy at Quantico, Virginia, offers advanced communication, leadership and fitness training for selected officers who have proven records as professionals in their agencies. [More]

Coolidge Science Team Wins 25th Science Olympiad Championship

Reading’s A.W. Coolidge Science Olympiad Team earned first place in the Massachusetts Science Olympiad State Competition on March 3, 2018, at Assumption College in Worcester, Mass. The win is the team’s 25th state title. The team will have the honor of representing Massachusetts at the National Science Olympiad Competition, May 18-19 at Colorado State University in Ft. Collins, Colo.

The Massachusetts Science Olympiad offers middle school students the opportunity to compete with their peers in science and engineering events. This year, 33 middle schools competed in 23 events covering a diverse array of science and engineering topics. Sample events this year include Battery Buggy, in which teams construct vehicles that use electrical energy to propel them a specified distance; Dynamic Planet, in which students take a written test on the structure of the earth’s crust; and Herpetology, in which students are tested on their knowledge of amphibians and reptiles. This year’s team is made up of 30 dedicated students who each contributed to the success of the team: eighth graders Elliot Choi, Lauren Ciccariello, Margaux Gellot, Dylan Herlihy, Pete Koster, Charlie Lloyd, Sam Lonks, Chloe Mathieu, Zachary Nichols, Akshay Rao, Dylan Ren, Ryan Segalla, Brody Wolter and Dylan Wolter; seventh graders Christian Alfieri, Natalie Benassi, Alex Bica, Jessica Hayes, Natalie Ho, Abigail LeBovidge, Sean Murphy, Sachin Patel, Maya Serrano and Scott Upton; and sixth graders Charlotte Gellot, Vedant Narayan, Elena Nichols, Riya Patel, Sivan Schwarzmann and Hanna Wiggins.

Registration is Now Open for Reading Friends and Family Day 2018

Save the date! The Reading Lions Club’s 15th annual Reading Friends and Family Day (Town Day) takes place on Saturday June 16, 2018. This is Reading’s annual start of summer community event!

Since 2004, The Reading Lions Club has sponsored and organized Reading Friends and Family Day (RFFD) as a celebration of Reading. Community members come for the food, crafts, games, giveaways, entertainment, and to learn about local organizations and businesses. Over the past fourteen year’s attendance by Reading families has tripled!

Registration for a booth at RFFD is now open. For local groups, businesses, and organizations, this community fair is a great opportunity to share your mission and advertise your services. Registration forms are available online at [More]

RMLD “Save Energy and Money” Educational Events to be Held in April

Reading Municipal Light Department (RMLD) invites customers to attend a free “Save Energy and Money” educational event where RMLD staff will provide information on a variety of RMLD programs including available rebates, the Online Store and Customer Rebate Portal, Solar Choice, Shred the Peak, and more. Energy efficiency tips will also be presented. A session will be held at each of the four area libraries within RMLD’s service territory in April. The schedule is as follows:

Flint Memorial Library, North Reading – Wednesday, April 4, 2018, 6:00pm
Lynnfield Library – Wednesday, April 11, 2018, 6:00pm
Wilmington Memorial Library – Thursday, April 12, 2018, 6:00pm
Reading Public Library – Thursday, April 26, 2018, 6:00pm

Light refreshments will be served, and each attendee will receive a complimentary LED light bulb.
Customers who wish to attend are asked to register online at

FinCom Recommends Warrant Articles

The Finance Committee voted at its March 7 meeting to recommend ten of the 17 articles on the Town Meeting warrant. All ten articles were recommended by a vote of 7-0 and deal with issues of funding or finance. The committee voted in a prior meeting to recommend the Fiscal Year 2019 balanced budget to Town Meeting. The committee typically does not vote as a group on articles that do not deal with financial issues.

Most of the discussion focused on the need for public safety overtime. Fire Chief Greg Burns explained that overtime increases at times of the year where vacations overlap with unforeseen injuries on and off the job. “You need to be in top condition to report to work (as a firefighter). Town Manager Robert LeLacheur explained. “I can come to work in any condition. They cannot.” [More]

ZBA Votes “Safe Harbor” in Eaton/Lakeview 40B

At its March 7 meeting the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) voted 4-0 to ask that a letter be sent to the developer of the Eaton Street/Lakeview Avenue 40B development stating that the board believes that the town has a “safe harbor” from the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development and that the safe harbor applies to this development. This decision will allow the ZBA to have more input into project details or to deny the project based upon community needs. Attorney Theodore Regnante, representing the developer, had already submitted a letter recognizing the safe harbor, and proposing to extend the time the ZBA has to work with the developer beyond the legally required 180 days. [More]

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