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Disclosure: Waylandenews Executive Director Kim Reichelt is a member of the Wayland School Committee

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Sudbury-Wayland-Lincoln Domestic Violence Roundtable

Sudbury-Wayland-Lincoln Domestic Violence Roundtable is an all-volunteer nonprofit organization of men and women incorporated in 1999. The goal of the Roundtable is to raise awareness about the issue of domestic violence through community education and networking and to improve the coordination between public and private services for victims and families touched by domestic violence.

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Board of Selectmen Candidate Mary Antes

Candidate Statement:

My name is Mary Antes and I am running for reelection to the Board of Selectmen.  I bring experience and history as well as broad knowledge of and involvement with many Wayland community organizations and groups.  My husband and I are long-time supporters of our schools, library, and conservation lands; the Wayland Historical Society, Vokes Theater, Arts/Wayland, Wayland Concert Series, League of Women Voters, and Sudbury Valley Trustees to name a few.  I’m a member of the Housing Authority, the Council on Aging, and the Wayland Affordable Housing Trust.  As chair of Wayland’s 375th-anniversary celebration, I collaborated with many formal and informal organizations such as the Chinese American Association, Wayland Garden Club, Wayland Business Association, Clergy Association, even the Praying Indians of Natick—and I tried to involve these and other groups in our year-long celebration.

I also represent the town at two regional organizations:  the Metropolitan Area Planning Council and its sub-region group, MetroWest Regional Collaborative.  By attending these quarterly and monthly meetings, I can share with the board information, ideas, and lessons gleaned from other communities.  I’m the member of the board known for amassing the most handouts!

Working collaboratively; learning about and understanding the issues; doing the homework; pushing to get the word out about the good things the town is doing; and trusting that others, volunteers and staff, are doing the same are hallmarks of my work style.  I believe people of good will can come together, work through most differences, and come up with solutions that work well for the town.

More as a doer than a talker, I initiated the Selectmen’s Listening Sessions.  This series of facilitated meetings was designed to hear from residents about how our local government is working for them, what can be improved, and how the town can best communicate with them.  A few of the residents’ suggestions have been implemented and more will come in the next year or so.  In the fall, I would like to organize a Citizens Academy for residents who would like to learn more about how our town departments operate.  This has been done in a number of other communities, resulting in a better understanding of town government and an increase in the number of town volunteers.

With many changes taking place in the Selectmen’s office in the next six months, it is a good time for experience and leadership on the Board of Selectmen.  The current board has worked together well and is poised to take on a number of thorny issues including potential restructuring.

Our current town administrator has worked diligently to make sure the town is well managed.  A study of the town’s financial management by the Collins Center points out, as did the Maximus Study in 2002 and the Charter Commission before that, that the town’s structure is “severely fragmented.”  The Board will soon begin to discuss the 12 recommendations, which ones to implement, if not all, and how to make the changes.  These discussions will influence the reconfiguration of the Selectmen’s office when our town administrator leaves in September.

I understand that many long-time residents are house rich and cash poor and I support ongoing efforts to find ways to provide some relief.  I know a number of seniors who have moved out of Wayland because there was no place to downsize without spending most of the proceeds of the sale of their homes.  I look forward to adding Rivers Edge apartments to our range of housing options.  I’ve attended seminars that presented research indicating the greatest need is for smaller housing options for seniors and millennials.  Instead what we see being built are mega-mansions.  The Wayland Housing Partnership is re-starting its efforts to make the town’s accessory dwelling unit bylaw more usable.  This may be one way to provide older homeowners with a means of obtaining rental income, companionship, and services and to add moderately priced rental units to meet the needs of smaller and moderate-income households.

Wayland is fortunate to have hundreds of volunteers who make our community the fine place it is.  I am happy to be one and I encourage other residents to participate in town government as your time allows, especially younger people who will continue to work for the town we love into the future.