Stoneham 2021 April Ballot

This year was particularly difficult, not just because of the pandemic but because all the candidates seem like excellent folks we should be pleased and proud to have serve our community. I hate to feel like I’m voting “against” any of them! May Stoneham always be so lucky to have this be our set of choices! That said, I think more than ever it’s tough to make a decision between folks so qualified, and I hope that the candidates not elected this time will consider serving again.

Here’s the sample ballot:
https://www.stoneham-ma.gov/DocumentCenter/View/3242/Sample-Town-Election-Ballot

Select Board:
Raymie Parker
Robert Lawler

Rationale:
I have been impressed with Raymie’s work on the Selectboard since she was first elected. In a role like this, I think that a mix of experience in how to get things done and optimism things can change are an ideal mix for a board, and Raymie has both.

The choice between Robert Lawler and David Pignone was a harder one. In the end, it came down to access and communication. I strongly believe that Stoneham is best served by a Selectboard that serves all 20,000+ residents of the town, not just the few thousand who are already well connected. David’s communications to people outside the already well established channels weren’t as strong as Robert’s (Robert did a number of open Zoom forums). David also did not respond to my requests to talk to him about his candidacy, where Robert reached out to me several times. I think Robert’s background and experience are good and a good mix with the current board. I’m hopeful if elected he would continue to serve all the residents of the town well. So in my final decision, I give Robert Lawler the edge.

School Committee (full term)
Jaime Wallace
Melanie Fiore

I’m grateful for George Georgountzos for his continued interest in serving the town, but his educational experience and commitment is considerably less than Jaime (the incumbent) or Melanie Fiore (who has significant volunteering bona fides, and is serving an appointed role now).

School Committee (part term) – SUPER HARD CHOICE
Rati Chaudari-Murray

OK, this was by far the hardest choice! I want both Rati and Betty! They both have great backgrounds in education, and they both have a wonderful perspective to offer to Stoneham! Their outreach and platforms are similar. I really wrestled with this one! At the end, I finally leaned towards Rati, in part because of her experience with special needs kids, which is so important to vulnerable members of our community. Making sure our schools are addressing the needs of ALL our children is a critical contribution.

All other races are uncontested.

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bflynn

Brenda currently lives in Stoneham MA, but grew up in Mineral WA. She is surrounded by men, with two sons, one husband and two boy cats. She plays trumpet at church, cans farmshare produce and works in software.

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