Letter: Reject This Recall Effort

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Dear Reading Community,

I am writing to strongly urge the residents of Reading to reject the recall attempt of the current Select Board chair Vanessa Alvarado.

Unlike other recent municipal recalls, Ms. Alvarado has not been accused of violating the town charter or bylaws. The justification for the recall attempt appears to be related to the process and timing of confirming the new chief of police. I support Reading’s police wholeheartedly; they keep us safe and perform a number of invaluable community services. The vote to confirm the new chief has been scheduled for Wednesday, February 19, so it’s possible, even likely, that by the time you read this Reading will have its new chief.

That leaves the question of the recall effort–which, if successful, would cost thousands of taxpayer dollars to hold a special election months from now. Not only will Ms. Alvarado be up for re-election next year, but she will be stepping down as Board chair next month, as Select Board members cannot be chair during a year they are up for re-election.

There has been a lot of talk lately in the national news about the dangers of trying to overturn elections. If Ms. Alvarado’s critics feel so strongly, let them organize to replace her next year. But if they are so impatient they feel the need to spend taxpayer money to move her election up a few months, I believe it is fair to question their motives—particularly when the recall effort is being organized by the former Select Board member she defeated.

I first met Ms. Alvarado when she came up to me and introduced herself on the Reading commuter rail. I found her intelligent and warm, and it was clear she wanted to serve her community as best she could. She was also a strong proponent of the override–which, it should be noted, resulted in additional funds for the Reading police force as well as the schools.

The hallmarks of Ms. Alvarado’s approach to governing have been prudent and thoughtful consideration. I will take prudence over impulsiveness from my leaders every time. I thank her for her service and, again, I urge the residents of Reading to reject this recall effort.


Jason Clarke
Ash Street

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