To the Editor:

In the heat of a local election, when all candidates are vying for your vote, it's best to look past the convenient rhetoric and look to a person's record and values.

In Bridgewater, there is a stark contrast between two of the candidates for first selectman.

Curtis Read is a proven leader.

He has served as a selectman in Bridgewater for four years. He has led two regional conservation organizations, Weantinoge and the Northwest Conservation District. He has chaired Bridgewater's Inland/Wetlands Commission during some tough fights with developers who were proposing projects that would adversely affect Bridgewater's ecosystem.

He has founded two successful businesses and knows how to manage finances and save money.

One of his opponents, Nancy Hawley, has a short record of public service. She served as chairwoman of the town's finance board, and in less than two years she was voted off as chairperson by her fellow board members.

She spoke on her own behalf to retain her position, but board members chose to replace her with Dennis MacDonald, the current chairman.

If you take the time to read the minutes and listen to the recordings from past meetings, she created an environment of finger pointing, divisiveness and escalated problems.

Instead of working out solutions with volunteers and administrators within the town, she prefers to "go at it alone" and work with state and federal agencies.

Bridgewater needs a person to bring people together, someone who can lead us in a positive direction.

Mr. Read's past behavior and experiences, both in Bridgewater and in the region, prove he is the best choice.

Sharon Wimberly

Bridgewater