When I think about what and who should represent the Reading residents on the Select Board, the first thing that comes to my mind is the qualities a leader of this town should have. A good leader has good communication skills, integrity, is a role model, motivates others, has empathy, is a strategic thinker, delegation skills and is dedicated.
As we look toward the future of the Reading Select Board and upcoming election, the person that possesses the skills to be a great leader is Melissa Murphy. My children are the same ages as Melissa’s oldest children, and I’ve gotten to know her very well over the years since our kids started at Wood End together. I served on School Council at Wood End with Melissa, was a fellow hockey mom on our daughter’s team together, and volunteered with her for countless initiatives over the years. Melissa is one of the most dedicated people that I know, and her willingness to help has always amazed me. She is always the first person to raise her hand and volunteer when needed or to lead a project or initiative, and she always does it with maximum effort and results.
As I’ve watched the Reading Select Board over the last several years, I’ve seen that one of the key aspects missing is good communication within the Board itself and respect for others. There are five voices on the Select Board, which is important for the town of Reading, but it’s also equally important for those five voices to listen to all residents of this town, not just residents that fit the Select Board member’s agenda. For this town to be the best that it can, everyone needs to come together, and be respectful of the various viewpoints that are brought to the table. T he coming years will bring critical projects before the Board – such as Killam School and the Senior Center. We need people that will balance listening to the residents of the community with the overall needs of the town, and will make strategic decisions. We need leaders that understand they are making decisions that are best for Reading as a whole community. I have no doubt that Melissa will excel in these decisions.
I’ve had conversations with Melissa that we may disagree, but the best part about Melissa is that she is always willing to listen, to learn, and we always have a respectful and very thoughtful discussion. There have been times that Melissa has listened to my points, and reflected on her own and said “I agree with you, I didn’t see it that way”. There have also been areas where we didn’t fully agree, but she is very articulate with her viewpoints and willing to talk matters through. Lastly, every single conversation that we’ve had has always been with mutual respect, because Melissa has the utmost respect for others and integrity.
The town of Reading needs a voice on the Select Board that will listen to all voters in this town, and Melissa will succeed in the role. I urge residents to vote for Melissa Murphy.