14 letters to the editor
14 letters to the editor endorsing me includes 6 in the last issue of the Town Crier prior to the election, in the paper from Thursday, June 18.
3 Former Select Board members
My endorsements include three former Select Board members: Kirsten Roopenian, John Drobinski, and Len Simon.
Letters to the Editor:
David Hornstein, Oppose Sudbury Station Member
I first met Charlie Russo while working to oppose the Sudbury Station development.
I had attended a ConCom meeting and was summarily shut out ofthe process by the chairman, so I reached out to Charlie. At first, I was frustrated that he wouldn’t just jump into the opposition. However, in discussions with him I realized that he was making a careful study of the issues, and providing substantial, fact-based concerns to the developer. This proved valuable in helping the developer understand that he could not run roughshod over the town’s legitimate concerns.
I am also very appreciative of his advocacy of the rail trail. Years ago, I lived in Arlington and then Lexington, where both towns resisted a rail trail for many years, using many of the same arguments that have been used against the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail. Of course, in the end, the trail was built and is hugely popular, with properties near the rail trail selling at a considerable premim.
I trust Charlie to consider issues from all sides and make sound judgements to improve the quality of life in Sudbury.
David Hornstein, Candy Hill Road
Oppose Sudbury Station member
Glenn Pransky, Hop Brook Protection Association Board Member
My wife and I have been Sudbury residents for over 35 years, and strongly believe that Charlie Russo’s candidacy presents a unique opportunity for us to strengthen our Select Board.
Charlie and his young family are committed to the health and well being of this town – improving the town facilities for all ages (including our seniors), supporting our schools, and preserving and providing access to Sudbury’s natural beauty. He has been a close observer of town government in several communities in his prior work as a reporter; this provides him with a unique perspective on how to address the challenges we face in Sudbury. On the Sudbury Conservation Commission, he takes time to study and understand the issues, asks well-informed questions, effectively engages everyone in a productive dialogue, and keeps an open mind to a range of solutions. For example, his testimony opposing the Eversource transmission project was fact-based and well researched, supporting the sentiments of the majority of Sudbury citizens. He is hard working, collaborative, thoughtful, treats others with respect, and maintains his focus on the best interest of the town as a whole. I also believe that besides presenting well-informed opinions to help educate the voters, Charlie Russo will support the decision expressed by the voters in Town Meeting and the voting booth, even if he does not always agree. I encourage you to visit his website at https://russoforsudbury.com/
Pat Brown, thank you for your service – but it is time for a change. A thriving town like Sudbury will benefit from Charlie Russo’s skills and perspectives, especially during these difficult times. Please join me in voting for Charlie Russo for the Select Board in the June 23 election. There is still time to vote by mail.
Melody and Colin Anderson, 48-year Sudbury residents
We are writing to urge the residents of Sudbury to vote for Charlie Russo for Select Board. We have lived in Sudbury for 48 years. During that period we have often agreed with the decisions made by the Select Board, but the lack of progress on the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail has left us extremely dissatisfied. Did you know that the citizens of Sudbury have been supporting and voting every step of the way to advance the rail trail for 20 years? Never has there been a vote to find ways to slow the progress, yet that is what has happened. How is it that towns near us have managed to build beautiful rail trails that so many of us have been enjoying recently? We need a change on the Select Board. Sudbury deserves to have representative who will support the will of the voters. Charlie Russo is that person.
Our voices are added to the many people who have met Charlie and are singing his praises. In case you haven’t met him through one of his Saturday virtual office hours, we encourage you to visit his website www.RussoforSudbury.com and join one of his Zoom sessions. Once you do, you will be assured, as we are, that Charlie is well-informed on all the issues the town is facing. He has already served the Town of Sudbury in numerous ways: six years on the Conservation Committee, participating on the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail Design Task Force, actively fighting Eversource, opposing Sudbury Station, and mobilizing interest in preserving Broadacres Farm. We have known Charlie for a number of years. He is hard-working, friendly and approachable, a good listener, open to all ideas, and he wants to implement the will of the townspeople. Above all, he is fiscally prudent. We are confident he will be a productive and responsive member of the Select Board.
The election is currently scheduled for June 23. Please visit the Town Clerk’s office website to find the application for early and absentee voting. Then please join us in electing Charlie Russo to the Sudbury Select Board.
Melody and Colin Anderson
Debbie Wolozin, Sustainable Sudbury Member
I write to support Charles Russo for Select Board.
As a member of Sustainable Sudbury, I care about how Sudbury approaches environmental issues. The Selectboard has supported issues I care about, but I believe Charles Russo will do this and more. He has deep knowledge of environmental issues in Sudbury, having served on the Conservation Committee for 6 years. He also served on the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail task force and has stated that he wants to devote focused effort and attention towards getting this project realized. He has a background as a journalist and knows how to listen, synthesize and persuade.
I have talked with him about environmental and other town issues and found him to listen attentively, be even handed, offer workable proposals, demonstrate the ability to build coalitions and have a desire to bring energy to important issues. He is the candidate with fresh perspectives and independent views, imbedded in a deep concern for environmental issues that we need.
I urge your support for Charles Russo.
Dave Henkels, Vice Chair of the Conservation Commission
I am writing in support of Charlie Russo’s candidacy for Sudbury Select Board. Throughout his campaign, Charlie has been clear about his priorities, his commitment to Sudbury and its residents, and to our future.
Charlie supports the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail, the Fairbanks Community Center Upgrade and Bike signage, among other initiatives that are important to our community.
What I can add to the letters that other Charlie supporters have written, is that I have seen him in action. I am his colleague on the Sudbury Conservation Commission and can vouch for his approach to the important role of Select Board Member.
In his capacity as Conservation Commissioner, I have seen and heard Charlie effectively articulate his concerns and observations. Though I may not always agree with him, I do walk away inspired, acknowledging that he sparked a demand to learn more. He is always informed, prepared and transparent regarding issues. He will ask tough questions in order to understand an issue and will make tough decisions as they pertain to the Wetlands Protection Act and the local Wetland Bylaws.
We not only need a Select Board member who will represent our residents and what is important to us and to the future of our town; we need that Select Board member to be a leader who will take action.
I urge you to do the right thing for Sudbury and elect Charlie to the only Select Board seat that is on the ballot this year. Vote for our future by voting for Charlie Russo!
Richard Morse, Conservation Commission Member
Sudbury needs leaders who represent the interests of its citizens. Currently, a single seat on our Select Board is on the ballot. I strongly support and recommend that we elect and add Charlie Russo’s representative leadership skills to our Select Board.
Great leaders possess a clear vision, excellent communication skills, objectivity, integrity, empathy and preserve democratic principles. Charlie Russo has demonstrated all of these on our Conservation Commission and in his active involvement on town issues. He will always tell you what he is thinking and why, while maintaining an open mind. Here are three examples why I am supporting Charlie.
Article 53 bicycle safety proposal came before the Select Board recently. The resident filing Article 53 sought support from the Select Board for four signs, at an estimated cost of $300.00. Perhaps this minor, yet meaningful, support could alert cars, trucks and bicyclists to share the road safely. Pat Brown, Charlie’s opponent, decided not to support $300 for the signs and has not proposed workable solutions that address safety for bicyclists and others. Somewhat related is Pat’s position against the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail (BFRT) in Sudbury, because paved trails will welcome bicyclists. I assure you that Charlie will support bicycle safety and the BFRT.
Three of our Select Board members are abutters to the Eversource/MBTA transmission line project and, therefore, have conflicts of interest if allowed to vote on this project. Pat Brown is one of them. In 2016, Pat accepted concerns about her financial interests and stated, “I have recused myself entirely from any official action concerning the Eversource transmission line proposal.” Recently, she reversed her recusal decision and now plans to vote. While she defends her position using the Commonwealth’s “Rule of Necessity,” this rule does not erase her conflict of interest, nor that of the other two board members. Charlie has no such conflicts and will faithfully recuse himself when appropriate. For instance, he recused himself on the Conservation Commission vote on the Broadacres Farm acquisition because he was an abutter.
Lastly, Charlie strongly supports the new Fairbank Community Center. Pat has for a decade worked to slow and block progress on the Center and continues to do so. Charlie represents the Change We Need!
Please vote for Charlie Russo by mail or on June 23rd!
John Beeler, Chairman of the Council on Aging
I have been a member of the Sudbury Council on Aging Board of Directors for eight years. During that period of time of time I have seen the public support for the Sudbury Older Adults increase dramatically.
I have talked with all five Select Board members, at various times, they all indicated their support for our Seniors. (23% of the towns population). However there is no direction, guidance or support, at this time from the Select Board as a whole. As it reflects to a Community Center. Pat Brown has consistently said, “…let the voters decide”. Isn’t it an expectation to have a leader express an opinion on important issues?
The Adult population has expressed incredible support for the Park and Recreation Group and SPS. This is in part due to the work of the Working Group put together to examine the needs for a future, inclusive Community Center.
Having talked with the two people seeking to be elected to the Select Board, Pat Brown and Charles Russo, I have reached the conclusion that Charles Russo will be getting my support to be our new Select Board member. He is committed to reacting to the needs of people ranging from preschool, daycare, summer camp, and our older adults.
Please join me in electing Charles Russo as a Select Board member.
Jeanne Maloney, long-time resident
As a long-standing resident who has attended town meeting, for many years, the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail has been a topic of discussion for as long as I can remember.
I have sat through all these discussions that were unnecessary as the town had voted to move forward time and time again. It cost us time and money and all the hours the Bruce Freeman Task Force put in to keep the Trail coming to fruition. Every single town around Sudbury has built a beautiful rail trail, except us. Some members of the Select Board, in particular Pat Brown, have set up roadblocks time and again. This is just not fair. Sudbury needs members of the Select Board that carry out the town’s votes, not ones who block them.
We now have an opportunity to elect Charlie Russo who brings a fresh vision to the town. He’s young, enthusiastic and dedicated to making what we would like to see as good leadership in the years to come. We are in dire need of someone with that energy and vision. Since moving to town, Charlie has served on the Conservation Commission, advocated against Sudbury Station, the Eversource transmission line, advocated for the preservation of Broadacres Farm, etc. We have some very important votes coming up, i. e., the Community Center, the Fire Station, etc.
We need someone who will do due diligence and make decisions based on facts. Transparency is important. Don’t be fooled. Please vote for Charlie Russo.
Brian and Barbara Clifton, long-time residents
We are writing to support Charles Russo for Selectman. Charlie has served 6 years very successfully on the Conservation Committee where he brought diverse opinions together to a satisfactory agreement. He advocated against Sudbury Station, the huge housing development proposed for behind first Parrish. He has spoken out against the Eversource transmission line to Hudson through the Hop Brook Conservation land and other important Town issues. He realizes the need for a Community Center to serve the many needs of the Town. It is not just a center for seniors but is used by many groups … read more here.
Jeff Levine, incoming Chairman of the Council on Aging
I am the Council on Aging’s representative on the Fairbank Working Group, and I have been very disappointed in the level of support and interest from Pat Brown on this project. Pat was on the Task Force that brought the previous Fairbank proposal to Town Meeting, and I have personally spoken with Pat multiple times to seek her input and support for this project. Unfortunately, other than stating her requirement that all three user groups be included in the final plan, which raised the project cost, she has offered no advice or support for this project. The best she can do is to post on her website that the voters should decide. Pat took a similar approach during last year’s Sewataro debate. This is not leadership. … We don’t need elected officials that are afraid to lead the town into the future. We need new leadership that is willing to face up to the critical needs of the town, take a stand on what should be done, and act on it. Charlie Russo is that leader. Join me in voting for Charlie Russo. … read more here.
Dick Williamson, Bruce Freeman Rail Trail supporter
In the upcoming election, I urge Sudbury residents to vote for Charlie Russo, candidate for the Select Board. Charlie has proven his concern for the future of Sudbury as a member of the Conservation Commission and the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail (BFRT) Task Force. Of particular satisfaction to me is his steadfast support for bringing the BFRT to Sudbury. His stance is in contrast to his opponent Pat Brown who has hobbled progress for the BFRT over the past two decades
In 2004, Pat Brown and I interviewed with the Select Board for positions on the newly forming Rail Trail Conversion Advisory Committee (RTCAC). I had served on the prior Rail Trail Committee and was anxious to do my best to bring the BFRT to Sudbury. During the interviews, I was taken aback by Pat’s statement that she wanted to be on the RTCAC in order to oppose “a highway through the woods”. During subsequent meetings, I came to realize that Pat was using those words to mask her real intention, which was to oppose the BFRT, a paved multi-use path (bike path or rail trail) designed and constructed according to the standards set forth by the Mass. Department of Transportation (MASSDOT).
Pat Brown became chair of the RTCAC for the next eight years and 70 meetings. Looking back, little of substance was accomplished during Pat’s eight years as chair, a result that was in keeping with Pat’s opposition to a MASSDOT standard rail trail.
In 2017, Pat Brown testified (and submitted written comments) before the state board that sets priorities for funding all transportation projects. That Board had voted to fund the construction of the Sudbury section of the BFRT starting in FY2022. Pat asserted that the state board had scored Sudbury’s BFRT too high and thus should push the project lower down on the priority list which could disqualify the project entirely. Was this in keeping with Pat’s oath to best serve the interest of Sudbury, or was this part of Pat’s campaign to obstruct the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail?
Charlie Russo will work to complete the BFRT, not obstruct it. He deserves your vote for Select Board
Len Simon, former Select Board member
Pat Brown’s website lists the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail among her accomplishments. Here’s how she actually voted:
At Town Meeting in 2012, Pat argued and voted against Articles 34 and 35 that would bring the BFRT to Sudbury.
In 2017 the Metropolitan Planning Organization scored the BFRT for millions of dollars in construction funding. The more points scored the better the chance of getting funding. The fewer the points, the lower the chance. Pat Brown wrote to the MPO and asked that points be deducted from the BFRT score. Pat was undermining the BFRT, a project her own town was backing.
In April 2018, Pat voted against hiring a firm to do the BFRT design work. More delay.
As chair of the Rail Trail committee Pat kept it bottled up there for 10 years, with no action and without a recommendation. No surprise it went nowhere for so long. … read more here.