The Town of Wellesley depends on the active participation of its citizens in governance of the Town. Wellesley has 11 Boards and Committees on the ballot at the Annual Town election each year in March. The 2019 election will be held on Tuesday, March 5, 2019.
Contested race for 5-year term: Planning Board
The role of the Planning Board is to make short and long term decisions related to land use in the Town of Wellesley. The Planning Board seeks to realize the vision of Wellesley residents for their community through the judicious use of municipal planning and project review. As a result, the Planning Board is responsible for the maintenance and update of the Town’s Zoning Bylaws and Zoning Map, divisions of land, and the review of large-scale projects with Town-wide impacts.
In the 2019 election, there are two Planning Board races — one race is for a one-year term on the Board; one race is for a 5-term on the Board. Patricia Mallett is running against Thomas Ahern for a 5-year term.
We invited the two candidates to answer a few questions about their qualifications and their priorities for the Town of Wellesley. Ahern’s answers ran in a post yesterday.
Patricia Mallett, candidate for Planning Board
The Swellesley Report: What is your background and what qualifies you for this position?
Mallett: I am a registered Civil Engineer in CA and MA and currently work as a Project Manager with the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority. I have found that many of my job responsibilities have translated to my role as an appointed member of the Planning Board; ranging from reading construction plans/specifications, storm water management plans and traffic and environmental studies. Additionally, my experience leading public meetings for my engineering projects is directly applicable.
Sw: If elected, what do you hope to accomplish during your tenure on the Planning Board?
Mallett: If I am fortunate enough to retain my position on the Planning Board after the March 5 election, I look forward to implementing the Unified Plan and the Housing Production Plan in order to achieve safe harbor with respect to 40B Comprehensive Permit applications. I am also very interested in pursuing the proposed 40R Overlay Zoning for the Wellesley Office Park.
Sw: What is your hot-button issue?
Mallett: Since my appointment to the Planning Board last summer, I have observed that our residents are most concerned about the impacts of the multiple 40B Comprehensive Permit applications on the Town, specifically the projected increased traffic and population density. I hope to continue working on the Town’s response to these applications to responsibly provide more diverse housing within Wellesley.
Sw: With the national attention given to the “Impeach Trump” banner at a Wellesley Hills home, can you comment how the bylaws related to that issue should be addressed?
Mallett: Our Zoning Bylaws govern the size and location of signs, etc. but not the content. This is to protect the constitutional right of free speech. I believe the issue regarding the “Impeach Trump” banner relates more to an inconsistent enforcement of the bylaws, which is something the Planning Board and the Town can address moving forward.
Sw: Is there anything else you would like to say that the above questions did not cover?
Mallett: I would just like to ask for everyone’s vote. Thank you!
Sw: How should voters reach you if they want more information?
Mallett: I look forward to providing additional information via my email, [email protected]