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.
There are two candidates running for two three-year positions on the Natural Resources Commission (NRC) Board — Martin Jay McHale and Allison Burson.
It is the mission of the five-member NRC Board to provide stewardship of, education about, and advocacy for the Town of Wellesley’s parks, conservation, recreation and open space areas so the full value of the Town’s natural assets can be passed onto future generations.
We invited the candidates to answer a few questions about their qualifications and priorities for the Town of Wellesley. McHale’s Q & A is below. Burson’s Q & A appeared in a previous post.
The Swellesley Report: What is your background and what qualifies you for this position?
Martin Jay McHale: My wife, 2 boys (ages 14 and 16) and I have had the opportunity to enjoy Wellesley’s wonderful trails and parks for almost 13 years and I am honored to run for the NRC. If elected, my expertise in chairing both for-profit (financial services) and non-profit (childhood wellness) organizations will allow me to contribute to NRC goals, and bring a fresh perspective to the issues at hand. During my career, I have been involved in spearheading many sustainability efforts on behalf of my organizations, as well as developing sustainability products for consumers that significantly reduces paper waste. From a leadership perspective, the skills I have developed in bringing various teams together would be a welcome addition not only to the NRC board, but to the other town boards that interact with the NRC.
The mission statement of the NRC states that “It is the mission of the Natural Resources Commission to provide stewardship of, education about, and advocacy for the Town of Wellesley’s parks, conservation, recreation and open space areas so the full value of the Town’s natural assets can be passed onto future generations”. I’m a firm believer in this, and in fact, think that we need to focus on the current as well as future generations. My main priority would be to focus on the future of Wellesley’s parks and trails, so children and future residents will benefit from improving our outdoor spaces. I also believe we need to continue the efforts on reducing the number of gas leaks in town, provide education on the proper use of fertilizers and pesticides to protect our ground water, as well as review the tree canopy guidelines.
The most successful board bring individuals together that have varied experience. It is my background in leadership compounded with my experience in dealing with environmental issues from a corporate perspective that makes me a great candidate for serving on the NRC board.
SR: If elected, what do you hope to accomplish during your three-year tenure on the NRC?