I have decided not to seek re-election to the Board of Selectmen this coming April. Although this announcement may seem early to some, I want every good potential candidate for the Board of Selectmen to have adequate time to give full consideration to running for the seat I will vacate in the Spring.
During the past forty years, I served twenty years in elective office in Wakefield Town government. I began on the School Committee in 1972 as a young man. During most of the 1980s, I was the Town's Moderator. In 2003, townspeople first elected me to the Board of Selectmen, and by April of 2012 I will have served on the Board for three full terms, a total of nine years.
I have been an active and activist Selectmen. When I saw problems, I called attention to them publicly and privately. More importantly, I suggested common sense solutions to those problems. From time to time, I raised issues that made some in Town government uncomfortable, but that's the role of an effective Selectman.
It has been an honor and privilege to serve as a Wakefield Selectman. In doing so, I believe I made a solid contribution to the success of the Board and the Town. I strived to be a voice for fiscal restraint on the Board and at Town Meeting while being mindful of the Town's legitimate needs for adequate financial reserves and necessary infrastructure improvements.
This letter will not catalog matters and projects I worked on over the years or list what I believe to be my specific accomplishments as a member of the Board of Selectmen. I would say, however, that I am pleased by the votes I cast on the Board and the positions I took and would not take one of them back.
In particular, I'm proud to have strongly supported the appointment of Town Administrator Steve Maio. Despite initial opposition to Mr. Maio's appointment from the local press and some in the community, this decision put the Town in the right hands and for the right reasons. This was by far the most important decision made by the Selectmen during my tenure. The Town-side of local government has a fine leader in Mr. Maio.
We have a great community largely because Wakefield is blessed with many talented and dedicated volunteers who participate without compensation or much personal recognition in our many civic and charitable organizations as well as in Town government. I am confident that qualified, energetic and intelligent people with sound judgment will continue to step forward to offer themselves as volunteers in a myriad of capacities.
As for my future plans, I won't rule anything in or out. I feel fine and am willing to consider elective or appointive office in the future if I think I can add value and benefit the Town. This coming April when I depart Town government, I'll go leaving my best wishes to the current Board of Selectmen and to everyone else involved in the betterment of our community.