Reading, MA — With 51.7 percent of registered voters casting 9,647 votes, Reading voters, by a vote of 3,831 to 5,641 chose not to recall Select Board member Vanessa Alvarado. The results are unofficial until certified by the town clerk.
|Precinct 1||Precinct 2||Precinct 3||Precinct 4||Precinct 5||Precinct 6||Precinct 7||Precinct 8||Totals|
|FOR THE RECALL||646||411||485||461||419||370||515||524||3831|
|AGAISNT THE RECALL||767||622||741||759||742||619||785||606||5641|
Vote for one candidate to fill the resulting Select Board vacancy if Vanessa I Alvarado is recalled. You may vote for a candidate whether or not you voted for or against the recall of Vanessa I Alvarado.
|Candidate||Precinct 1||Precinct 2||Precinct 3||Precinct 4||Precinct 5||Precinct 6||Precinct 7||Precinct 8||Totals|
|John R. Halsey||728||501||565||506||455||425||564||573||4317|
The election, held concurrently with the September 1 state primary election, was the result of an affidavit, submitted by former Select Board member John Arena and signed by 397 residents, alleging that Alvarado had allegedly acted to block police force ratification discussions following the Town Manager’s selection of the Police Chief candidate on January 11. The affidavit continued, stating, “The Select Board is not empowered to select, assist or interfere with a candidate appointed for Police Chief; it may only vote to ratify the Town Manager’s selected appointment.”
At the February 19 Select Board meeting, Alvarado defended her decision to have a board discussion of the police chief selection process at the board’s February 11 meeting, instead of a vote. “My utmost concern was that my colleagues had the chance to ask questions,” Alvarado stated. She also shared that the discussion was delayed from the February 4 agenda “to allow full participation of the board.”
As a result of the accepted affidavit, a petition was circulated, returned to Town Clerk Laura Gemme, and was certified by Gemme with 2,239 signatures on March 18. Only 2,000 signatures were needed to trigger a recall election. Alvarado questioned the validity of the recall affidavit as well as the veracity of 917 of the signatures on the petition.
Alvarado’s challenges led to a Board of Registrars hearing on June 29. At this hearing, Alvarado dropped all challenges to the signatures and the Board of Registrars unanimously affirmed the validity of the affidavit. Board of Registrars member Harry Simmons stated at the time, “I find [the affidavit] was done according to the charter and that the town clerk did her job affixing the seal. I believe the petitioners made their case.” The Select Board had previously set the recall election for September 1 at their June 3 meeting.
As a result of the failed recall, Alvarado will retain her seat on the Select Board. She is in the final year of her term and is eligible for reelection in the local election this coming April.