We live in a great town. North Reading’s school system boasts one of the best returns on the dollar, turning out polished students who go on to lead highly successful lives. The town’s police, fire and public works departments are top notch, and our library continues to be a literary oasis for young and old alike. When it comes to recreation and open space, it is hard to beat this town. I still have yet to find a facility that matches the gem that is Ipswich River Park, while Martin’s Pond, on the west side of town provides great fishing and boating, as well as a beautiful residential area. On top of the facilities, our Parks and Recreation Department and youth sports leagues deliver almost anything you could want, both for adults and children.
On the business front, we have great local restaurants and plenty of retail outlets on Route 28 and throughout the town. The town’s main drag, Route 28, continues to improve, although many of us are impatient and would love to see even more upgrades and beautification along that stretch of road. Many believe that a public sewer system would help to attract a new type of business to town and our selectmen and other boards continue to work on this need.
Bottom line – It’s a wonderful town. Couldn’t be better, right? Wrong.
There is something wrong with this town. Something seriously wrong. Something that only you can fix. The number of uncontested positions in the annual town election is appalling. Once again this year, there was one contest – 2 candidates for a seat on the Board of Selectmen. Everyone else ran unopposed. Cliff Bowers was elected to his second term on the school committee without breaking a sweat. Cliff does a great job and it is a pleasure serving with him, but I am sure even he would agree that more candidates make for better candidates.
As hard as it may be to believe, there has not been a contested election for a school committee seat since 2003, when Gerry Venezia, Nicole Davis and John Wiese faced off for two positions. That makes 8 straight elections that a candidate has waltzed onto the board unopposed. One way to look at this would be, “Wow, the school committee is doing a great job and we want the same people to serve forever.” And, if I could be self-serving for a second, I think the committee has done an excellent job. However, the reality is no competition means we don’t have to work as hard to get elected and could lead to complacency. Giving voters a choice is a much better option.
North Reading is a town full of talented, bright individuals with great ideas. We need more of you to step up and take a shot at an elected or appointed board in this town. The more who get involved, the better our town will become.