To the editor:
I strongly support Tom Ulfelder’s re-election to the Select Board and ask you to join me in voting for Tom on Tuesday, March 7. During my term on the Advisory Committee and as its Chair, I had an opportunity to work with Tom and was impressed with his preparation and ability to find solutions to often complicated issues while building broad support.
Tom has been a leader throughout the challenges presented by COVID and its impact on Wellesley’s commercial interests. In 2020, Tom not only recognized the need to implement changes in the town budget but did so understanding that residents and businesses needed reassurance and support. As we emerged from the worst of the pandemic, Tom supported changes in the town’s alcohol regulations and seating requirements for restaurants serving alcohol that led to the remarkable expansion of excellent restaurants in town. Often working quietly, Tom has consistently supported the town’s commercial and retail community. This includes securing a lease extension for a valued well-established business and expanded hours for another. Tom’s goal is to always do what’s right without regard for personal benefit.
Tom’s concern for the town’s retail businesses is evident in his effort to approach planning differently, advocating for an approach that integrates economic development, housing, and sustainability. Tom believes that businesses will benefit from housing located closer to our retail districts, which will decrease vehicular traffic and increase foot traffic through the retail districts encouraging stores to remain open later, which will increase sales.
Tom is the Select Board candidate best suited to support Wellesley’s commercial interests. His business experience enables him to build consensus as he tackles complex issues designed to best support our commercial sector. He has demonstrated an ability to build the strong base for success that businesses need over the long term. Tom has made clear his commitment to greater resident participation in the planning process to assure that commercial growth and increased housing remain consistent with the needs and expectations of residents living nearby. Tom believes the interests of our businesses and residents can coexist as long as growth and development reflect the character of the town and the reasons people live and work here.
Please join me in voting for Tom on March 7. Wellesley needs his leadership and experience.