ELECTION DAY is TOMORROW -- I am thrilled that Mary Antes (Board of Selectmen-1 yr. term), Barb Fletcher (School Committee-3 yr.), Cherry Karlson (Selectmen-3 yr.), and Joe Nolan (Selectmen-3 yr.) are running for office. This group has built a multi-decade track record of results for Wayland, including outstanding work on the Town Center, the new High School, recruitment of a nationally regarded Superintendent, housing advocacy, the Council on Aging, Wayland 375, the integrated DPW, better reserves to avoid and cushion overrides, and stabilization of the Town’s finances during the worst recession in over 50 years. Mary, Barb, Cherry, and Joe set a shining example of how to stay above the political rancor that skidded through Town a few years ago during the downturn. Each is a consummate citizen – selfless, steady, and determined to serve. What motivates me most to write is that over the years I have witnessed all four of these candidates make a point of listening keenly to those who initially disagree with them about a particular issue.

• Mary Antes was a Selectman for 12 years and has strived tirelessly on housing, the Council on Aging, and the Wayland 375 Program (which she is chairing). It will be terrific to get her back.
• Barb Fletcher has served on the School Committee for 9 years, 3 as chair. She is a rare, eloquent, magnificently obsessed leader who can summarize the big picture in education and in the same minute answer detailed questions about the School budget and organizational nuances. Barb maintains a constant, positive tension between improving education and controlling costs, and she knows how to make efficiency contagious.
• Cherry Karlson has served the Town for 18 years in a progression of capacities, including 10 years on the Finance Committee. She champions clarity and common sense. Her leadership of the FinComm during the downturn was adroit and methodical. There is probably no individual in Wayland who better comprehends the Town’s finances, including the history, trends, and peer-group best-practices for Wayland’s principal financial metrics.
• Joe Nolan is an earnest public servant who disdains spin. His successful hard work on the Town Center and the DPW are legendary to those who were fortunate to get to observe Joe in action, yet he never seeks the spotlight.

The candidates running against Antes, Fletcher, Karlson, and Nolan are disappointing. A check with the Town Clerk’s office reveals that one of the opponents has never even signed into a Town Meeting. Worse, some of the opponents have built reputations for strident, adversarial behavior that are inconsistent with Wayland’s values. The Board of Selectmen reeks of inexperience and bombast; witness the incompetent handling of the Town Administrator relationship last summer.

ANTES, FLETCHER, KARLSON, and NOLAN are experienced and widely respected. The chief issue in this election will be voter turnout. They have been there for us; let’s be there for them on April 1.

Christopher H. Reynolds
Draper Road