LtE: Verbal Attack on Select Board member

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To the Editor,

At the Select Board meeting Tuesday evening, December 6, a Reading resident launched a vicious verbal attack on Select Board member Karen Herrick for how Ms. Herrick, in the speaker’s opinion, presented and handled the questions she asked of Carl McFadden during the opening discussion of the renewal of the Burbank Ice Arena Authority’s lease at the November 15 Select Board meeting. 

At that time, I had not seen or viewed the November 15 meeting. But now I have. The assertions regarding Ms. Herrick’s “treatment” of Mr. McFadden are absolutely untrue. The claim that Ms. Herrick made “false insinuations and accusations” about “the Burbank” is also untrue. 

Ms. Herrick asked thoughtful questions in a respectful manner that I, as a voter and taxpayer, expect my elected representatives to ask when fulfilling their duties. Mr. McFadden responded in kind. I witnessed no contention or ill will between Ms. Herrick and Mr. McFadden. (This segment of the November 15 meeting can be viewed on RCTV’s YouTube channel and begins at 1:36:30.)

The questions from Ms. Herrick pose no threat to the existence of the Burbank Ice Arena; they pose no threat to the hockey and skating programs that take place there; and they pose no threat to the memory of Mr. Nelson Burbank. Ms. Herrick, the Select Board, the entire town of Reading is grateful to Mr. Burbank for making this marvelous asset possible for our town.

There are legitimate concerns, I believe, about certain aspects of the Ice Arena Authority that need to be addressed. I have had some concerns and will be writing to the Select Board to share these. Now is the time to discuss these issues and ensure that the Burbank Ice Arena remains a source of pride for our town and a tribute to Mr. Burbank for years to come.


Mary Ellen O’Neill
Summer Ave.

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