Letter: Jonathan Barnes Endorses Karen Herrick

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To the Editor:

I’m pleased to voice my support for Karen Herrick in the upcoming Reading Select Board election and to urge you to support and vote for her as well.

I know political discourse these days has become an extraordinarily partisan and oft-times ugly subject. Sadly, even at our local level, the political conversation has deteriorated where many of us are so heartsick and dispirited, we’ve lost faith and confidence in our collective ability to govern ourselves. However, take this moment to review Karen’s personal & professional attributes and her numerous contributions supporting our town and community over the last 19 years, and take heart. By these measures politically speaking, I’m sure you’ll agree with me, Karen Herrick is a breath of fresh air!

Karen and her husband have raised their daughter here through Reading schools from kindergarten through RMHS. Karen was first elected to Town Meeting in 2001, and she’s currently in her 5th year on the Finance Committee. She has served as a member of the Reading Historical Commission, the Library Building Committee, 2 ad hoc committees, and she’s worked on other local initiatives in town. Her contributions to community organizations included volunteering as a PAWS foster mom, an RMHS Drama Parent and Choral Parent, a St. Athanasius Parish religious education teacher, a PTO volunteer and serving on the Wood End Playground Committee. I know her to be thoughtful, considerate and respectful. She appreciates the value of others’ opinions and recognizes the importance of fostering open, collaborative relationships with the Town’s employees, volunteers, residents, and business community.

Karen is well versed in the workings of our town government through her years of volunteer town service. With a Master’s degree in Business Administration and her professional experience as a small business owner (17 years this year as a Reading-based RE/MAX residential broker), she’s also equipped and ready to contribute as a steward of Reading’s business and municipal finance needs. I note that she currently serves as the Finance Committee liaison to the RMLD and has completed the National Association of Realtors GREEN Certification. This certification is recognized in and outside that industry in the area of Green and Sustainable Building practices.   

I’ve lived in Reading for over 34 years. I’ve been serving as a Town Meeting member for 25 years, been on the Community Planning & Development Commission for 17 years, on the Historical Commission over 5 years and several other town ad hoc committees. As with most Reading residents, I believe ours is at the top of the list of best towns to live in and raise a family. We share a collective sense of “community” and we value Reading as a tight-knit, caring, small-town community. We expect to have confidence and trust in the ability and integrity of our local government leaders. We value our neighbors who pitch in to support our school and community organizations, and those who volunteer and contribute so much on our town committees, commissions and boards. These values are the foundation on which our reputation is built, and our continued success depends on sustaining them. I’ve known Karen for most of my years of volunteer service. Karen embodies each and all of these values, beliefs and characteristics and she has devoted most of her 24 years in Reading to giving back and volunteering within town government and through many community organizations. Hers is a 19-year record of volunteering, participating and serving the Town of Reading and the Reading community. It’s a record of selfless commitment and contribution that Karen seeks to continue in this elected office. For these, and other reasons, I endorse Karen Herrick for the Select Board. I’m voting for her and I urge you to vote for her as well. 

Jonathan Barnes

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