Appreciation for Town Meeting

To the Editor:

This year’s Town Meeting was a useful reminder of how much time and effort it takes to manage the many issues, large and small, that make Carlisle such a unique place to live. Thanks go to our elected officials, who were thoughtful and well prepared, and to those who spoke out. Our town moderator, Wayne Davis, deserves special recognition. His knowledge of parliamentary procedure and sense of fair play (tempered with just the right amount of humor) kept things on track. Well done!

Scott Simpson

Judy Farm Road

Vote on May 8

To the Editor:

The best way to say “Thank you” to the Carlisle residents running for local office this year? Schedule some time on Tuesday, May 8, to go to Town Hall, our polling place, and vote! Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

We have 13 neighbors running for nine seats this year, with two contested races (School Committee and Town Clerk). Several residents will also be at the polls to assist with voting tasks. Show your support by casting your votes for those running whether in contested or non-contested races. A strong democracy depends on our active participation at all levels of government. Your vote matters!

Launa Zimmaro

Cindy Nock

Barbara Lewis

League of Women Voters of Concord-Carlisle

Comments on Housing Coordinator Amendment

To the Editor:

Having just returned from Town Meeting, I have some comments on the discussion and issues around the Housing Authority amendment (to Article 11) to restore funding for the Housing Coordinator (HC).

To those who think that the position was new, not fully described, or an end-run on ‘process’—the HC position was twice voted by Town Meeting, well described, and the HC has helped to successfully tackle two major housing projects. That vote presumably meant the town wanted to advance affordable housing, and still does. The Board of Selectmen eliminated the position—or maybe it was the Town Administrator, it’s not clear what was going on because each kept shifting blame to each other when previously asked. In essence, the elimination of the position eliminated my voice. This is not simply a case of ‘you can’t get everything you want, other requests were turned down.’ I don’t remember voting for all the other requests for committee or department positions. I do remember voting for the HC.

On that note, there was a new position that snuck in, with a vague description, at similar funding as requested for the HC—a ‘Facilities Manager’ to ‘recommend projects, help set priorities, solicit bids and supervise the work.’ No debate on that one. No vote either—do we get a voice on that position? Of course not.

To those who did vote against funding the HC because of ‘process’—may you find comfort in ‘process’ when a 40B project lands in your backyard. This was not about process, don’t be fooled. Let’s not allow our elected officials (or others) to hide behind smokescreens. A commenter put it best when he said to the BOS, if you’re not in favor of affordable housing, say so. I don’t want critical decisions to be implemented by town officials that contradict what the town had previously agreed on—that’s the end-run, not the Article 11 amendment at Town Meeting. Last, I would like to thank the Housing Authority, for their long service and dedication to this issue, and especially for bringing it out in the open and allowing me an opportunity to vote on it, once again.

Jayne Prats

River Road

Support for Melynda Gambino

To the Editor:

Please join me in supporting Melynda Gambino for Carlisle School Committee. I’ve considered Melynda a friend for many years now as we have children in the 3rd and 6th grades together. I’m writing this letter, not because of our friendship, but because I’ve been able to observe first hand Melynda’s passion for our children’s education and her commitment to the community.

Melynda exemplifies the true sense of a team player. She knows how to represent her beliefs while working with everyone to find the best solution to any problem. She’s easy to work with and brings fresh insight and enthusiasm to the work we’ve done together.

I enjoy talking with Melynda about issues facing our education system. Her knowledge on the issues facing our schools today is relevant. She understands that the success of our children’s education is not just dependent on the technology we implement, but instead is driven by the interactions they have with our faculty and administration. She understands the importance of the School Committee when it comes to serving as a gateway between the community and the school administration. Melynda is a familiar face around town, easy to talk to, and will be an excellent, available and approachable representative on the school board.

Please join me in voting for Melynda Gambino on May 8.

Rachel Reynolds

Rodgers Road

Support for Shannon May Lavery

To the Editor:

I am writing this letter with wholehearted support for Shannon May Lavery for School Committee. I have known Shannon for seven years and during that time we have had many discussions about education both in our town and in the wider community. Shannon is a delightful person who is intelligent, thoughtful and has a great sense of humor. One quality that stands out is her wisdom. Shannon is keenly observant, she listens, processes, evaluates and problem solves quickly. She is extraordinarily creative and can often see possibilities that would not occur to others. Shannon is also mother to two children, one a CPS student, the other at CCHS. She has volunteered and substituted at our school, knows it well and is familiar with the transition to the high school.

Shannon’s professional qualifications in fields of education are many. She has worked as a teacher, produced educational videos at WGBH, designed curricula, and worked as part of an innovative team at Concord Consortium, a hub of STEM learning resources. Combined with her background in educational technology, Shannon has a multi-faceted understanding of current educational issues. She also has a real connection to the natural world, recognizes the importance of art and nature in the life of a child and knows the benefits of movement, meditation, yoga, sports and creative expression. She stays abreast of educational innovations, is interested in evidence based research and has a great desire to contribute to the school community that has given so much to her own children. Shannon understands how school committee decisions can ultimately touch kids’ lives in profound and subtle ways. I am confident that she will bring valuable perspective as a member of the school committee and I urge you to cast your vote for Shannon May Lavery on May 8.

Susan Bacher

East Street

Vote for Gambino

To the Editor,

I am writing this letter in support of Melynda Gambino for School Committee. I have known Melynda since our youngest kids were in play group together. Despite being busy with both work and home, Melynda has always been committed to volunteering both in the classroom and in the town, striving to make, not only the school, but the larger community a better place for our families. Melynda holds a Master’s degree in Education with experience in curriculum development, but more importantly, she has a lot of experience working with a team to achieve a common goal. She isn’t afraid to dig in and do whatever work or research is necessary for a project and then bring that information back to the group and find a common solution.

Perhaps one of her most important skills is her willingness to listen to those she is speaking to and really take their feedback and opinions into consideration. An important attribute in someone representing the greater community. Melynda has the benefit of having been here for 13 years now and next year will have kids at each level in school (elementary, middle & high school), bringing a broad perspective to the job.

Please vote for Melynda on May 8.

Carren Panico

Tophet Road

Gambino for School Committee

To the Editor:

I am writing to share my enthusiastic support of Melynda Gambino and hope you will consider voting for her for School Committee.

I have known Melynda since our children were in pre-school at the Red Balloon and over the years, I’ve seen her in action volunteering at the Carlisle School in different roles and committees.

Thoughtful and level headed, Melynda takes the time to understand issues at hand, listens intently and respects the thoughts and opinions of people around her.

In addition to her commitment to helping out the school and in the classroom, she recently assisted the School Advisory Council in conducting a survey that resulted in several recommendations that will enhance communication and promote greater engagement of families.

Melynda has an MS degree in Education and extensive knowledge in school curriculum, standards and administration oversight. I believe she cares deeply about our community and I know we would all benefit from her knowledge and experience if elected to serve on the School Committee. Vote Melynda Gambino on May 8.

Emily DiRocco

Westford Street

Vote for Lavery for School Committee

To the Editor:

I am writing to voice my support for Shannon May Lavery for the Carlisle School Committee. I am a former classroom teacher and past enthusiastic volunteer at the Carlisle Public Schools. The position of School Committee member is vitally important to our children and to our community.

Ms. Lavery is the candidate with classroom teaching experience and her respect for the educator’s work and perspective is very important in supporting an evolving curriculum and positive learning environment for all. In addition, her deep and long-standing commitment of service to students combined with her very strong passion for the field of education is impressive. Her professional endeavors have always been in the realm of education.

This is an exciting yet challenging time for schools. Shannon May Lavery is eager to contribute and help move the Carlisle Schools forward in excellence, while also being mindful of fiscal responsibility. I respect her vision, commitment, smarts and integrity. As I’ve also observed—she does her homework! Carlisle and our schools would be fortunate to have her serve as a school committee member.

Please consider voting for Shannon May Lavery for School Committee when you head to the polls on Tuesday, May 8.

Regina Walsh Troast

Concord Street

More support for Gambino

To the Editor:

I would like to encourage my fellow Carlisle residents to elect Melynda Gambino to the School Committee. Over the last ten years of knowing her, I have come to deep respect for her skills, her insights, her practical nature, and her ability to see both the strengths and flaws of our school system. I have had the chance to watch her in action, corralling kids and adults, engineers and business folks into doing the right thing for everyone. I have seen her stand up and say “no,” and I have seen her bring out the best in others. She is able both to collaborate deeply with others as well as to stand against mob effects and “group-think.”

Vote Gambino—her hands-on background in education, business, and as a parent of three all give her exactly the skills we need.

Lee Tatistcheff

Oak Knoll Road

Gambino’s daughter urges residents to vote for mother

To the Editor:

My mother, Melynda Gambino, a long time resident with a masters in education, is running for school committee. She has three children, one of which is yours truly. I have lived in Carlisle for most of my life. I have seen first hand my mother’s commitment, determination, and care for everything she does. Most would think that I am simply saying this because she is my mother, but in all honesty, I have never met a parent so dedicated to learning and improving our community as my mom. 

I have seen her laser focus and determination that drives her to complete her task. I have seen her extensive organisation and information gathering. I know that she cares about others opinions on matters because when she sees something she can improve, she will not only ask what I think would help, but gets the opinions and ideas of my friends, their parents, and anyone who has something to say. After comparing her ideas to others and analyzing important facts, one might observe her making the decision that she knows will have the best possible outcome. 

My mother has always had the best moral compass of everyone. She has never, in all fourteen years of my life, done something of selfish intentions. Her goal is to help her family and friends in any way possible. She has a degree in education, and has worked on many committees that were to improve Carlisle. I have seen how important education is to her. 

With strong ideals, constant determination, and intense care, I really believe that Melynda Gambino, my mother, is the best possible candidate for school committee out there and strongly encourage you to vote for her. 

Madelyn Gambino

Carlisle Middle School student

Stoney Gate

de Alderete for Town Clerk

To the Editor:

I would like to take this opportunity to ask you to join me in support of Mary de Alderete for Carlisle’s next Town Clerk. Having worked as a volunteer in the Clerk’s office for many years, I have first-hand knowledge of the skills needed to be successful in this role. de Alderete’s eleven years of full-time, hands-on professional experience as Assistant Town Clerk in Acton and currently Town Clerk in Lancaster provide her with the necessary knowledge and training to competently perform the duties of the Town Clerk in Carlisle. Her kind and helpful manner will allow her to serve our residents and visitors with the grace and dignity they deserve.

Mary has worked in Carlisle’s Town Hall as an assistant to the Board of Health and as a Medical Reserve Corps volunteer and is well versed in the “Carlisle Way” of doing things—that is, with accuracy, thoroughness and respect.

The polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 8 for this very important decision. Please vote for Mary deAlderete for Town Clerk.

Kathy De Vivo–Ash

Nowell Farme Road

Blanchette for Town Clerk

To the Editor:

Carlisle voters, please lend your support on election day to Eileen Blanchette, candidate for Town Clerk. Eileen is committed to the Town of Carlisle, both as a long-time resident and as the only candidate who has intimate, first-hand, and precise knowledge of the Carlisle Town Clerk’s office, in which she served as Assistant, Notary Public, and Justice of the Peace. In those capacities, she recorded our births and deaths, married some of us, placed our town board and committee minutes into the town files so they would be accessible to all, posted meetings, notarized our documents, filed our Town Meeting acts with the state, helped to run and oversee elections, answered questions, and performed all the duties of the Town Clerk at different periods of her tenure. She also substituted for our Town Clerk when that official was absent because of illness and served as our interim Town Clerk when that official was absent with an extended hospitalization and recovery. This experience, specific to Carlisle and to our community’s needs, will be of prodigious value in carrying the office of Town Clerk forward. In addition, Eileen knows both our municipal and state laws and she is a person of consummate integrity. 

Because of her deep knowledge of the inner workings of our Town Clerk’s office and of its public face, Eileen knows exactly what needs to be done to increase the efficiency and professionalism of the office and to bring it safely into the 21st century. Eileen also has a background in corporate management, and using that skill set and her experience in our Town Clerk’s office, she has created a plan, specifically tailored to our town’s needs, to organize the office of the Town Clerk, to safeguard our public records and history and make them efficiently accessible to all of our citizens according to law, and to provide the services that Carlisle citizens require and expect in a thoroughly professional and considerate manner. Please vote for Eileen Blanchette on May 8.

Priscilla Stevens

Maple Street

Support for de Alderete

To the Editor:

I am writing to endorse Mary de Alderete for Town Clerk. As her husband, unconditional support is a given, and given with good reason. I have had a front-row seat in her career and had the privilege of watching her grow her skills and abilities. I’ve volunteered to work elections under her leadership and watched the teams she trained work through tough situations, and when an escalation was needed, I saw first-hand how she managed the situations with grace and humor that calmed even the most contentious situations. In one case, a relieved volunteer confided in me that Mary was their lifesaver in tough spots, and proceeded to tell me what a great Clerk she is. That particular conversation is memorable because I discovered later that the volunteer had no idea I was Mary’s husband.

When Mary started working in the Clerk’s office, I had no clue what a Town Clerk did. I’ve learned since, and it would take too many words to explain; suffice to say that it’s a crucial job for the operation of town government. The closest analogy would be the town’s Network/IT manager. That person must have specific, demonstrable skills to do the job. As a user we may not know all the ins and outs of network protocols, but we sure know what it’s like when the system goes down.

When the opportunity to run for Town Clerk in Carlisle came up, Mary and I discussed the impact on our family and on Mary professionally. Mary’s desire to help the town won the day. This isn’t new, she’s been active in more volunteer efforts than I have space to list, it’s an integral part of who she is. This is not a career stepping-stone for her, it’s a call to service. With her resume, she can be a Town Clerk just about anywhere in Massachusetts, but she is willing to offer her time and talent for Carlisle because it’s our home and Carlisle deserves the best.

I support Mary de Alderete and I ask that you do the same on May 8.

Frank de Alderete

Concord Street

Support for Blanchette

To the Editor:

Unless you have not been outside your house for the past month, you know that my spouse, Eileen Blanchette, is running for Town Clerk. Obviously, I am prejudiced in her favor, but I have also been a Senior Tax Worker in the Town Clerk’s office and I can testify that it needs some serious attention. She is the only candidate who knows what, why and where; the only candidate with situational knowledge. She can fix it. She observed it up close and personally for over two years as Assistant Town Clerk. 

She has years of corporate experience running complex programs and multi-million dollar projects. I have seen her turn groups of disgruntled workers into high-performing teams. I have seen her take new product launches from whiteboard “what ifs” through product launch and lessons learned. She is a consummate professional, she is caring, she fiercely loves this town and her sense of humor is second to none.

I do hope you will vote on May 8—I have fears for our country’s democratic process and I think we all need to show our civic-mindedness.

Ann Quenin

Red Pine Drive

Questioning tenor of town politics

To the Editor:

Is this what it has come to?

Missing street signs, calls to our police and the deliberate and repeated impugning of my name and reputation?

My opponent and/or those closely associated with her and her campaign stooped to calling the police about me on Saturday while I was at the Transfer Station campaigning and talking to voters. I understand that there is a bylaw that states that candidate election signs may not be placed on town property. A portion of my banner was tied with an old telephone line to the open gate at the Transfer Station, with permission. One could rightfully argue that posting my opponent’s political brochure on the bulletin board at the swap shed  is also a violation of that bylaw—it’s town property.

But all of this is for naught. The rancor, bullying and mean-spiritedness that we as a country are witnessing has now made a formal appearance in Carlisle. It has no place here and when it is seen, it is up to each of us to call it out.  It has no place in Town Hall or anywhere else in my beloved town.

Eileen Blanchette

Red Pine Drive

Election sign location challenged

To the Editor:

Saturday, April 28, at 11:30 a.m. I received a call from a citizen who was upset to see a large political banner for Town Clerk’s race affixed to town property at the Transfer Station, noting that he did not believe that was allowed. Our Town Bylaw 10. 3 Public Ways Section 10. 3. 1 states: “No person except a town officer in the exercise of his duties shall affix a sign, signboard or device to a post, board, tree or other object within the limits of any public way, on land belonging to the town or on any public building without first obtaining permission from the Selectmen.” I instructed him to file a complaint with the police and went about my day. By 2 p.m. I made my own weekly pilgrimage to the Transfer Station. There, I too, saw the banner, affixed to the main entrance gate. I couldn’t understand why this hadn’t been rectified earlier so I proceeded to the Police Department. I shared with them page 2 of the candidate’s packet, which states: “Please note that Elections Signs may not be placed on Town Property. Signs can be erected on private property as long as the property owners have given their approval.” Admittedly, I should have spoken directly to the candidate as she stood by her very large red banner near the dog pen but regretfully, I did not. I have since received additional emails and calls from other citizens who were taken aback by the banner, noting that it seemed ‘way out of place’ and ‘not the Carlisle way.’ Hopefully the bylaws can be followed going forward.

Liz Bishop

Kimball Road

Visit Center Park

To the Editor:

Center Park has begun to bloom! Hellebores (Lenten Roses) add beauty along both sides of the lawn. The Island: bright yellow daffodils, tiny periwinkle Scilla, and shoots of Solomon’s Seal about 2” high now beckon marching like a school band across the length of the Island. The vinca ground cover is dotted with violet-blue flowers, adding color harmony to the parking area too.

Center Park was not spared the ravages of the March nor’easters; professional tree trimming is in progress. We welcome long-time Carlisle resident Leslie Kmiec as the new webmaster for Center Park’s website, She has had many years experience designing and maintaining websites in her work as a high school librarian. In addition to updating the plant list, she will write blog posts periodically, noting what’s in flower as the seasons change, add photos, and report on other happenings at Center Park.

Carlisle Center Park invites you to visit and celebrate the wonders of spring! 

Sabrina Perry

Center Park Coordinator

Thanks for supporting Cradles to Crayons clothing drive

To the Editor:

Thank you very much for supporting Project 351 and the Carlisle Early Act Club’s Spring Service effort! Your contributions were amazing! A total of 17 large bags of clothing and shoes were donated to Cradles to Crayons, and six bags will be donated to another charity! The donation of items that couldn’t go to C2C, will go to another charity that is able to accept the items that C2C could not accept. The Carlisle community was one piece in a state-wide effort of 8th graders across the state through Project 351 to give thousands of bags of donations to Cradles to Crayons on April 8.

My service through Project 351 this has taught me a lot about the generosity of our community and the power of giving, and has also shown me the willingness of individuals and a community to come together to make a difference in people’s lives. The support given by our school principals, teachers, classmates and many people I don’t even know, is truly amazing. Thank you! Because of this generosity many more children and families will have the clothes they need to send kids to school with dignity and pride.

Susannah Snell

Project 351 Ambassador

School Street