To the Editor:
We are writing to voice our support for Karen Gately Herrick for a seat on the Board of Selectmen. We believe that Karen has the right combination of experience, education, proven commitment to the community through volunteer service, work ethic, and open mind to guide her to serve productively and successfully as a Selectman. These qualities have served her well in her years of service with Reading town government, and will continue to serve her as Reading faces some difficult challenges ahead.
Knowledge of the issues. Karen is the candidate who has served 10 years as a Town Meeting member, and is the only candidate who has long-term experience evaluating the finances of the town and voting on the town budget. Karen served as Precinct 8 Chair for two years. Karen’s involvement with town government began shortly after she and her husband moved to Reading, and her participation in local government has increased over the years. In addition to Town Meeting, Karen has been appointed by the Board of Selectmen to serve on the Solid Waste Committee (2005), the Tax Classification Committee (2007), and the Historical Commission (2006-09). Karen worked successfully on the Aquifer District propane by-law change in 2003. Karen has broad knowledge of the day-to-day operations of the town and the important issues affecting our community today. Karen is the candidate who will be prepared to contribute on her first day as Selectman.
Corporate Experience/Reading Small Business Owner. Karen holds a B.S. degree from Boston College and an M.B.A. from Bentley University. Karen has 13 years of corporate experience in high-tech Fortune 500 companies. She has been a realtor/broker and small business owner, now with Re/Max, in Reading since 2003. With the town’s desire to attract new businesses and an emphasis on improving relationships with business owners, Karen’s experience as a Reading business owner afford her a unique perspective that will serve her well in evaluating business owners’ needs.
Wife/Mom/Community Volunteer. Together with her husband Steven, Karen is raising their daughter Madeleine, a Coolidge Middle School student. She has served on the Wood End PTO and School Council, the Wood End Playground Fundraising Committee, and at St. Athanasius Church as a religious education teacher. Karen’s community involvement goes beyond her own family’s needs. Karen has volunteered for and supported Understanding Disabilities, Reading Town Day, Adopt-an-Island program, Adopt-a-Magazine at the library, Special Skates at the Burbank Arena, Creative Arts, the Pop Warner program, and numerous other charitable organizations. Karen walks the walk. She is truly civic-minded; she has always worked hard to help maintain a high quality of life for residents in Reading.
Karen’s Priorities/Collaborative Approach/Open Mind. Karen has stated that several of her priorities as Selectman would be to continue to work on downtown redevelopment, to support measures to combat rising larceny and drug problems, and to continue to be a fierce resident advocate. We believe these are important issues facing our town.
Karen believes in a collaborative approach to decision-making. Karen is not promising to vote a certain way on hot-button issues, knowing that campaign promises are often broken, and that the issues facing our town are complex and often changing. Instead, she is promising to thoroughly evaluate all aspects of the issue, to listen to all points of view, to collaborate with others towards a solution, and to make recommendations and decisions in the best interest of the residents and other constituents of the town of Reading. We believe that this is the best approach to decision-making and problem solving.
We believe Karen will serve as a Selectman in the same dedicated way she has served as an active resident for the past 16 years, and we believe she is the best candidate to serve as the next member of the Board of Selectmen.
Angela Binda and Jeffrey Dietz, Ben Tafoya and Meghan Young, David and Kathy Greenfield, Russell Graham, Barry Berman, Bill Brown, Cynda Rohmer and Bob Drake, Theresa and Joseph Petrillo, Heidi Bonnabeau, Mark Cardono, Thomas J. Ryan, Roberta Sullivan, Will Finch, Steve Chuha, Priscilla Ryan