Letter: Join Me in Voting for Carlo Bacci for Select Board

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Please join me in supporting Carlo Bacci as our “new face” on the Select Board, and I’d like to tell you some reasons why I think his is the right voice to add to the Select Board.

To me, this year’s select board race is about putting together a Select Board that has a balance of experience (both in and out of government), background, personalities, goals, and community connections. In recent years, a perspective has been missing from the Select Board conversation: a voice representing the Reading business community, a voice with common sense fiscal responsibility that comes from having to keep a business concern going through good times and bad, a voice that not only claims to understand, but actually lives, the day to day challenges that our Reading business community faces. Carlo Bacci, with his decades of small business experience, both in and out of Reading, is the ideal voice to add that balance.

Keeping our town’s businesses and attracting new businesses is key to helping Reading grow its tax base enough to help pay for necessary infrastructure repairs and upgrades and ongoing improvements to town and school services. Carlo has the personal business background and insight to help the Select Board promote policies and initiatives that support and welcome businesses. Other candidates for our Select Board profess that they want to put forth “new ideas” to attract business to Reading and Carlo does as well – but Carlo himself is in the best position actually to know whether businesses will view such initiatives as workable ideas to really help economic development in Reading. It is not enough simply to hold fairs or promote “shop the block” events (though both are helpful). Reading needs a Select Board member like Carlo, who has actually run a business in our town (as well as elsewhere) to help our town officials implement proposals that address the roadblocks and “red tape” in our regulations that might be discouraging businesses from coming to (or staying in) Reading.

At the same time, I appreciate that Carlo recognizes the need for the town to be as moderate as possible in its operating expense growth, so Reading can show it can live within its means for a while before coming to the town for another $4 million plus operating override. Carlo alone pledged that, for the next 5 years, as a Select Board member, he would not vote to put an operating override on the ballot. This is really not as harsh a line as some might think — it is recognizing Reading taxpayer wallets are only so deep, especially in the short term. But, Carlo is a realist, and I admire that. He sees and supports the necessary capital projects coming online such as the athletic field repairs to repair dangerous conditions, fixing the many deficiencies with Killam, and security upgrades for town and schools. These might require debt exclusions (not the same as an operating override), but Carlo recognizes getting Reading taxpayers to agree to pay for such necessary projects means Reading must prioritize and live within its budget elsewhere, especially in day to day operational costs.

I’ve gotten to know Carlo and his wife, Erin-Calvo Bacci, much better over this last year, and I appreciate the collaborative, supportive, moderate, and common sense attitude both he and his wife have about making Reading work better for all of its residents. Carlo Bacci is the fresh voice the Select Board needs, and I hope you will join me in voting for Carlo Bacci for Select Board on April 2!

Marianne Downing
Heather Drive

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