Letters to the Editor
Originally Published March 12, 2020 in the Arlington Advocate
Arlington elections on April 4 are fast approaching. Each time I vote in our local elections, I am reminded on how our form of town government allows for greater resident involvement than other places I have lived. Especially Town Meeting members (TMM) who get to represent their precincts in voting for the articles that are adopted each year. In several elections over the years, I have noticed that there were fewer candidates than open seats (for TMM) in my precinct. This stood out to me as either being due to a lack of people having the interest in serving in town government or there being a lack of recruitment for new TMMs. This year, I see that most precincts have competitive races, not to mention competitive races for all the major offices in town. This greatly encourages me.
I see competitive elections as a sign of more people wanting to get involved in the governing work of our town and to represent the diverse viewpoints of our residents. Some candidates are running in order to continue the work that they have been doing, others are running to shift priorities and give voice to underrepresented viewpoints, and still others are running to say, “I want to get involved too.” I see competitive elections as a healthy part of our democracy, especially when candidates run on the issues that are important to them. When I vote on April 4, I will be voting FOR candidates that stand out to me. I will not be voting AGAINST anyone else running in those races. And for that reason, I plan to vote for Michaiah Healy (healyforselectboard.com) for Select Board (she’s amazing, and yes, I’m biased, but it’s still the truth), Jo Anne Preston for Housing Authority, and Lynette Martyn (Electlynette.com) for School Board.
So, this election day (April 4, if I haven’t said that enough), I encourage everyone to get to know the candidates, know what they stand for, what their priorities are, and why they want your vote. The more you get to know the candidates, the more likely you are to vote FOR someone, and not against their opponent. If you get to know Healy, Preston and Martyn, I think you’ll agree that they are motivated, passionate advocates for our town, our residents, our environment, and our future.
See you on Saturday, April 4!
— Shawn Healy, Howard Street