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 2020 election will be held on March 17.
Ron Alexander is running for a position on the Board of Selectmen. The BOS serves as the chief executive board of the Town, and as such, oversees all matters affecting the interest and welfare of the community. The 5-member Board exercises the authority vested in the Town not specifically assigned by law to any other board or office.
There are three candidates running for the two open 3-year positions. We invited the candidates to answer a few questions about their qualifications and priorities for the Town of Wellesley. Candidate Ron Alexander’s Q & A is below. Candidates Tom Ulfelder and Beth Sullivan Woods‘ Q & As will run in subsequent posts.
The Swellesley Report: Should it be Board of Selectmen or Select Board or something different?
Ron Alexander: Surely we have more important matters to deal with in Wellesley. Let’s leave it the way it is. Otherwise the Town will have to spend taxpayer dollars on new stationery, signage, web site changes, etc., etc., etc. It would also make searches on the Town website, Google, Wellesley Media Corporation, etc. more difficult, because a person looking for information would probably have to do multiple searches, one with the old name and then with the new name. This change would create more problems than it solves (see the Law of Unintended Consequences). It should stay as “Board of Selectmen”.
The Swellesley Report: What is your background and what qualifies you for this position?
Ron Alexander: 20-year resident of Wellesley, two years as Town Meeting Member. and diligent attendee and observer before that, expert in Robert’s Rules and Open Meeting Law, loud booming voice, and a keen nose for nonsense.
SR: If elected, what do you hope to accomplish during your three-year tenure on the Board of Selectmen?
Ron Alexander: We have serious problems with our Board of Selectmen…As a Board of Selectmen member, I will work to resolve these issues, find justice for the victims, and make sure that the Town does not have to pay the legal expenses of these scofflaws. After that, we will deal with the Superintendent of Schools, as well as other matters of dysfunction in the Wellesley Town Government.
SR: What is the most important issue in Wellesley right now? How should this issue be handled?
Ron Alexander: Corruption, plain and simple. It runs through the Board of Selectmen, School Committee, School Department, Town Counsel, Police, and likely other departments as well. The only way to handle it is to root it out and get rid of the perpetrators.
SR: What are your thoughts about changing the third Monday in October from Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day?
Ron Alexander: I was taught in elementary school that “Columbus Day” commemorated the discovery of The New World. Indigenous People had nothing to do with that. Frankly, Columbus himself had no idea that he had discovered a whole new pair of continents — he thought he was in China. The real hero is Amerigo Vespucci, after whom “America” is named. If we make any change regarding this day, it should be called something like “New World Day”, “Americas Day”, or “Vespucci Day”. That would be way more appropriate to the spirit and intent of the holiday.
SR: Your thoughts about the HHU project?
Ron Alexander: The options appear to be: 1) 2 schools for $75 million each, or 2) 3 schools for $50 million each. Both add up to $150 million, so the cost is not the issue. That brings into the discussion all the other factors such as redistricting, disruption of neighborhoods, loss of history, benefits of small schools vs. large schools, etc. Since there would be no cost savings to the two-school option, we should just rebuild all three schools. That will make everyone happy and we can finally stop having this conversation (and stop setting neighbor against neighbor as has been the play ever since this matter started).
SR: Is there anything else you would like to say that the above questions did not cover?
Ron Alexander: How much space you got? There are so many problems in this town it would take binders and binders and days and days to go over them. But I’ve already mentioned the Low Hanging Fruit above, so let’s deal with those issues first.
SR: How should voters reach you if they want more information?
Ron Alexander: Anyone is welcome to reach out to me at [email protected] I would be happy to discuss any of the above with anyone, or any other issues that someone may have.