To the Editor:

As the political season gets underway in Bridgewater and the candidates talk the talk about transparency, restoring Bridgewater's reputation, turning the spotlight back to focusing on the beauty, charm and the outgoingness of its residents, I find myself doubting whether this is, in fact, the case.

After attending the Democratic caucus and listening to Curtis Read, who was emphatically endorsed by the current first selectman, describe to everyone how he would be the best candidate to lead this town, I was quite disappointed to drive by his house the day after to see a company owned by Bill Stuart's daughter and son-in-law doing work on his residence.

I'm all for hiring our local talent and I'm definitely not against home repair, but what I question is if this was a thank you for the ringing endorsement of our first selectman or if it was just repairs being done.

Either way, the decision to do this work one day after the caucus, at a time when our concern about lack of government transparency and morally challenged politicians, was a bad one.

Then there is the issue of voting against the reappointment of Justin Planz to the Park and Recreation Committee.

Mr. Read voted against Mr. Planz without even offering an explanation why or coming up with a suitable alternative. Mr. Planz volunteered his time and equipment to help maintain our parks for us and our children to enjoy.

To exclude him from doing this is a great loss for all of us.

Mr. Stuart, right or wrong, had a reason to vote against Justin, but Mr. Read chose the vote that best fit his needs, not the needs of the town.

As a selectman, this decision was his to make, but to be silent on the reasoning is unacceptable.

Whether you agree or disagree with Mr. Planz's actions, to dismiss him and just ignore all the good he has done for this town over the years because he spoke up over something he believes in, is just wrong.

We should be thanking our volunteers, not disrespecting them. This is not a corporation. You cannot just fire someone because they challenged the status quo.

We elected you. You work for us. You should answer to us. At a time when we need as many volunteers as we can get, the decision to get rid of Mr. Planz was a bad one.

If we can't trust Mr. Read to make minor decisions without seeing the ramifications brought on by them, how can we trust him to make major decisions that will affect the quality of life and guide the path of Bridgewater in the future?

As the next chapter of Bridgewater politics begins, what we need is someone to run for office whose only agenda is the love of this town, someone who is a lifelong resident, who has gone through our school system, knows the people and is part of the fabric of this community.

We need someone who knows Burnham School, knows the teachers, knows the parents and students, past and present, and knows what our school means to all of us, someone who will stand with the people and for the people to do what is best for Bridgewater, not a banker or CEO who only make decisions based on the bottom line and definitely not a hand-chosen successor to the throne who has been politically groomed on how to win, not lead.

We need someone among us to work with us and work for us, not a shepherd to choose a path and expect his flock to follow.

Being a newcomer of only 12 years to this community, I'm willing to put my trust in someone who has been here, grown up here and raised his or her family here and has helped shape this town into the wonderful place it has become.

We need a better alternative.

I supported Bill. As the saying goes, "This Is My Town."

Well, not anymore. This is our town. We are smarter than that and we deserve better.

Dan Haskell

Bridgewater