It’s late October, and local election season is in full swing with political signs sprouting on lawns all over town. Among them, people may notice the names of candidates for Library Trustee. The Trustee race tends to be sleepy affair with three candidates (usually incumbents) running for the three seats up for grabs in a given election cycle—no campaigning required. But this year, as in 2015, we have a competitive race. Four candidates submitted nomination papers in July, and all four names will appear on the November 7 ballot. As a current Trustee who is not seeking reelection, I am happy to give my wholehearted endorsement to three of those candidates: Leanne Hammonds, Daniel Pritchard, and David Breakstone. (Note: To avoid favoritism or alphabetical bias, I drew lots to determine the order.)
Leanne Hammonds: Last year the Trustees unanimously appointed Leanne from a field of six candidates to fill a vacant seat on the Board. At every monthly meeting, she proves how right we were in our choice. Leanne is thoughtful, conscientious, and interested in every aspect of the library’s mission and operation. She does her homework and raises questions that clarify issues for the rest of us. Her training as an attorney adds an important skill set to the Board, and as the mother of two children in Watertown schools, she appreciates the need for robust collections and programming at every age level. Leanne has been a wonderful colleague, and I know I’m not alone in wanting her to continue in that capacity.
Daniel Pritchard: Daniel’s love of public libraries runs deep; without them, and the passion for books that they nurtured, he might never have gone to college. Today, as a professiona writer, publisher, and father of a nine-month old, he understands the library’s role in sustaining a diverse and vibrant community and in shaping our children’s future. Daniel is creative, insightful, and knowledgeable about trends in technology and social media. A relative newcomer to Watertown, he has already demonstrated a commitment to the community through his involvement with local organizations, including the Town Democratic Committee. As Town Councilor Falkoff has written, Daniel has “just the kind of smart new energy Watertown needs.”
David Breakstone: David has been a Watertown resident and a patron of our great library for 37 years. By his own reckoning (with a little help from the Minuteman Network), he has borrowed more than 13,000 books. But his service to the library goes beyond avid patronage: David was a founding member of the Building Committee, which oversaw the library’s renovation and expansion in 2006, and has been active in fundraising on the library’s behalf. With his deep roots in the community, his many years as a professor of literature and writing at M.I.T and Brandeis, and his engagement with World in Watertown and other local organizations, David will bring a wealth of wisdom and experience to the
Board of Trustees.
I encourage everyone reading this to go to the polls on November 7 and to consider voting for these three exceptional candidates.
35 Oliver Street
Trustee, Watertown Free Public Library