As our town is celebrating its 371st birthday, which by the way predates the establishment of the commonwealth of Massachusetts, I want to share with the residents and voters my observations and experiences that I believe contributed to Wenham being identified by Boston Magazine as “one of best places/towns in the state to live”.
I believe the three main factors that contribute to the success of our town are the rural character, the multi-generational families that have stayed actively involved, and a strong conservative and responsible approach to town management. The first two items I believe are a direct result of the third item. Each year town operations have come under growing pressure due to ever-increasing costs, as well many unfunded mandates thrust upon us by state and federal legislative actions.
If the residents of Wenham want to remain the town we have been as we near the end of our fourth century, I believe we must have strong, engaged leadership, and that leadership must respect the deep and colorful history of the town, as well have an ever-vigilant and proactive outlook that will keep us as a great place to live.
Strong management must come from public involvement in that leadership. The board of selectmen must use town meetings to get citizen input and drive and confirm decisions and direction, and as we witnessed at last year’s town meeting, if the selectmen are not engaged, confusion and dysfunction can blur the clear direction the town and the voters want and need to follow.
Although personal obligations held me back from being able to run for the open board of selectmen position this year, I found there is another candidate that has the time, passion, and commitment required to take on the challenges facing the town. My extensive discussions with many people have led me to strongly urge all registered voters to consider, support, and vote for Catherine Harrison to be our next engaged town leader.
Catherine has demonstrated leadership and integrity in her many years of service and involvement in town, and is very approachable, responsive, and will be active in leading Wenham in the right direction.
If you wish, please feel free to contact me directly for further discussions.
John A. Clemenzi
3 Stage Hill Road