My name is Christopher Haley, and I am running for re-election to the sole open Select Board seat for the Town of Reading this coming March.
Moving forward into 2024, my priorities remain much the same as they were the last time I ran for Select Board and what I have worked for during my time in office: I will continue to advocate for our Seniors, work on improving Communication & Transparency in our local government, support our Public Safety officials, address Parking concerns and work to grow our Small Business community. In terms of specific priorities, these are the top 3 that I feel are the most important for our community:
- MBTA Communities – Reading needs to zone, not build, at least 1493 new units to comply with new legislation or risk losing state funding. I will work to ensure that our town retains the character that brought so many of us to Reading. I will advocate to preserve the quality of life and neighborhoods that we all call home.
- Senior/Community Center – Our senior population has outgrown the existing Pleasant Street Center. A feasibility study is currently underway, financed with ARPA funds. Once the results come back our seniors cannot wait another decade for a resolution. We need to make sure that whatever is brought forward to the voters will pass the first time around.
- Hiring a new Town Manager – I have invaluable experience in onboarding a new town manager which will be extremely helpful as Reading brings on a new one.
Like many of you, I moved to Reading 15 years ago to start a family in a safe community with great schools. My oldest daughter Autumn is now 11 years old and attends Coolidge Middle School and my youngest daughter, Savannah, is 5 and goes to Birch Meadow Elementary. My wife Amanda just celebrated 19 years at Boston Childrens Hospital and she’s now the president of the Coolidge PTO. I own an IT company downtown on Haven Street and have been there for the past 4 years.
I have enjoyed my time on the Select Board and believe my record of accomplishments, both on and off the Select Board, shows my commitment to and hard work for, the Town of Reading and all its residents.
SELECT BOARD HIGHLIGHTS
When I joined the Select Board in 2021, I immediately started off with one of my 2021 campaign priorities. I was appointed by the Board to the Parking Advisory and Recommendation Committee (PARC). With that committee’s help and with invaluable input from the community, we were able to get 16 parking regulations changed, one of which doubled the number of employee parking spots. While our downtown parking challenges are far from being over, these were positive changes for both residents and our small businesses. A feasibility study for a parking garage was also approved.
In 2022, I was appointed to the Reading ARPA Advisory Committee along with fellow board member Mark Dockser. The committee was tasked with recommending $7.5 million in grant funds to fund community priorities, some of which overlapped with my campaign priorities. With the committee’s assistance, the Select Board was able to support many different groups in our community. We distributed $2 million for a new literacy curriculum for the Reading Public Schools, $1.5 million for the Birch Meadow Phase 1 project, $900k for Elder Services, of which $300k was for a senior center feasibility study. Our essential town and school workers were allocated $900k in premium pay, and we were able to allocate $96k for a new adaptive swim program at the YMCA as well as $74.2k for the Food Pantry.
In July of 2023, I advocated for increased funding for our roads and subsequently, the full board and Town Meeting approved an additional $300k towards road paving this past November. I was also appointed to the Charter Review Committee and elected Chair of that committee. We are currently tasked with reviewing the town’s charter and making recommendations to Town Meeting concerning any proposed amendments.
“IN MY SPARE TIME”
In 2021, I founded both ReadingRecap.com and DunkTheReadings.com. Reading Recap is a free news website that increases the communication and awareness in our town with strictly Reading related news, meetings, and even a community events calendar that the public can post to and use to keep track of Reading happenings. The website now has over 100k views since launch. Dunk the Readings is a dunk tank initiative that I coordinated at the Reading Rotary Fall Street Faire and includes volunteers from our Select Board, School Committee, School Principals, the Town Manager and Superintendent. With their help, we were able to raise over $5,000 for various causes in our community in just 3 short years.
I’m proud to call the Town of Reading my home. I’m fortunate enough to be raising my family here and I love seeing my children going out and running around the neighborhood like many of us did growing up. My campaign website is www.HaleyForReading.com and I will be uploading new content and campaign videos there over the course of my re-election campaign. My email is info@HaleyForReading.com and my cell number is 781-604-2539. Please do not hesitate to reach out and I look forward to hearing from you.
I’m once again asking for your vote, on or before March 5th, and together we will move Reading forward!
Christopher Haley – 71 Tennyson Rd