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Dear Reading Residents,
I have purposefully stepped outside of Reading Politics these last 12 months following the 2018 election. I’ve refocused on my family, a more than full-time day job and helping my mom. That and 4 grandchildren makes for a full calendar for my wife and me.
The past year has given me a new perspective on Reading’s current Select Board politics, which reflect our divisive national politics. Clarity, transparency and meeting purpose have taken a back seat to party politics. It’s ‘My agenda’ versus ‘our town’. Board Meetings that once covered a full agenda in 90 minutes now regularly extend to over 4 hours with more argument than sincere discussion
The 2019 Town Election is Tuesday April 2nd, and your vote counts. Perhaps you’re wanting the respectful, purpose-driven citizen oversight of our Town’s affairs that prior Boards delivered? What to do now?
I’ve listened carefully to the prepared statements of the Board candidates. They’ve generally represented themselves proactively; Most started with “I want to (fill in the blank)” without mentioning obvious Board dysfunction. They highlight their unique daytime job skills for reuse on the Board.
But marketing, banking and State political work are not skill requirements for a seat on the Board. In my view, the most important resume skills for town elected leaders are common sense, humility and willingness to listen vs. talk. Essential skills that allow leaders to make sense of unfamiliar topics, work with both new and familiar faces, and preserve amiable relationships.
That’s why I’ll cast my vote for Carlo Bacci for Select Board next week, and I urge you to do the same. Carlo is a no-nonsense, common sense business owner and citizen. He doesn’t put on airs or speak ill of others in public or private. Together with his wife, he’s managed family, finances and small business challenges while raising 3 fantastic children.
That’s the resume I’m looking for.
John J. Arena
Board of Selectman from 2012-2018