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Pr. 3 meeting member offers her election choices

This letter was submitted by Susan Stamps, a Precinct 3 Town Meeting member.

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Our town election is always important, but in this time of Covid-19, more than ever.  We need to show people that we are a welcoming, thoughtful community, and we want to elect folks who will continue the good, fiscally responsible management of the town in a way that is transparent, accountable and responsive to the needs of all our residents.

I hope you will join me in voting for these candidates:

Select Board – Mahon and Diggins

As many know, Diane Mahon is now the longest-serving Select Board member.  We need her experience and knowledge to get us through this crisis.  Her energy and dedication to getting out information about the effect of the virus, the town’s response, and the many town services available has been key to our community.  I urge you to vote for her.

Two newcomers are running this year, and I am voting for Len Diggins, my fellow Town Meeting member from East Arlington. Len has been a volunteer for ACMi for years and has been filming the Select Board meetings.  His knowledge of the issues, big and small, that the Select Board handles makes him an excellent candidate for the seat.  His knowledge of transportation issues will contribute greatly to this town of walkers, bikers and drivers.

School Committee – Exton, Hayner and Schlichtman

This race is incredibly important this year.  The School Committee will be picking a new superintendent and overseeing the high school construction during the next year.  We need candidates that can function well as part of a team and are thoughtful, careful and committed to the children of Arlington and not their own personal agendas.

Liz Exton is the newcomer.  She is a mother, a public school teacher and a well-liked advocate for the Arlington school system. She worked tirelessly to pass the high school override vote, and she is a Town Meeting member.  Her leadership of the effort to ensure that full-day kindergartens were staffed with teaching assistants showed her ability to collaborate with other parents/guardians and the school administration.

Bill Hayner and Paul Schlichtman are known, experienced members of the School Committee. They work to make the school system better and better. They have worked tirelessly for the schools and also deserve your vote.

Town Clerk – Brazile

Another important race in town is the town clerk.  This office needs a person to bring it into the 21st century and to be an accessible, welcoming office in Town Hall.  It needs someone with a talent for big-picture thinking and also attention to detail and the law. I served on the Recycling Committee when Juli was cochair, and I was amazed at her energy, organization and ability to get things done.  She is a proven leader for her work on Envision Arlington and has many years of service on many town boards.  We are incredibly lucky that she has offered herself as candidate for town clerk.

Housing Authority – Preston

When I was cochair of Arlington's effort to adopt the Community Preservation Act,  which would raise money to fund certain important quality of life initiatives – parks and open space, historic preservation and affordable housing - we got enthusiastic support from all the boards and community groups involved in those areas – except for the Arlington Housing Authority.  I could not get anyone on the board to be interested in CPA, much less, unlike all the other stakeholders, publicly support its adoption.

I am on the Tree Committee and know Jo Anne Preston from her advocacy on tree issues.  I do not always agree with her, but I admire her persistence, intelligence and activism.  Together, with her background in gerontology and her energy, she would be a great addition to the Housing Authority.

Town Meeting

This year, there is a “slate” of candidates that are running.   While I agree strongly with Arlington Fights Racism's (AFR) broad goals of inclusion, diversity and antiracism, I sometimes find the tone of the messaging unproductively negative, accusatory and divisive.

I suggest that you look carefully at the good men and women who already serve you on Town Meeting. They know the ropes, the issues and are committed to your future.  They are excellent Town Meeting members.  

Here are some of the contested races for you to consider:

Precinct 3 – I first ran for Town Meeting in 2011, less than a year after I moved to town as an empty-nester from Carlisle.  I bring decades of experience serving on town boards both in Arlington and Carlisle.  Serving my community in local government is one of my passions. 

As an attorney and environmentalist, I bring a logical, well-rounded and progressive view to all issues before Town Meeting, and I take the job very seriously.  I hope you who are in Precinct 3 will vote for me and my three fellow incumbent Town Meeting members -- John Ellis, Kezia Simister and Courtney Urick.

Precinct 8 – vote for:

Grossman
Bean
Band
Berkowitz

Precinct 11 – vote for:

Leba Heigham
Both Radochias

Precinct 12 – vote for:

Helmuth
Vorce
Brazile

Precinct 14 – vote for:

Mahon
Maher
Rosenthal
Gallagher

Precinct 15 – vote for:

Greenfield
Exton
Paradise
Dobbs


This letter was published Friday, June 5, 2020.

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